Take Me if You Can

Karen Kendall
April 2008, Contemporary Romance
Signet, $6.99, 396 pages, Amazon ASIN 0451223667

Grade: B
Sensuality: Hot

Karen Kendall's Take me If You Can captivated me. I began reading it in an airport while waiting for a flight and I quickly became so engrossed in it that I actually continued reading while standing in line to board the plane. I was disappointed when my flight landed and surprised that the trip was over because I still had a few pages left and wanted to keep reading.

Avy Hunt is a full partner in ARTemis, Inc., a group of stolen art recovery specialists. Her latest assignment is to locate the multi-million dollar Sword of Alexander, last seen in the Louvre and currently believed to be in the possession of master thief Liam James. Before she can begin the job, Avy realizes that a handsome and charming man is tailing her. She turns the tables on him, in a truly humorous fashion, and heads toward London - and Liam James. Imagine her surprise, when she knocks on Liam's door, and discovers that the man tailing her is Liam himself. The remainder of the book involves Avy's attempts to retrieve the sword and Liam's equally determined efforts to keep it from her, while at the same time attempting to develop a relationship with Avy.

It's been awhile since I've liked both the hero and heroine in a book. Liam is a real charmer. Although he's a thief, and a good one, Liam also comes across as a truly nice man who genuinely falls fast and hard for Avy. Early on, the author includes a scene that I particularly liked when Liam breaks into Avy's home to learn more about her since the scene allows us to learn about Avy right along with Liam. Avy is a strong, smart woman, capable of handling herself in just about any situation. Both Avy and Liam have some genuine baggage from their childhoods, however, rather than bogging them down with angst, it is used simply to explain the adults they have become.

I'm a sucker for books set in foreign locales provided they're done well and this one didn't disappoint. The action moves from Miami to London to Nice and the scenes set there are vivid, but never take away from the central relationship between Avy and Liam. With its witty dialogue, and interesting locales, I could easily imagine this book as a movie.

A few chapters are devoted to a secondary plot involving Avy's apprentice. I found this plot enjoyable, and eventually it was connected, albeit loosely, to Avy and Liam's story.

The book is not without its problems, though. Without giving away spoilers, I found a rescue scene late in the book to be rather improbable. I also felt that Avy and Liam had sex too soon, particularly given Avy's character.

Overall, I enjoyed Take Me If You Can a good deal. The ending left me smiling, as Avy stayed true to form. It also left me wanting more of Avy and Liam, and hoping for the reappearance of ARTemis in future books.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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