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Sight Unseen    by Samantha Graves order for
Sight Unseen
by Samantha Graves
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Art recovery specialist Raven Callahan is the best at what she does and enjoys pushing the limits of her skills. Whether scouring the sea floor for lost treasure or relieving thieves of their ill-gotten gains and returning the treasures to their rightful owners or to museums, Raven derives immense satisfaction from her work. Her gift of psychometry gives her additional insight and unprecedented emotional connection to the pieces she's retrieving. And for Raven that's enough of a sensory overload - her dark family background has left her wary of forming close personal ties with anyone.

Her current assignment takes her and her elderly associate Walter to Miami where they've been tasked to bid on a rare Vassalo painting that they hope to return to its rightful collection. But plans go awry from the get-go: they're immediately outbid by another collector and then, once the painting changes hands, it's promptly stolen. To make matters even stickier, Raven runs into David Maddox, the only cop who's ever caught her red handed. Maddox however, is at the auction for his own reasons. He's certain the thief who took the Vassalo is the same man who murdered his partner during a botched robbery six months before. More complications arise when Walter disappears; within hours his kidnapper contacts Raven, demanding that she deliver the entire Vassalo collection or Walter dies. Now Raven and David are forced to together to find and unmask a cunning thief before it's too late.

The story is a bit slow to start, but once the race to save Walter begins, the action takes off in various interesting directions. Raven is a winning lead, strong, independent and resourceful, yet also sensitive and often vulnerable to the flood of emotions the most innocent touch releases. She and David are a great pairing - their professional differences as well as their growing attraction are portrayed with skill and realism. A tense aura of mystery prevails throughout and the art world adds extra flare to the story. Samantha Graves debuts an enjoyable and exciting romantic suspense in Sight Unseen.

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