Until Vienna

Heather B. Moore. Covenant Communications, $13.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-5244-1542-6
Moore (Steal My Heart) contributes a skimpy historical romance to the shared-universe Romance on the Orient Express series (after Jennifer Moore’s Wrong Train to Paris). Brief, predictable, and reliant on stock characters and middle school emotional dynamics, the story unfolds across a guided tour of the great museums of Europe in the year 1900. The tour guide is handsome, broken-hearted London professor Clyde Haskins; his charges include the equally lovelorn Rowena Georgina “Gigi” Ballard II and the aunt she was named for. Clyde and Gigi are immediately drawn to one another, and it creepily transpires that their situation is a setup by Aunt Rowena, devised as an apology after she torpedoed Gigi’s love life with a false rumor. It’s difficult to be amused by this toxic meddler, much less feel the affection for her that later plot developments require. Moore’s depictions of the cities and museums visited conjure little magic, though she does take the time to allow some individual paintings to shine. Even London is unconvincing, with descriptions that historically minded readers will recognize as inaccurate. Despite a promising premise, Moore fails to float a plausible period fairy tale. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/01/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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