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Book Review · The Lesbian Review

Book Review · The Lesbian Review

Art of the Chase by Jennifer Giacalone is a second chance, enemies to lovers, romantic suspense. It has the most wonderful chemistry between the main characters and a thrilling mystery to be solved.

Agent Fleur van Beekhof has been waiting six years to catch the art thief “Fabulous Gustave”. He turned her life upside down and contributed to her card addiction, all of this led to Fleur losing her wife and partner. Her career has never been the same and her control is hanging by a thread.

After six years of nothing, it seems that Gustave is back and the chance for Fleur to right the wrongs from the past is within reach.

Working with her fiery ex-wife again is both thrilling and triggering. Together they must follow Gustave’s trail and finally put the case to bed. While Renata doesn’t like to play by the rules, Fleur is determined to do everything by the book.

In the end, will the case that tore them apart, bring them back together?    


The writing in this book is brilliant. Not only has the author created two captivating characters that have a volatile dynamic, steamy chemistry, and years of history. She has also written a fabulously plotty storyline that had me guessing throughout. I was hooked from the first chapter.

The story is told from Fleur’s POV. Giacalone made me want to know her and figure out what made her tick. I got lost in the plot and the romance, and I couldn’t put it down. The pacing worked for me, the story and character arc worked well and in tandem.

Art of the Chase is set in Europe and the descriptions of the cities and places were stunning. I felt like those places were brought to life through the author’s words, almost like another character.

This author obviously has a love of art. I could feel the respect in the descriptions, in how the character’s appreciation for the art was portrayed. It is beautifully written.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

I really enjoyed this book. But I especially loved the main characters. Fleur and Renata are order and chaos. When I next hear the saying ‘opposites attract’ I will think of these ladies.

Fleur lives for order in her life. Even her addiction to the blackjack table has some form of order. Yet she needs that rush that comes from adrenaline. Renata is anything but ordered, she is fiery, impulsive, and messy. Somehow, they balance each other. They have a push and pull between them that is almost obsessive.

Fleur and Renata have spent 5 years apart, they are divorced and haven’t been in each other’s lives in any capacity. They are suddenly thrown together and although at first, they keep it purely professional, it doesn’t take long for the past to worm its way in. Fleur and Renata have to communicate and understand each other, which for this pair consists of a lot of sassy, sarcastic remarks. And it’s those moments that make this book great. I couldn’t get enough.

Heads Up

Nothing I can think of.

The Conclusion

This is a fabulous story. It’s a heist book told from the detective’s viewpoint. It has beautiful descriptions of art and buildings across Europe. There are two main characters so opposite in how they live their lives, it’s all ice and fire. They really shouldn’t work. However they do, they complete each other, balance each other out, and love each other so passionately, that it borders on obsession Fleur and Renata wooed me with their charm. They’re magnetic.

I devoured this book in a day. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It filled me with longing and passion not only between the MCs, but because I was invested in the art world, I was following the investigation, and I was left guessing until the end. A really great read, I’m looking forward to more from this author.

Excerpt from Art of the Chase by Jennifer Giacalone

Fleur’s eyebrows went up. Renata had a particular attachment to Artemisia Gentileschi, a brilliant baroque painter whose work, like that of many women of her time, tended to be neglected by modern collectors. It was interesting that they’d given her an entire exhibit at someplace like the Palazzo. “I was told he only took one painting.”

“Yeah, that’s right. Only one. But a big one. And when I say big, I mean it’s physically large. It wasn’t like Vermeer’s Lacemaker that he could just tuck into a briefcase or whatever. It was one called Susanna and the Elders, and apparently, she painted this scene several times?” Fabbri was a good agent but not an art guy.

“Yes, that’s right.” The depiction of sexual harassment required a large canvas and repeated iterations to properly convey.

“Yeah, well, this was the biggest of them.”

“How much of this has the Italian press gotten hold of?”

“They know something was stolen from the Palazzo, but we’ve tried not to mention your man’s name.”

“I think that’s wise, for now at least. Especially if this is Gustave’s work. He craves attention. It’s inevitable that it’ll get out, but I’d like to try starving him for as long as possible.”

Fabbri stopped and pushed a door open. “So because of the sensitive nature of this, I’ll be your bureau contact for the case. I’m going to be embedded here at the Questura for the duration.” Fleur followed him into the room, which contained a Smart Board and a long table. The paint was peeling in places, and it smelled of not just the fresh coffee from the pot in the corner but about a century’s worth of it having been drunk in this room while Florentine cops did their work.

A man in his early thirties with bleached blond hair sat at the table. He looked up and waved.

Fabbri gestured in his direction. “You remember Nickolas Schermer.”

Fleur had previously worked with Schermer a few times too. He was a German tech ops guy. “A consummate professional. Good to be working with you again.” She took a seat at the table next to him.

The cushion of the chair was so threadbare as to almost be nonexistent. The chair creaked with its displeasure at being sat upon. Yes, it goes both ways, chair. I’m not thrilled about sitting on you either.

“Nice suit.” Schermer inspected its dusty pink hue and its clean, practical lines. “Tahari?”

“Good eye.”

On the Smart Board was a projection of the painting in question, the baroque-style depiction of the distressed young woman with the two old men leering over her shoulder. “An odd choice for a theft,” Fleur said.

Fabbri sat down at the head of the table. “That’s what they say. Usually thieves like to go for the big names, but Gentileschi doesn’t seem to be very well-known outside of art circles.”

“So am I the only field agent from Europol?”

Fabbri paused. His face was carefully schooled, but Fleur detected a bit of furrow in his broad brow. “Wilt didn’t discuss that with you?”

A foreboding tingle went up the back of Fleur’s neck. “No.”

“Ah. Well…”

Fleur had a sinking feeling that she wasn’t going to like what followed.

The door swung open with a bang. Everyone turned.

The small figure that stood there was achingly familiar. Fleur knew every inch of it, from the hair that was windblown just right, to the curve of her hip, to the pointy shoes with the heels sharp enough to kill cockroaches. It was her ex-wife, making an entrance because she didn’t know how come into a room any other way.

Fleur sat there, stunned and numb. It was like someone had snuck up behind her and, with no warning whatsoever, ripped off a Band-Aid she’d just managed to forget she had on.

Renata swept into the room, sunglasses still on, silk scarf tossed carelessly around her neck—striking simultaneous notes of I’m fashionable as hell and I don’t give a fuck. She was at once painful to look at and a sight for sore eyes. A wave of longing, of hurt, shame, and regret washed over her as her mind took a moment to accept what she was seeing.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-3963248351

Publisher: Ylva Publishing

Jennifer Giacalone Online


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