* Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin *
Maestra by L.S. Hilton is the 'it' book at the moment - with film rights already sold - and let me tell you, it's hot!
Take a crime novel set in the art industry, spice it up 100 degrees and add a dash of the filthy rich and you have Maestra.
Judith Rashleigh is our femme fatale and is working for one of the top auction houses in London while harbouring a secret ambition to rise well above her station. She studies the rich and successful and those who know their fashion brands will enjoy her desire for beautiful things. I'm not much of a fashion aficionado, but I loved the references to paintings and artists, so there's something here for everyone.
Having said that, if you don't enjoy reading hot sex scenes, then look away now. The cover design of Maestra (showing a canvas slashed open) is intentionally provocative for good reason, there are plenty of hot sex scenes in this thriller. Judith is a confidently sexy woman who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to seek it out. She also uses her sexuality to further her own agenda in a serious and often risky way.
Judith has been compared by some readers to Lisbeth Salander but I can't really agree with the comparison. There are clear reasons Lisbeth does the things she does, but Judith's desire and ambition don't come with a detailed backstory; they just 'are'.
Maestra is an entertaining and sexy read, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because I wanted to know more of Judith's back story and motivations.
This book is hot hot hot! In fact, I don't think I've read a book this hot since reading Six Degrees by Honey Brown. Maestra is the first in a trilogy, so I look forward to finding out what Judith Rashleigh does next.
My rating = ****