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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Character-driven and cleverly plotted, The Studio by Judith Erwin is a suspenseful romance that follows two rock-solid characters as they encounter each other, each of the two carrying a hidden pain. Kaci is still disturbed by the tragedy that spoiled her career and now she runs her own ballet studio. When Commander Matt Emerson comes to enroll his five daughters on an ordinary day, all that Kaci wants is to get the registration completed as she looks forward to her next class. But she soon develops a fondness for the children that pulls the single father into her orbit. Can she replace the mother and wife who disappeared from the life of this man and his children?
There is a lot to love in this novel. First, the characters are strong and real. Matthew Emerson is a naval aviator and son of a U.S. admiral and a man who can't stop blaming his wife's disappearance on himself. Being a single parent is another experience that doesn't come easily for him. Kaci has her own share of pain and running her studio is what has kept her going. The story starts simply and the emotional depth grows through each page. The elements of the setting are beautifully written in such a way that it is easy to imagine the locales and the places in which the action happens. The writing is stellar and I loved how the intelligently written dialogues deepen plot and character. Judith Erwin deftly uses suspense to keep readers engaged. This is a fast-paced, emotionally rich, and hugely entertaining read with a delightful ending.