Spotless (Spotless, #1) 
by Camilla Monk

This one is a lark. You take a virginal, socially isolated girl called Island, and get her kidnapped by an assassin who is part of a mysterious South African brotherhood, and send them to Paris and Tokyo in search of a hugemongous diamond Island’s mother may or may not have stolen from a shadowy criminal organization called the Board….and you get fun.

Lots of fun with authentic french and Japanese (and extremely authentic Tokyo details which I adored including a fake organic hamburger restaurant) phrases, lots of bantering humor, and an alpha male hero with OCD who was arrested once because his double-crossing partner spilled a jar of marbles…and he had to pick them all up despite the police’s imminent arrival.

I often don’t necessarily enjoy the whole “kidnapper turned to lover” trope, although it’s a well used one in romance circles. Part of March (assassin) and Island’s relationship seems a bit unwise/hard to stomach on Island’s part as he treats her alot like Cary Grant treats Audrey Hepburn in the movie Charade– kind of like a small child. Luckily Island gets a bit of agency in the last bit of the book that redeemed her for me.

There’s also some occasional language oddness….where I found myself rereading lines and not entirely sure how they fit into the story, but only about two or three times.

This is light-hearted fun with a low steam level (remember Island’s a virgin, folks) and an ending that while concludes the main diamond escapade, definitely leaves you wanting for more in terms of the main relationships. I’ll be going to buy the next book in the series 🙂

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