ARC Review: A Surrealist Affair by Jacqueline Corcoran

Thank you so much to Entanged Amara and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of A Surrealist Affair by Jacqueline Corcoran! The premise of this book sounded so cool- it reminded me so much of that show White Collar, and y’all, I loved White Collar. Art Crimes is such an underrated and super cool part of the FBI and there should definitely be more books about it! A Surrealist Affair, unfortunately, was not my favorite.

A Surrealist Affair 3/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Elle Dakin is shocked when she’s given the opportunity to fly to Paris to attribute a newly discovered painting to her favorite artist. After all, why would they choose a broke, struggling Art History doctoral student for such an honored task? When she arrives in Paris, she realizes the deal was too good to be true—suddenly she’s neck deep in a murder, an international art theft, and threats to her safety. Thank goodness Ryan, an art exporter, comes to her aid, protecting her from the dangerous side of Paris and those who would try to harm her. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s sinfully handsome…until she discovers he has just as many secrets as everyone she’s met on this trip of a lifetime gone wrong…

The last assignment undercover FBI agent Ryan DeLong wants is to investigate art theft. But here he is, stuck in Paris, chasing down the thieves of a million-dollar masterpiece. The only bright spot is Elle, the shy but enchanting doctoral student who teaches him about more than just the beauty of Surrealism. He can’t tell her the truth of his identity, plus he refuses to get romantically involved with anyone while he’s on a case. But when he learns Elle also has things to hide, he begins to doubt everything he thought he knew about her.

There are two main reasons I didn’t enjoy A Surrealist Affair as much as I wanted to- I didn’t like Elle and I thought the book was really slow. The setting (Paris!) was so fun- I love Paris and you could tell that the author really wanted the readers to experience the magic of art in Paris and the magic of the city and the galleries and museums. Paris is one of my favorite cities to visit because you’re never bored- you find new and fun things to explore every time you go! I also really enjoyed the art crimes unit in general- I knew I would, but reading about how Ryan was only in art crimes as a punishment of sorts until he could go back to counterterrorism and seeing how even so, he screwed things up because he wasn’t careful was very frustrating. All of the intricacies and the ins and outs of art crimes were so cool though and I loved the FBI working with the French art crimes unit. Those were the parts of the book that made up for me not liking Elle and being bored because of the pacing. Now, let’s talk about why I didn’t like Elle- she wouldn’t stand up for herself, she was so naive throughout the book, kept getting herself into terrible situations where she needed to be rescued, and ended up falling in love at the drop of a hat, even though she really didn’t know anything about the man she was in love with. What the heck. It’s no wonder people kept taking advantage of her! I’m all for romance novels and falling in love and stuff, but not when you make your female lead seem like a stereotypical idiot! Overall, I’d say read this book for the art crimes and Paris aspects, not the romance.

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