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Friday, October 3, 2014

Filthy Lucre by Sharon Cullars

Filthy Lucre is a historical romance written by author Sharon Cullars. When I start reading a book by Ms. Cullars I do so with a certain expectation of quality. I'm pleased to say that in reading Filthy Lucre I wasn't disappointed. The author's writing style and ability stands out like a shiny star. In this, her latest book, the story takes place in the 1930s and begins with the robbery of a local store. This won't be the only robbery that takes place in the book, but it is important to events that take place later in the story. During the robbery we are introduced to Teddy Holliday. Teddy, which is short for Theodora, is a single African-American woman who lives alone in her family home (where she occasionally rents out a room for extra money) in Joplin. During the robbery, Teddy's money is stolen and she heads home empty handed. A surprise drives up to her door in the form of a white man named Louis Daniels. Louis needs a room to rent and pays her handsomely for three days. In need of money, and against her better judgement in being a single black woman alone in a house with a single white man, Teddy rents out her room. Each recognizes that there is a dangerous attraction between them and they get to know a little about one another over the first night while sharing pie, meals, music, and the same home. Unfortunately  things aren't what they seem with Louis and his reasons for being in town. He's expecting company, bad company, and soon Teddy finds herself a hostage in her own home.

The majority of the story takes place over the course of three days. During this portion of the book the author does an amazing job at letting the reader get a feel of the situation that Teddy finds herself in, the remorse that Louis feels and the danger that his friends (and they are famous friends at that!) represent for her. Although things happened quickly, particularly the love aspect, I felt the story was developed and told very well. It kept my interest and was a great character study in my opinion. But the love aspect did happen quickly and didn't really feel like love to me. I did believe that they were attracted to one another and that over time they would have believably fall in love with one another. Unfortunately it seemed too much like Louis was looking for something that Teddy fulfilled and for Teddy Louis was her primary source of kindness and caring in a house of threatening criminals. It also didn't hurt that he was amazingly attractive. Although I wasn't really buying the love, I did love the story and how it was told. Teddy was a strong and independent woman. She definitely had a backbone and stood by her convictions. Never did she play the helpless female even though her life was in the hands of criminals that would probably kill her. As for Louis you really want him to do the right thing and by the end of the book I was satisfied with the decisions and the path that he took. The supporting characters were amazing, particularly "sis." You get to know Sis and care about what happens to her. I also liked the fact that Teddy's neighbor, Mrs. Williams turned out to be more complex than we realize. I'd like a story about her life!

I looked forward to reading Filthy Lucre and was pleased with the story that was written. Although the actual romance wasn't as believable as I would have liked, it still managed to be a great read with characters that I enjoyed. I didn't hate the romance, just wished it had more time. It is a good book and like most Sharon Cullars books that I've read it is definitely worth reading. Recommended. I'm rating Filthy Lucre a 3.5 out of 5.

*The copy of this book that I read was a review copy that was given in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Rating 3.5 out of 5
Pages 197
Publisher: Loose-Id

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