The Art of Love and Murder

Narrated by: Holly Holt
Series: The Love and Murder Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn't what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life. Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation. Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past...until Chance's connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

©2014 Brenda Whiteside (P)2018 Brenda Whiteside
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Strangers in the Night

When Lacy Dahl first encounters Chance Meadowlark on a dark night while visiting in Flagstaff, she thinks he belongs to the footsteps that had been following her down an alley. Little does she know he’s the Sheriff and trying to protect her. Lacy is shaken by the encounter, and not just from fear-induced adrenaline. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, stirring feelings she hasn’t had since her husband died.

Chance doesn’t need any complications in his life. He's settled into a nice pace and his daughter is in college. Eight years before, his wife was murdered in an art heist. Running into Lacy wasn’t going to upset his routine, which includes a friends-with-benefits relationship with a local woman appropriately named Kitty.

Lacy is on a mission to find her roots. Her mother and father died in a plane crash and she has returned to Flagstaff to connect her mother’s artwork to her past. Chance and Lacy soon work together on a personal and professional investigation braided together through their histories. Will Lacy’s past come crashing into his? Will the ever present Kitty release her claws from Chance? Will Lacy find her true heritage?

No spoilers from me. You need to listen to this fast paced, well written, well-acted audio book to find out! I give it 5 Southwestern Sunsets, 5 Sexy Sheriffs, and 5 Stars!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not skillfully executed.

Unfortunately the story was unsuccessful. It felt to me like the author had some possible plot and character ideas, but was not able to skillfully bring it all together. The conversations were not particularly well done.

The suspense aspect of the story was pretty obvious. The author hinted at plot things, but did not fill in background information. It was hinted that Lacy’s husband was unfaithful, but not even a short explanation was given about her marriage. Lacy was unappealingly aggressive in her thinking and approach toward Chance. By the end of the book, I was pretty uncertain about what the roll of the mother’s step sister was?

The narration certainly did not help the book either. The narrator was clearly “reading aloud” a book not narrating a book. Conversations and chapters flowed into each other; it was often difficult to tell who was speaking. Voices for Lacy and Chance were differentiated, but there was little to no differentiation between the female voices.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Looking for a good suspense with some romance?

This is my first experience with both the author and narrator, and I liked them both. I could sense the hurt in both the main characters, Lacy and Chance, and that means the author did a good job. The story moved along at a nice pace, and gave just enough details to put me in the story. The sex was tasteful, focusing more on the suspense than the sex, making it a good romance, in my opinion. Many authors title their books romance but fill it with so much erotica that I find it hard to get through the story. Brenda Whiteside does not do that. Her sex scenes, show just enough description to allow the reader to visualize the act. The narrator has a lively voice, and she does a good job at slightly altering her tone for different characters. I recommend this book to people who like a good suspense novel with some sex in it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

second chances

Twisted sick villain will go to any lengths to relive the past and obtain old art works . The constant break in in Lacey's room seemed to be ignored until it couldn't be. smh!!!! I liked that two people had a chance to get closure on their past and move forward after poor communication and some fears are resolved. Good story with lots if secondary character involvement. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a great job with female voices but not so much with male voices.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well done!

The Art of Love and Murder is well-written, character rich story about Lacy Dahl, in search of her roots, and Chance Meadowlark, the sheriff who becomes her partner. Lacy's adoptive parents have died and she never knew her birth parents. Her mother and father were killed in an airplane crash, but she survived. With some of her mother's artwork in hand, she hopes to find someone who recognizes the art or knows who she was. Walking to her hotel at night through the streets of Flagstaff, Lacy hears steps behind her and runs right into Paul Bunyan. She hits him with her purse and throws her elbow for good measure. Great first meeting and first impressions! Chance has a sad past, losing his wife to murder in an art heist 8 years ago. He doesn't have time for a relationship and, besides, he's still mourning her death. He does have time, however, for an on again off again sleazy friend, Kitty, the very definition of a loathsome woman. Once Lacy arrives, he only has eyes for her.  After a series of break-ins and burglaries in that involve Lacy, Chance becomes her partner as they search for clues and information about her mother. As she pieces together the woman her mother was, she meets a troubling man, Professor Sheffield. He claims to have known her mother better than anyone else and there's something a little off about him. As the mystery of the art, the professor and the beautiful artist unfolds, Chance begins to realize that Lacy is it for him and he'll do anything to protect her. The ending is only somewhat happy because Kitty makes a final play for Chance's affection  and he doesn't push her away. His excuse is that he doesn't want to hurt her because she's been through a lot? Just no! Even though I don't like the ending, the story is excellent with a wonderful plot. 4.5 stars. Holly Holt does a superb job with the narration. She has an amazing range and can handle male and female voices equally well. There are some background noises that sound more like production noise rather than something from her voice. Well done! 

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable listen!

A woman sets out to research an artist and ends up unraveling her own history. Bumps into love and solves an eight year old mystery!

Narration was good, but needs some editing for background noise.

The h was a strong character, but made some choices that did not seem well thought out, but what can you do. 🙄

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome storyline

The Art of Love and Murder. I had to find out what happened next. I liked Lacy and chance, and the way the story unfolded. The mystery kept me guessing. Definitely worth listening to or reading. Some background noise but it was minimal and never took away from the story. The Narrator's voice was good. The only reason this book is not a 5 star for me is because I couldn't stand a couple side characters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just Okay

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

I am somewhere between a 3 and a 4 on this book. There were some aspects I really liked, such as Lacy's search related to her mother, but there was a lot that I just was not all that taken with - such as "instant love" and then whining about - over and over again. I like her but I shouldn't like her but I like her but I shouldn't like her but I like her but I shouldn't like her... etc. I wish the attraction and the relationship had been more organic. I also felt some of the conversations were very stiff.

I found the narration by Holly Holt to be slow and her voices for the male characters were slightly odd. She has a pleasant voice and, overall, I liked listening to her but at times her inflection didn’t convey the emotions (anger, fear, sadness, confusion) of the story and it brought me out of the story. She just seemed flat.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fast paced and well written

This isn't my usually go to kinda book but I enjoyed every second of this! There is never a dull moment and you are continuing to guess the entire story!! Chance and Lacy don't hit it off at first, the attraction is there but she is a bit unnerved he appears in a dark walkway after she hears someone following her! This is my first book by Brenda Whiteside and I love her writing style. I'm already diving into book 2! this was read by Holly Holt and she did a beautiful job! There were no repetitive spots in the narration and she did a wonderful job with each voice. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A nice listen with enjoyable characters

The author gives a good story, a little mystery, danger along with romance, there are a little more fillers than I like but it has a very good plot. Lacy is pulled into her past when she tries to find more out about her birth mother which leads her on a tail spin, with death all around her which leads to more mystery. I really enjoyed how her and Chance met, it gave me a few smiles. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and go through a few tough times. There are a few heart stopping moments, along with heartbreak and lots of danger as she tries to find out more about the mystery lady and her mother.

I thought the narration was okay, there is background noise when she pauses, there are times when it is to fast and other times when the rhythm moves good. Her character voices are nice, you know who is talking. She reads a little to fast and should pause a little more. It was an enjoyable listen but felt off a little. I can tell when she took what I believe is a break the volume changes. Her male and female voices are very nice, however I do not feel she gives true emotion to her characters. I just don’t feel the emotion the characters are going through. All in all it was an enjoyable listen but just needs some work.

I thought the author did a good job pulling the reader in, giving a believable story, with great characters. Was a good plot and did make me smile a few times. I really liked the mystery and danger. The mystery man who did the killings took a few minutes to work out. All in all I enjoyed it.

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  • Mickey
  • 12-16-19

Murder Mystery

This is a murder mystery romance story, it’s pact full of action. It’s not enough of mystery that keeps you guessing once your introduced to all the players on the board, but their actions can be unexpected at times. With their motives clear. I enjoyed the storyline and the ending, and the subtle hint of the characters for book two at the end. Holly did a good job with the narrative and I look forward to hearing more from her.
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  • Placid
  • 11-09-19

Exciting

The story about a mature woman who finds out that there are sketches that belonged to her mother. She returns to her home town to try to learn about her mother's life. The story involves the woman and what happens to her and the sketches of her mothers. This includes robbery and a romantic liaison.

The story was thrilling with enough adventure to keep you guessing.

The narrator was good.

This book was provided free of charge with the understanding that an honest review would be submitted.

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  • Nat (🎧AudiobookObsession)
  • 11-07-19

The art of love and murder

I loved the mystery of this book the suspense the drama. I love the little clues that you pick up along the way, and if you listen to it a second time you pick up even more clues. The characters and their mysterious connection and just everything that happens along the way.

This is the first performance I’ve listen to by Holly Holt but she did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what other narrations I can find by her.

#AudiobookObsession
🎧AudiobookObsession

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 10-23-19

Good “who done it”

Enjoyable storyline with lots of twists and turns. Lovely characters and a great romance. Holly does a fantastic job with he narration.
#audiobookobsessionreviewer

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bookaholic
  • 10-02-19

The Art of Love and Murder

What an incredible tale this is from the start right up until the very end with characters that are really believable that draw you into the action along with them
The Narration was also very well done

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vanessa Leighton
  • 09-25-19

A tease

This book is fantastic it teases you with clues as to where it’s going and keeps you on edge. The chemistry between the two characters is intense.

The narrator has outdone herself each character is clearly portrayed which makes it an easy listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Layla
  • 09-23-19

The art of love and murder

I loved this book. There was plenty of drama, suspense and romance. And of course the mystery was good.
They say this book is flirty but I thought it fell under the seductive catagory since there is a sex scene (not graphic).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 09-08-19

loved this book

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband.
love this book from start to finish Miss Holly Holt got me hocked from the beginning

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vibeke
  • 08-18-19

Romance mixed with intrigue

~I received a free copy of this audiobook via facebook and am voluntarily leaving an honest review~

After the death of her adoptive parents and her husband Lacy starts to wonder about her past and her birth parents, who died in a planecrash when she was just a baby.
She returns the her mothers hometown with some artifacts left to her. She wanna know more about the atist, but instead of a short visit with no problems, she meets angry, jealous relatives and an obsessed collector - someone breaks into her hotel room, other gets assulted and robbed.
The Sheriff Chance tries to help her, while fighting his own battle with the loss of his wife. Somehow the dead of his wife and Lacys problems are connected. But how?

I loved the story but I really enjoyed the vivid description of the nature of Arizona and the people living in Flaggstaff.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes romance mixed with intrigue.

The audiobook was narrated by Holly Holt and she did an excellent job

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 08-10-19

never judge a book by its cover

I would never have bought this book based on the cover. This is a story of mystery and intrigue with romance and passion. The picture on the cover does not represent the book. The narration well delivered at a good pace x