Romantic Road

Fiction - Thriller - General
290 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Romantic Road is a romantic suspense novel written by Blair McDowell. Lacy Telchev is too young to be a widow, and her whirlwind courtship and all-too-brief marriage to charismatic writer, Igor Telchev, ends when he dies after suffering a second heart attack. Igor's first attack, several years before that, however, seemed to cause a major divide in their married life, so Lacy's bereavement has been happening for a while now. Their attorney, Richard, has informed her that she's set financially for life, but Lacy's already decided to return to her job as a spontaneous interpreter. Igor's death, however, has stirred up a storm of controversy and intrigue. Lacy's car is stopped by strange men who demand that she produce Igor's manuscript, which he had been working on for the last two years. When her home is vandalized and a good friend injured, Lacy decides to leave NYC for a while. She's found a letter addressed to her from Igor, and he's asked her to retrieve sections of his manuscript that he's entrusted to friends in Europe. It seems the perfect opportunity to both honor his wishes and leave a frightening situation.

Blair McDowell's romantic suspense novel, Romantic Road, is exciting and fast-paced. Lacy is a strong and appealing character whose fairy-tale marriage has abruptly ended, leaving unanswered questions and danger. The quest Igor sets for her leads her and the reader on a marvelous trip through Canada, Austria and Hungary, and the author's familiarity with each of these venues makes Lacy's adventures truly come alive. Her unlikely traveling companion, Max, is a perfect foil for her. One thing that stands out in Romantic Road is how Lacy's character seems to get stronger and more resilient even as she battles betrayal and danger, and she comes face-to-face with Igor's previous women. It's a joy to watch her confidence bloom even as she faces peril at every turn. I enjoyed reading Romantic Road and recommend it.

Marlene Harris

Escape Rating A: Like all of Blair McDowell’s marvelous stories (The Memory of Roses, Delighting in Your Company, Sonata), this romantic suspense tale operates on more than one level. There are the secrets that Igor wanted to protect, and the secrets that he kept from Lacy. He was both letting her help him one last time, and setting her free.

But Igor seems to have been someone who simply steamrollered past obstacles, so he either didn’t predict how much danger he was putting Lacy in, or he did and knew it would be the making of her.

Lacy has to pull herself out of the cocoon she has been living in and risk everything to find Igor’s legacy, and to find herself along the way. She also has to reach for her future while performing a task that lets her bid a firm goodbye to her past.

What she finds about Igor lets her know him better, even as it breaks her heart one last time. But it leaves her open for something new, while Igor’s life and Igor’s secrets are still all around her.

Lacy does not go on her journey alone. She intends to, but she just isn’t trained as a undercover agent. Igor’s friends help her, as does a man she first meets through Igor’s friends, but then discovers is always around when she needs him. Max Peterson attaches himself to Lacy to help her, but Max keeps almost as many secrets from Lacy as Igor did. When she discovers that Max is not the only man who is following her, she stops trusting everyone, with predictable, but disastrous, results.

The Romantic Road is a real place, the Romantische Strasse, in Germany. Lacy travels it both figuratively and literally as she tours Europe to find her husband’s old lovers, and possibly finding a new love of her own.

If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense with a heart-pounding romance wrapped around a story that also makes you think, read Romantic Road or any of Blair McDowell’s marvelous stories.

Debbie Davenport, Netgall

Debbie Davenport, Librarian via NetGalley

"This is my kind of book: a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller with teeth! And the puzzles Igor left that Lacy must follow all over Europe... beautiful! The secrets will blow your socks off!"