Monday, March 13, 2023

Review - - Artfully Yours

Artfully Yours
by Joanna Lowell
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 21, 2023
Reviewed by Santa

Nina Finch isn't suited for a life of crime. Raised by her art-forger brother, she can paint like Botticelli. But she'd so much rather be baking gooseberry tarts. She finally has the money she needs to open her own bakery. Unfortunately, her brother's carelessness lands her—and their forgeries—directly under the nose of London's most discerning art critic, Alan De'Ath. De'Ath knows the paintings are fake. He doesn't know that Nina had a hand in their creation. In fact, he offers her a job in his household. Accepting it is the most dangerous thing she has ever done....

Alan takes pride in seeing things other people miss. He plans to catch the forger and cement his reputation. There's only one problem: the closer he gets to the beguiling woman he hired, the less he trusts his perspective. Nina isn't what she seems. But despite their false start, she just might hold the real key to his heart. 

As Nina and Alan’s attraction grows, divided loyalties threaten to pull them apart and shatter their worlds. They’ll lose everything, or discover how powerful true love can be....

Santa Says:

What can I say about Artfully Yours by Joanna Lowell? I really enjoyed this book. This was a five star read for me. As in her two previous books, Joanna Lowell writes complex characters with such depth of character. Both Nina and Alan carry deep secrets and scars from their childhoods which color their relationships with their siblings. There are jealousies and resentments that Alan has to deal with his brother.All he wants to do is be respected and allowed to lead his own life with no strings attached. Not so easy with a brother who is a rather unhappy duke, husband and father. 

Nina works to get out from under her brother and his nefarious dealings. She and his brother made their living as forgers. He went to jail for a bit and made quire a name for himself. All she wants to do is open a sweet shop of her own. Kind of hard to do when your brother, the person who raised you, steals your nest egg for his own dreams. And somehow manages to get mixed up in forgeties again and its up to her to get an errant letter out of the duke’s unsuspecting hand,  

Alan and Nina meet at the duke’s house where she is being sacked for being a belligerent maid. Alan is determined to solidify his status as an art critic who can ferret out forgeries. This lands Nina directly in his sites as the forgeries he has identified - some owned by his very brother - are, in fact, made by Nina and her own brother’s hand. She is left to clean up after her brother whose forgeries come under the keen eye of an art critic. What better way to keep ahead of him than to go and work for him. 

As a result of their encounters, Nina and Alan cannot deny their attraction and a connection. They see each other more clearly than anyone else in their lives but the road to a HEA is chock full of obstacles and trials. But, happily, they overcame them. Joanna Lowell is a master at creating characters that grow and change. We get a view into their family dynamics and the love that underlies so much of their lives. I was rooting for just one or two people in this book. 

I highly recommend this book. It was slow to start and there’s a lot of history and mystery but it is well worth the ride.


  1. I think it would be wonderful to paint like a wonderful artist. Not so wonderful to be an actual forger.
    Thanks for the review and an introduction to an author I do not know.

  2. This is a new author to me. The book sounds really good, thanks for sharing the review!

  3. Thank you for the review and recommendation. I enjoy authors who take their time to explore and develop their characters. Family seldom sees the reality and depth of its own members. As here, it takes an outsider to see and appreciate the real you. Patricia Barraclough

  4. Sounds good! Thanks for the review, Santa!

  5. Like Santa said, the book has a slow start, however, the ending is a whirlwind! I stayed up past my bedtime to finish reading Artfully Yours. Had to know how it all works out ....