Anne Stuart is one of my auto-buy authors but she doesn't always hit the mark. NOW YOU SEE HIM is one of these latter affairs, which is unfortunate because it had the potential to be quite good.
The book starts off hastily, right in the middle of the scene. I have to admit it took me off-guard and made me wonder if this was a sequel, or if I was missing some pages. Frances Neeley is at a parade, filled with horror, as she realizes that her charming Irish boyfriend is actually a member of the IRA and plans to assassinate a political official. She watches as he is gunned down to death, and his 'cousin' (who isn't really his cousin) is hit by a car.
Anyone would find this traumatic, and Frances is no exception. She ends up staying at a semi-tropical resort run by her cousin called Belle Reste. Also staying at Belle Rest is a man named Michael Dowd. He believes that Frances had more involvement with the IRA than she admitted, and plans to do anything he can to find out more.
Some users have drawn comparisons to Stuart's Ice series, and yes, I think it's fully possible that Michael Dowd served as the prototype for some of the gamma leads in the Ice series. NOW YOU SEE HIM isn't even close to being half as good as the Ice books, though. Which isn't really surprising, considering that this book was a lesser-known Silhouette title published in the 90s. Just look at this trashy cover and blurb!
I prefer my romantic-suspense to be more suspense than action, and there was a little too much pining in NOW YOU SEE HIM for my taste. Insta-love, a TSTL female lead, a bland hero, and cardboard cutout villains who manage to fulfill almost every homophobic/misogynistic stereotype you can imagine, and yeah, you can see why NOW YOU SEE HIM had me skimming huge chunks of the book at a time. Snore.
But that's okay. I'll still devour Anne Stuart books like cheese and crackers.
1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars.