REVIEW: Captive in the Spotlight by Annie WestThursday, February 28, 2013 1:00
Sometimes Annie West takes the waif motif too far and her heroines are complete pushovers who you just know will end up barefoot and pregnant by the end of the story. And happy to be so. Since that’s not my idea of a happy ending, they don’t really work for me, but West writes really well, and she can often carry me right through a story until the heroine swoons into the hero’s arms at the end of the story. This one didn’t quite fall into that category, and I did enjoy it because of the heroine’s ability to fight back.
Lucy Knight has served five years in prison for the manslaughter of Domenico Volpe’s brother. The victim was found in her room, having fallen and hit his head, but Lucy has always declared her innocence. When she’s released, she finds Domenico waiting for her at the prison gates. He offers her shelter from the paparazzi in return for her silence. He doesn’t want his sister-in-law and her child dragged through the mud again.
While I can understand why Domenico would want this, I didn’t think he’d want to sit outside the prison gates in his car waiting for her. I don’t think he’d want to identify himself with her at all, because it would lead to the kind of gossip he says he wants to avoid. But while I find the situation unlikely to the point of ludicrousness, I read on because I like the character of Lucy.
She’s not the amenable eighteen year old she once was, although she’s still innocent in many ways. However, I do enjoy the moment at the beginning of the story when she lets rip a torrent of fine Italian curse words that shock Domenico and the paparazzi who are trying to harass her. Good for her. However, she has nowhere to go, so she accepts Domenico’s offer of shelter, as she too doesn’t want the unwanted attention of the press.
She refuses to sign his gagging order, which I also like. She wouldn’t let him cow her. But once on the island they start to get to know each other and, of course, Domenico begins to listen. He’s a mildly annoying hero, so convinced that she did it that he won’t listen to anything she says, even though anyone could have run through the case with a fire truck. It’s obvious that either someone has brought their influence to bear to get Lucy convicted or a lot of incompetence was involved, although neither of these possibilities is discussed or hinted at.
Although I find this book has situations I find vry difficult to buy into, I still enjoyed the read, mainly for the character of Lucy, who has had to grow up in the five years she spent in prison and learn to look after herself. Let’s face it, the plot is crazy, with huge holes and improbabilities that build on the one that went before, but the characters, especially the heroine, are interesting.
Out of the limelight…
Domenico Volpe has been a paparazzi target for years with his rugged Roman looks, glamorous lifestyle and, most recently, a family tragedy. Now that the woman at the center of it all is released from prison, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her quiet.
And into the fire!
Domenico ensures that Lucy Knight “accepts” his offer of refuge on his well-guarded offshore estate. While the media furor abates on the mainland, things are heating up on the island! Domenico is beginning to doubt Lucy’s guilt as he uncovers the innocent, sensual woman behind the tough facade…
Read an excerpt.