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Moving Target by Elizabeth Lowell
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On the whole, this was hokey, but interesting. The writer of The Book of the Learned is named Erik, so it’s obvious that the present day Erik would be a direct descendant. What is not fully explained is what exactly this book is. The only pieces we’re told about show Erik obsessing over some red-haired woman who bewitched him. Of course, Serena is the descendant of this woman. The scarf she wears constantly was woven by this same ancestor. The Book of the Learned is passed down from one female generation to the next. The first-born female in each generation is always named Serena and she is the one to inherit.

Of course over the years people have wanted the book and have killed for it. Whether because of it’s fabulous material worth or because of what it contains is never fully explained. That’s why her grandmother was killed.

There are lots of mystical touches. One is that stupid scarf. To everyone but Serena and Erik, it is a bedraggled scrap that feels like a brillo pad. Both she and Erik have weird dreamlike “memories” that they could never have – I guess they are like racial memories. At one point when they are being attacked after finally finding the rest of the book under the stone floor of the grandmother’s burned-out cabin, their attacker grabs the scarf and it is like grabbing a handful of barbed wire. But yet earlier they had it in bed with them as some kind of erotic toy.

At first Serena doesn’t trust North because he is a stranger and her grandmother told her to never trust any man. When he reveals that he is working for a specific client of his employer’s antiquities firm, and that this client wants to buy the pages and the whole book, she feels betrayed. Especially since this client is another leading appraiser to whom Serena took the pages for authentication. He flipped out on her and accused her of stealing the pages. He offered her huge sums of money for them but she refused. Then he accused her of bringing fakes and basically told the whole illuminated manuscripts community that they were fake so that she could only sell them to him. She didn’t go for it.

In the end, it turns out that the reason her grandmother told her not to trust any man was because her ex-husband had been selling pages out of the book. When she took it and left, he was enraged and searched the world over for her. That man was the same one who wanted to buy Serena’s pages. He was a complete asshole and never got them. Instead, it seems that Serna and Erik will live happily ever after. Like I said, hokey but entertaining. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jun 14, 2009 |
When Serena Charters' grandmother is brutally murdered, Serena receives her inheritance...a package containing a centuries-old illuminated manuscript and which contains what appears to be a secret message from her grandmother. Serena turns to Rarities Unlimited and Erik North a manuscript appraiser to help her find answers. Erik and Serena are strongly...and strangely...drawn to each other and both are soon caught up in a dangerous plot to steal the manuscript pages at any cost.

This is a fast-paced thriller which includes a touch of the paranormal and some very interesting facts regarding ancient manuscripts...how they were made and how they are appraised today. ( )
  lrobe190 | Jan 15, 2009 |
If you've read the books Untamed, Forbidden and Enchanted, you'll find the names of these characters familiar. While not part of the set, definitely connected.

I love the info on palimpsets woven into the story. Entertaining and educational. Easy to read. I was happy to finally read what happened to Erik the Learned and Serena of the Silverfells Clan. ( )
  angelgin | Aug 23, 2008 |
my favorite E. Lowell book...fast paced and fun! I like happy endings... ( )
  dfidel | May 20, 2008 |
A fun thriller with some romance aspects. Serena Charters inherits some pages of a medieval manuscript from her grandmother, after her grandmother's gruesome death by fire. When she starts to investigate the pages she finds that they're part of a bigger manuscript and there are people looking for them. People willing to kill.

A bit predictable in parts but a fun read, I'd be very willing to read more by this author. Although there were parts that were a bit unlikely and overdone the story flowed pretty well and kept my interest throughout. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 7, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061031070, Mass Market Paperback)

The troubling message from Serena Charters's late grandmother appears in a package containing four pages of a centuries-old illuminated manuscript -- a strange inheritance that hides many secrets...and has already cost many lives. Seeking answers, Serena turns to Erik North of Rarities Unlimited, a reclusive manuscript appraiser with a passion for the past. Without warning, they are thrust together into the center of a lethal firestorm that rages between two worlds -- one long dead, yet living on in an ancient text, the other chillingly alive and fraught with peril. In the blink of an eye, Serena and Erik have become targets of an unseen and determined stalker as they get closer to shocking revelations about Serena's legacy, the cold murder of an eccentric old woman in the heat of the Mojave Desert...and just how far a remorseless killer is willing to go. And now their only slim hope of survival is to keep moving.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:37 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Inheriting rare leaves from a legendary volume known as the Book of the Learned, Serena Lynn Charters learns that someone is willing to kill to keep the leaves hidden and teams up with appraiser Erik North in an investigation in the California desert.… (more)

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