These days, home stager Caprice De Luca’s calendar is a full house. Her grandmother’s health is failing, her wayward uncle is stirring the pot, and she’s torn between two equally eligible suitors. With so much drama in her personal life, Caprice is grateful to have Ace Richland, a former 80s rock star, ask her to stage his girlfriend’s house. But Alanna Goodwin is a tough customer who balks at Caprice’s ideas and all but commandeers the staging. Caprice almost isn’t surprised when the snappish Southern belle is strangled to death with a tieback from her tacky velvet drapes. But just as she draws back the curtains on the truth, Caprice realizes she may be next on a murderer’s set list…
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By Karen Rose Smith
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Karen Rose Smith
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Caprice De Luca's cocker spaniel bounded up the wide staircase, keeping close beside her.
"Why do you think Ace wants to see us?" she asked Lady, her golden-colored, seven-month-old pup.
Lady gave a bark and Caprice stopped mid-staircase to smile and ear-ruffle her dog. Lady was a lower-pack, stay-close dog who responded easily to praise, attention, and conversation. Caprice was about to engage in more conversation, when suddenly she heard Ace Richland's baritone call to her from his mansion's second-floor hall. "We're in the secure room."
Ace was a rock star legend making a comeback. He'd bought this estate in Kismet, Pennsylvania, after Caprice had staged it to sell with a Wild Kingdom theme. He'd wanted a place to relax away from the glitz, glamour, and glare in order to reconnect with his twelve-year-old daughter. Her mother enjoyed sole custody, so Trista spent the odd weekend with him.
Caprice wondered who was with Ace. He'd said, "We're in the secure room." Was his daughter here this weekend? When Ace had phoned her, he hadn't told her why he wanted to meet with her. Maybe he had another room he wanted her to redecorate.
But certainly not the secure room, with its climate control and digitally coded locking mechanism.
Ace had told her she could bring Lady, but she didn't know if he wanted her dog in that room. The previous owner had stored expensive artwork in there. Upon Caprice's suggestion, Ace used the room for his vast collection of guitars.
When she reached the room with Lady, Caprice said, "Stay," giving her dog a hand motion for the command. At seven months old, Lady still had a lot of pup in her.
Lady whined for a moment. She liked Ace and had probably already caught his scent.
Caprice pulled a treat from the little pouch belt she wore and rewarded Lady with it. Though praise usually did the trick, Caprice still liked to give the pup something extra every now and then.
"She can come in," Ace called. "All the guitars are hanging on racks, and she certainly can't hurt this rubber floor."
Caprice walked into the room, letting Lady wait a moment so she didn't receive confusing signals. Ace wasn't alone; a blond woman stood there. Her shoulder-length, perfectly coifed, waved hair and her jeweled necklace and earrings screamed, Lots of money here! Her perfectly matched cranberry-colored sweater and slacks, evidently bought from a designer rack, shouted, Sophistication! Manolo Blahnik shoes accentuated her long legs.
Although Caprice knew fashion, she indulged in her own fashion sense, mostly wearing vintage and retro styles. On this March day, with the wind blowing, she'd opted for her red bell-bottoms, one of her favorite Beatle T-shirts in red and black, a crocheted yellow vest, and her platform boots. After all, this wasn't a professional visit, she didn't think. Ace was sort of a friend.
Now he gave her one of his wicked grins. "Let Lady come inside and I'll introduce you."
Caprice turned toward Lady, patting her hip, and said, "Come, girl."
Lady bounded toward her, wiggled at her feet for a few minutes, and then ran right over to Ace.
Immediately he crouched and petted the dog's head. "You're such a good girl. Just like Brindle."
Ace's daughter had adopted another one of the pups in the litter that Caprice had delivered and named her Brindle.
The blonde cleared her throat and Ace got to his feet. Caprice watched Lady for her opinion of Ace's guest.
Her dog stayed close to Ace, with wary eyes on the blonde.
Lady was a good judge of character, but Caprice should at least have a conversation with the woman before she sized her up too quickly.
"Caprice, meet Alanna Goodwin. Alanna, Caprice De Luca, home stager extraordinaire. If it weren't for her staging, I never would have bought this place."
So this was Alanna Goodwin. Caprice had heard gossip about Ace and the Southern born-and-bred Alanna. Supposedly he'd met the widow at a black-tie function in Harrisburg before Christmas and had been dating her ever since. Now that Caprice had a good look at her, she remembered this woman attending an at-home concert Ace had given for the drop of his new single last month.
Caprice extended her hand to shake Alanna's. Alanna gave her outfit a look, somewhat like the look Caprice's sister Bella often gave her when she criticized her fashion sense.
But then the Southern beauty smiled winningly. "Hello, Caprice, it's so good to meet you. Ace speaks highly of you."
"Well, good," Caprice said with a smile. "I speak highly of him."
Ace gave a chuckle. "As I told you, Caprice says her mind. But she's usually right on the mark with staging and decorating."
Caprice wondered what Ace was up to. Drumming up business for her? She was booked up at the moment. When the economy had taken a downturn and her home-decorating business had hit a snag, she'd transformed her business into a unique staging service with high-end customers, and the endeavor had been successful. However, she never turned business away.
"Do you need my professional services with something?" she asked Alanna.
"Ace insists you're the best." Alanna looked toward Ace adoringly. "Do you want to ask her, or should I?"
Ace's boyish look and a twinkle in his eye told Caprice he wanted a favor.
As he moved closer to Alanna, Lady came to stand with Caprice.
He said, "Alanna's going to sell her Kismet house and move in with me. I'd like you to stage it to sell. You can fit her in, can't you?"
He gave Caprice a little wink, and she knew what that meant. He was playing the friend favor card. After all, he'd done a couple of favors for her, which included leading a teenager onto the right track in life. Ace was a good guy under the razzmatazz rock legend exterior, and she would help if she could.
She mentally reviewed her professional commitments. She hadn't intended to schedule a new client for another two months.
"Ace said you do your best work under pressure, although I don't know how he knows that," Alanna commented with a probing glance.
If she was honest with herself, and she usually was, Caprice had already sized up Alanna just as Lady had. She sensed there was an edge of steel in the Southern beauty, and she wondered if they'd clash or mesh on the best staging course to take if she accepted her as a client.
Alanna sweetly but cuttingly asked, "Have you been in Ace's guitar room before?"
Maybe Alanna just wanted to know if she was a threat. There had never been anything romantic between Caprice and Ace.
Caprice explained, "I've been in here before when I was staging the house. I'm the one who suggested that he use it for his guitars."
"Caprice has been in my home more than most people," Ace added. "She redecorated Trista's room before she came to stay for the first weekend, and then redecorated it again when I got it all wrong."
"All wrong?" Alanna asked with a perfectly formed eyebrow quirking up.
"I wanted it in pink and ruffles, trying to keep Trista a little girl. She hated it. But she and Caprice put their heads together and came up with exactly what Trista liked. Caprice will do a good job for you, Alanna. I know she will."
The best course to take was to see Alanna's house as soon as possible. So much for having a free Sunday afternoon.
She asked Alanna, "How does tomorrow afternoon suit? I can take a look at your house and you can decide if you'd like me to stage it."
After Alanna gave Caprice a once-over again, including Lady in the assessment, Alanna nodded. "I'll pencil you in. But just so you know, I have a cat. You'll probably want to leave your dog at home."
A stiff March breeze whisked past Caprice's restored yellow Camaro on Sunday afternoon as she drove toward Alanna Goodwin's estate, a few miles outside of Kismet. Winter had been long and harsh this year. That sometimes happened in Pennsylvania. She'd spent many nights curled up on her sofa in front of a blazing f ire—Lady on the floor beside her and her cat, Sophia, on the afghan on the back of the sofa—as she worked on home-staging designs. But today, the promise of spring was faintly in the air.
As she turned down one rural road after another, she appreciated the bucolic setting with its rolling hills, groves of maples, sweet gum, and sycamores. She considered the older neighborhood where she lived, residing in a 1950s Cape Cod that was just perfect for her and her animals. She was five minutes away from everything in Kismet, yet close enough to Harrisburg, York, D.C., and Baltimore to draw clients from there.
Her Camaro made a vroom as she took the last turn leading to Alanna's house. She drove her work van more than she used to, so when she had Lady along, her dog could be housed in her crate in the back. It was safer for her pup that way. Today she appreciated the responsiveness of her Camaro, and the exhilaration she felt when she drove it.
Lady was home alone this afternoon on another trial run. The pup's training was going well. Instead of penning her in the kitchen, Caprice had been giving her the run of the downstairs when she wasn't going to be away more than an hour or so. For more than an hour, she used pet gates at the kitchen doorways. Lady and Sophia were buddies now, so no worries there. Toys that released food crunchies when batted about also kept Lady busy and out of trouble.
Alanna Goodwin's house, White Pillars, was easy to spot. Caprice had Googled Alanna after meeting her. The widow's deceased husband, Barton Goodwin, a self-made multimillionaire, had built the edifice for them twelve years ago when he'd moved them from Mississippi to Kismet. He'd died about a year ago. Apparently, Alanna wasn't still in mourning and was ready to move on with her life.
Caprice tried not to be judgmental. She didn't like anybody judging her. Still ... Alanna and Ace? They just didn't seem to fit together quite right.
Alanna's home resembled a plantation mansion. Tall white pillars, which had given the estate its name, surrounded two sides of the house. Along the east side of the mansion stretched a screened-in veranda, which Caprice imagined might also extend along the back. As she parked in the driveway, pulled her patent leather purse with her electronic tablet from the seat beside her, and climbed out of her car, she stared up at the mansion. The entrance somehow managed to be both formidable and southerly inviting. She felt as if she was traveling through the Old South and had come upon a historical showplace.
Caprice pressed the bell. Alanna herself opened the huge white door, smiled easily, and after a "hello" invited Caprice inside.
Today, Caprice had dressed in loose-legged khaki slacks, with a military-cut jacket reminiscent of one that the Beatles had worn at their landmark Shea Stadium concert. Her low navy patent pumps coordinated with her purse. As she stepped into the house, her straight, long, dark brown hair swished over her shoulder. She was ready for this meeting. She just hoped Alanna Goodwin was, too.
"What do you want to do first?" Alanna asked.
"Let me have a look around. A theme is already presenting itself, but I want to make sure. I'll r un it by you after I take a look at everything."
Right away, Caprice could see Alanna's furnishings were all Southern hospitality blended with traditional appeal. In the foyer, a crystal chandelier with large prisms dangling from it, hung directly above a round pedestal table with a three-foot-tall flower arrangement. Lilies projected a sweet scent that probably permeated the adjoining rooms. If Alanna had a cat, she shouldn't have lilies anywhere in the house. They were toxic to felines.
As Caprice moved forward, she could see early- to mid-nineteenth-century-style paintings of landscapes decorated the walls in the living room. She was pretty sure the mid-nineteenth-century antiques were not reproductions, especially the pine safe with its punched tin panels depicting antebellum mansions. High-backed, floral-upholstery-trimmed chairs in dark wood complemented two velvet settees. But those settees gave the room an overly heavy, unwelcoming mood.
As Caprice stepped into the dining room, admiring the dark wood table and its solid wood chairs made unique by ornamental backs and arms, a beautiful white Persian cat suddenly appeared. It blinked at Caprice and meowed.
"Well, hello there! Just who are you?"
The cat gave another meow, then walked slowly toward Caprice, ending up beside her and rubbing against her leg. Without hesitation, Caprice automatically dropped down and held out her hand.
The animal sniffed it and butted her head against Caprice's palm. Caprice laughed, touching the soft-as-cotton long hair. "You're a beauty."
"And she knows it," Alanna said. "That's Mirabelle. She's declawed. You don't have to worry about her scratching you."
Declawed—so she wouldn't mar any of Alanna's furniture, carpet, or heavy drapes. Caprice tried not to look too aghast. When trained correctly, a cat didn't have to damage anything. Apparently, Alanna hadn't wanted to put the effort into teaching Mirabelle to use a scratching post.
Mirabelle kept by Caprice's side as she rounded the long dining-room table, with its green eyelet runner and ornate stand in the center, which held a display of fruit and nuts. In the kitchen, pie safes, glass-fronted cabinets and hutches provided additional storage to display decorative plates and large tureens. Too many furniture pieces made the room look cluttered.
As Caprice toured the rest of the house, Mirabelle followed her the whole way. Every once in a while, Caprice stooped and petted her, and the cat responded affectionately as if she was starved for the attention. That really wasn't fair. Caprice didn't know what kind of a pet owner Alanna was.
At one point, Alanna said, "I can tuck her away so she doesn't bother you."
Caprice wasn't exactly sure what Alanna meant by that. But she already liked the cat, who just seemed to want company. "She's fine with me."
However, pets aside, by the time she returned downstairs, she wasn't sure how Alanna and Ace were going to combine their very different styles. She didn't think Ace would particularly like heavy armoires and four-poster beds, pie safes, and ornate sculptures. Yet, maybe it was Alanna's Southern charm that had attracted Ace to her. Who knew?
In the living room, Caprice sat on an uncomfortable settee, and Alanna on a chair beside it.
Mirabelle stood at Caprice's feet and looked up at her lap.
But Alanna shook her finger at the cat. "Oh no. You go over there and sit on your bed."
Caprice took one look at the ornate, shiny brass cat bed low to the floor, not placed in any direct sunlight, and wondered why any cat would like to sleep on it. She knew cats preferred high places, windows, and sunshine in as many forms as they could get it. But Mirabelle must have been used to listening to her owner because she went to the bed, folded her paws under her, and didn't look particularly happy.
Caprice told herself if she wanted Alanna as a client, even only as a favor to Ace, she really should bite her tongue and be pleasant.
So she tried to be. "I think it's easy to see what the theme for your staging should be—Antebellum Ecstasy. We'll play up all the best parts of Southern hospitality and emphasize the charm of living in a Southern mansion. You really should be able to keep most of your furnishings here, but one of the first rules of staging is to de-clutter."
"De-clutter? I don't understand."
"Even though I plan staging themes, I have to make sure a prospective home buyer can imagine moving in their possessions. Besides that, too many pieces of furniture take away from the beauty of each one. Many of my clients rent a storage shed or begin selling the furniture they don't intend to take with them when they move."
"I'm not exactly sure what I'd be moving into Ace's," Alanna said with a pensive look. "We haven't discussed that."
"You should make a list," Caprice advised her. "There are also advantages to incorporating a few more inviting pieces and colors rather than the deep wines and dark browns in most of these rooms."
"I'm not changing my color schemes."
Aha. The resistance she'd expected from this woman. "I'm not suggesting you change them. I'm suggesting you incorporate lighter colors with them."
She motioned to the draperies in the living room, the heavy tiebacks with the fringe. "For instance, just think about removing those draperies, hanging sheers, letting in more daylight. That will make the room more inviting."
"I am not taking down my draperies. They go with the house. They're part of its character."
Caprice swallowed a retort and reminded herself Alanna could be the love of Ace's life. "Mrs. Goodwin, would you like to sell the house quickly?"
Alanna looked trapped. "Yes, I want to sell the house quickly. That's the whole point of hiring you. I'm ready to make a home for me and Ace."
Excerpted from Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith. Copyright © 2015 Karen Rose Smith. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Karen Rose Smith's Drape Expectations Caprice, Caprice..what are you going to do? Which beau will be the pick for you? But first, a mystery needs resolution…who murdered Alanna Goodwin, owner of the White Pillars mansion. Caprice has been hired to stage Alanna’s home for sale. Caprice’s friend Ace Richland had recommended her to Alanna. Caprice discovers that is Alanna is trying to sabotage Ace’s upcoming road tour working with one of the band members. Then Ace’s house is robbed of two of his valuable guitars, and Caprice interest is peaked. Caprice discovers issues of infidelity, an illegitimate child, and a considerable estate. So Caprice starts her own investigation. This book is the fourth book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. It is full of intrigue, suspense, suspects, humor, family values, forgiveness, the awaited romantic decision and great food with recipes at the end of the story. Caprice also adds a new fur baby to her household, Mirabelle. This is the white Persian cat that had been Alanna’s. So make sure to visit Caprice and her family in Kismet, Pennsylvania for an enjoyable read. Thanks to Net Gallery, Kensington Publishing and the author for the eBook. My opinion is my own
I just finished reading Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith. It is the fourth book in the Caprice De Luca series. Ace Richland has asked Caprice to do him a favor and stage the home of his girlfriend, Alanna Goodwin. Ace and Alanna are going to move in together. Caprice agrees because Ace is a friend (though she knows Alanna is going to be very difficult). Alanna’s house is very southern and stuffed to the gills. She objects to every change Caprice wants to make to the house. During the open house, Caprice notices that Alanna is off having a discussion with Len Lowery, the keyboard player in Ace’s band. What are those two discussing? It is the second time Caprice has seen them together. Ace is getting ready to go out on tour, but he is having to replace one of the band members who just quit. Then two of Ace’s best guitars are stolen from his mansion (the locked room). Only someone close to Ace could have gotten into that room and stolen the guitars. Then some original songs are also stolen. It seems like someone is trying to sabotage Ace’s tour. When Caprice goes over to Alanna’s one day, no one answers the door. Since the door is open, Caprice (of course) goes in. She finds Alanna dead. Since, unfortunately, Ace is a prime suspect, Caprice has to investigate to clear his name. Caprice looks into who stood to inherit Alanna’s vast estate. Alanna’s will divided her estate into three parts. One third went to Alanna’s sister, Twyla Horton. One third goes to charity. The last third of the estate goes to Archer Ford. Archer claims to be the illegitimate son of Alanna’s first husband, Barton. Barton refused to have a DNA test done or to acknowledge Archer. Alanna never felt that it was fair to Archer (there is also a rumor of Alanna having an affair with Archer)! Of course, there are many people that did not like Alanna. She was pleasant in front of Ace, but Alanna could be a viper. Alanna owned a beautiful cat, Mirabelle whom she treated horribly (kept her in a little closet with no food, water, or bed). Since Twyla is allergic to cats, Caprice agrees to take care of her. There is a long list of suspects for Caprice to wade through and figure out who really killed Alanna Goodwin. Caprice also has to deal with her love interests, Seth Randolph and Grant Weatherford. Seth is a doctor who took a job in another town. Caprice has not seen him since the Valentine’s Day dance. Grant has yet to ask Caprice on a real date, but Caprice has strong feelings for Grant. Grant is finally ready to start dating again when Seth shows up. Caprice needs to make a choice. Who will Caprice pick? Drape Expectations was an excellent book! I could not put this book down. The author did a great job with the mysteries (the guitars and music as well as Alanna’s murder). I especially loved how Karen Rose Smith handled the murder mystery (she actually made me doubt myself). You will have to be very clever to figure out who killed Alanna Goodwin. I was glad that Caprice finally makes a choice between her two loves interests. Drape Expectations has fun, lovable characters, a fantastic mystery, cute animals, and romance. I give Drape Expectations 5 out of 5 stars. The rating is well deserved for this superbly written book. I received a complimentary copy of Drape Expectations from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
First, I would give this a 4.5, but Barnes and Noble won't let me. I try to save 5's for books that really change things for me. Like the other titles in the Caprice De Luca series, this is a good, solid story. Well told, well paced, and enough of a puzzle to leave you with a challenge. As a cozy series it is solid. We care about the characters, enjoy the relations with family and friends and get enough about Caprice's career to keep her story interesting. In addition, there has been a romance or two going on and this was the time for Caprice to decide which direction she wanted to go. I had that figured out before I knew the murderer. You do not have to start this series at the first book, Staged to Death, but doing so will give you all the family relationships that are mentioned along the way and that may come up in the future. I recommend this, along with the rest of the series, it will not disappoint. Full confession-I did win an advanced copy.
Another great read by Karen Rose Smith. I very much enjoyed the story from beginning to end. I was honestly unsure as to who Caprice was going to choose in this book and in the end after all of the explanations I could understand her choice. I thought the choice of the killer was a surprise. I did not see the person coming. Caprice and her family, friends go through a lot in this book. I believe that she needed to go through all of the different motions in order to figure out her life. Overall a great book and would recommend picking it up.
Couldn't put it down!!
Once again, Caprice is up to her eyeballs in work, pets, family drama and mystery. When Caprice is asked by her friend, rockstar Ace Richland to stage his girlfriend's house, she can not refuse him. Alanna Goodwin is not the easiest person to get along with but Caprice knows she must have a good side if Ace loves her. When Ace finds Alanna dead in her house, he calls Caprice for help. He is immediately suspected of killing her, but Caprice does not believe it. She puts on her detective hat and does her best to unearth clues to find the real killer. While all this is going on, she ends up taking in Alanna's cat and has to deal with socializing Mirabelle with her own pets. Family issues also crop up with her Uncle Dom returning to Kismet after a twelve year self-imposed exile. This puts pressure on Nana and her mom, causing Nana to have health issues. She is juggling jobs and trying to help her sister increase her catering business when a new caterer sets up shop. Her love life is still in trumoil and she needs to figure out if her heart really belongs to Seth, who is still out of town, or will she and Grant finally act on their smoldering feelings. As the clues pile up in the mystery, Caprice has a few suspects, but not enough concrete information. Once again, her sniffing around may be putting her in danger. Will she find the killer? What is going to happen with Seth and Grant? Will Nana rebound from her latest illness? A lot of questions are answered at the end of this book as well as revealing who the killer is. I did figure out the culprit but not until almost the end of the book. A well plotted mystery with a little romance, and lots of family involvement. I love this series and my visits to Kismet. A must for cozy mystery lovers.
Title: Drape Expectations Caprice DeLuca Home Staging Mystery 4 Author: Karen Rose Smith Published: 7-28-15 Publisher: Kensington Press Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cooking; Food & Wine; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781617737701 ASIN: B00P53E0G2 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Caprice DeLuca Has been asked by her former client and friend Ace Richard, a onetime Rock and Roll star, to do his girlfriend Alanna Goodwin's home. Unfortunately the southern belle turns into a witch when not around Ace. She refuses to listen to anything Caprice has to say and wants to do the decor with her own choices of colors and fabrics. Her biggest crime, to animal lover and rescuer Caprice's point of view is when she places her cat in cramped unventilated closet with no food or water. Caprice is planning to make a point of speaking with Ace about his girlfriend when she gets a call on her cell while out to dinner from Ace telling her has found Alanna dead. Turns out Alanna has been strangled with the sash from the hideous curtains she insisted on. Ace is the most likely suspect, but Caprice knows her friend could not have caused any harm to Alanna. She sets out to find the real killer. Suspects are everywhere and soon Caprice finds herself in danger, still not having decided which of her suitors holds the key to her heart. This is the first Caprice DeLuca book I have read, but was not hindered by that fact when it came to Drape Expectations. As far as characters go I should have the energy Caprice has. Her family is close knit and very supportive of one another. Even her black sheep uncle is welcomed into their home. Supportive characters are as well developed as well. The plot is planned out and I found no timeline errors. I personally might have told her where to put her decorating, grabbed the cat and ran out the door. I felt no sympathy for her. Drape Expectations was a wonderful afternoon read that I enjoyed a lot. It also includes recipes. I gave it a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith (Caprice De Luca Mystery #4) These days, home stager Caprice De Luca’s calendar is a full house. Her grandmother’s health is failing, her wayward uncle is stirring the pot, and she’s torn between two equally eligible suitors. With so much drama in her personal life, Caprice is grateful to have Ace Richland, a former 80s rock star, ask her to stage his girlfriend’s house. But Alanna Goodwin is a tough customer who balks at Caprice’s ideas and all but commandeers the staging. Caprice almost isn’t surprised when the snappish Southern belle is strangled to death with a tieback from her tacky velvet drapes. But just as she draws back the curtains on the truth, Caprice realizes she may be next on a murderer’s set list how did Caprice and Ace meet ? Alanna is murdered. what person is the prime suspect? what are Alanna secrets? Caprice has two suitors. what are their names? what suitors will she pick? who is your favorite character in this story? And why? how many books are in the Caprice DeLuca Mystery series? Ace’s house is robbed of two of his valuable guitars? who stole his valuable guitars? what recipe at the end of the story do you like best? Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith is a 4 stars book I highly recommend reading Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith. I am looking forward to reading more books by Karen Rose Smith. Caprice De Luca Mystery 1. Staged to Death 2. Deadly Decor 3. Gilt by Association 4. Drape Expectations 5. Silence of the Lamps Baby for the Tycoon The Cowboy's Secret Baby (Mommy Club, book 3) Fortune's Secret Husband (Fortunes of Texas: All Fortune's Children)
Caprice Deluca is at it again: staging homes and solving crimes one day at a time! When Caprice is called to help her friend, Ace Richland's girlfriend stage her home to sell, Caprice never imagined the situation she would find herself in once more. When Ace's girlfriend, Alanna, is murdered the police name Ace as the suspect and Caprice is once again on the case as she tries to clear Ace's name and figure out who the actual murderer is . Drape Expectations is the fourth book in the Caprice Deluca Mystery series and just as the rest of the books, it is a delightful, cozy mystery. Karen Rose Smith has a knack for cozies and which each book in this series, I find myself more and more in love with Caprice Deluca and her quirkiness along with the mysteries that keeps us readers on our toes. Drape Expectations is utterly captivating and demanded my attention. I could not put this book down until I knew who the real murder was and what happens with Caprice's lovelife. After three books, Caprice's choice between Seth and Grant is finally revealed. I don't want to give anything away, so that's all I will say for that ;) The characters in Drape Expectations are as always engaging and delightful and I love Caprice's little furry friends. And best of all Karen has provided readers with some delicious recipes to try out! Another great book in this wonderful series by Karen Rose Smith!
Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith is the fourth book in her Caprice DeLuca mystery series. I have not read the others in this series; but I didn't have any problems in following the mystery. Caprice is a home stager and apparently in big demand by the local real estate agents in her home town area. I liked Caprice and her vintage style of dress because she was comfortable in her own skin and in what she enjoyed without any affectations. I also enjoyed her family very much because there is love and respect for each other. The author has done an excellent job of developing all of the characters in this book. I would love to move to Kismet and meet all of them. The romance in Caprice's life, two men to choose between, has apparently been building in the previous books; and a decision is made in this one. Caprice's love of animals runs throughout this book and I enjoyed the tips that were given regarding training and love for both cats and dogs. The story moved along quickly and the twists kept me guessing all the way as I kept turning the pages. I will definitely be looking for the previous books in this series so that I have the opportunity to meet Caprice, her family and friends from the beginning. I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review and rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars. A fun cozy filled with colorful characters, lively dialogue and plenty of suspense, Drape Expectations, the fourth book in the Caprice DeLuca Mystery series by Karen Rose Smith, is the perfect escape for mystery lovers. Set in the fictional town of Kismet, Pennsylvania, Ms. Smith’s “crime solving house stager” finds herself drawn into solving a murder and placing her life in danger. While the fourth book in a series, this is a book which can be enjoyed on its own. Ms. Smith does an excellent job developing Caprice DeLuca’s character right from the start. While I have not read the previous books in the series (something I’ll be correcting shortly), I was able to connect with Caprice right away. An attractive woman with a quirky sense of style, Caprice uses her knowledge and training in home design to “stage” her client’s homes in order to help them sell. While her business is thriving, and she’s got it mostly under control, Caprice is also trying to deal with some personal issues; a love life that’s definitely heating up a lot quicker than she expected and some family drama involving her uncle. When a former client asks her to take on an additional client and she agrees, she soon finds herself involved in solving a murder, trying to choose between two romantic rivals and trying to stay one step ahead of a killer who suddenly sees her as a threat. The secondary characters are also well developed and I really enjoyed getting to know Ace Richland, the 80’s rock star who has become her personal friend, Grant Weatherford, her brother’s law partner and one of her romantic interests and Lady and Sophia, her two pets. I also enjoyed getting to meet some of Caprice’s family members and I really liked how everyone she seemed to interact with ended up with either a rescued dog or cat, curtesy of Caprice’s efforts. Even the less than likeable characters, such as Alana Goodwin, Ace’s girlfriend, who later becomes the murder victim. The mystery of who killed Alana is well developed and there are plenty of twists and turns. There is enough suspense and action to keep you guessing as to who the killer is and why Alana had to die (and I have to admit that I really didn’t mind her dying). The story’s pace is good and I found myself turning the pages quickly to find out what was going to happen next. Especially with the additional emotional angst from Caprice’s love life and the danger she eventually finds herself in. Overall Ms. Smith does an excellent job developing her story and drawing the reader into the world she’s created. Will Caprice solve the murder before anyone else gets hurt? Will Caprice decide which man she wants in her life forever? You’ll have to read Drape Expectations to find out, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading Silence of the Lamps when it is released in April 2016.
Caprice Deluca is back in her 4 story. The whole Deluca family is back plus other familiar characters and some new ones too. This time Ace finds the body and asks Caprice for her help. The mystery keeps you guessing to the end. I love the characters and how they keep coming back and showing us what they are up too now. It is more than just a mystery, it's family, friends and neighbors. Caprice Deluca is a high end house stager. She likes two guys really. Grant her brother's law partner that she had a crush on years ago. They have never dated. Seth the emergency Doctor who has moved for training. Caprice is always rescuing animals and finding them homes. The animals are a big part of everyone lives. Ace Richland a former rock star asks Caprice to fit his girl friend house in her busy schedule. Alanna Goodwin a southern rich widow. Caprice agrees to work with her. Alanna has a cat Mirabelle that she doesn't treat as well as Caprice she should. When she goes back to Alanna to give her apologies she over hears Alanna talking with a member of Ace's band and is working against him making a comeback. Before she tells Ace about Alanna someone killed Alanna. Caprice starts asking about Alanna. She also takes care of her cat till who ever inherits decide if they want her. This book is one you don't want to put down. So much going on with Caprice's family and friends beside the mystery. It is a clean read too. I was given this ebook by Net Galley and Kensington publishing to read. In return I agreed to give honest review and be part of its book tour.
Drape Expectations was even better than I expected and I expect a lot; I LOVE this series.Karen Rose Smith has an amazing talent at creating characters and their lives. Once again I would love to get to know these people even better, and I will, one book at a time. The plots was strong and the murder made sense but the journey to uncover the victim's life and reveal the killer took us into the lives of all those involved. I knew it was coming but I was especially please with the way Ms.Smith handle Caprice's romantic life, true finesse!
Caprice gets a call from her friend and client, Ace Richland, a rock star legend making a comeback. He asks her for a favor, to stage his new girlfriend's Kismet house to sell, so that she could move in with him. While Caprice's initial opinion of Alanna is not the greatest, her friendship with Ace wins out and she agrees to meet Alanna at her home and discuss a possible contract. At her first meeting, she quickly realizes how difficult Alanna can be but a promise is a promise. One good thing about her visit is she gets a chance to meet her cat, a beautiful white Persian named Mirabelle, who seems to be starved for attention. During the open house, Caprice realizes that she hasn't seen the cat in a while and goes looking to make sure she is okay. To her horror, she finds that Alanna has locked the cat in a utility closet without food, water, comfortable bedding or light. She quickly supplies these things for the cat, and when she later runs into Alanna and Ace, she loses her temper, gives Alanna a piece of her mind, and then storms out of the open house to go home. So it should come as no surprise to her when Alanna's dead body is found in her home, but unfortunately Ace becomes the prime suspect and once again Caprice finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. In addition to all this, she starts to question her relationship with Seth, who seems to have no time for her, and her growing friendship with Grant. I enjoy this series, especially all the caring members of Caprice's close-knit family members (love Nana and her sage advice). I also enjoy her interactions with her pet dog, Lady, and her cat, Sophia as well as her concern for the well-being of Mirabelle after Alanna has been murdered. I look forward to the next book in this series, especially to see how Caprice's lovelife decision will impact her and her job. Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I have read every book in this series and loved them all. This one is Caprice at her best. The book was so hard to put down. All the favorite characters were back. We had the mystery of who killed Alana, Ace's girlfriend. The answer was kept well-hidden until the end. There was the continuing relationship of Vince and Roz. We saw more of Nana. As usual, the characters are so well-described that you feel that you're right there with them. The recipes at the end sound delicious. I definitely plan to try Caprice's Chocolate-Coffee Loaf. Best of all, we got to see if Caprice chose Grant or Seth. Wonderful ending to the latest in this series!
I absolutely loved this book. This is the first book I have read in this series and I don't know how I have missed it. I am ready to delve right into another. Love how Karen Rose Smith incorporates her love of animals, fashion, decorating sense and mystery all in one book. Also the way she writes it just has you reading effortlessly, flowing from scene to scene. Her characters are so believable you feel like they could be your neighbors or friends. Caprice has so much going on in her life right now, should she be with Grant or Seth, the need to help a friend, the need to help her family, and her two family of pets growing to maybe three?? She is strong and confident in her business and family but very confused right now with LOVE:) The murder and mystery in this book are so captivating you don't want to put the book down because you want to find out what is next. Caprice has solved three mysteries up until now, can she solve this one and save a friend or will this one be her undoing??? And will she decide Seth or will it be Grant???
Each new book, in this series, is like a family reunion! Drape Expectations is my favorite, so far. Caprice agrees to stage the home of Alanna Goodwin, girlfriend of her friend, Ace Richland. Alanna seems to be a southern belle but her demeanor changes at will. While at Alanna's home, Caprice sees (and hears) things, giving her cause for concern. Things get worse, during the open house, and Caprice gives Alanna an angry reprimand. Ashamed of her behavior, Caprice goes to Alanna's home, the next day, and finds her murdered. Unfortunately, Ace is the prime suspect. Caprice starts asking questions and finds Alanna had secrets, which could have led to her murder. Alanna's sister, Twyla, tells Caprice more about her sister's past, leading Caprice to more clues. As Caprice questions suspects, she soon finds someone will resort to violence to stop her sleuthing. As the mystery unfolds, Caprice has taken in Alanna's cat, Mirabelle; Caprice's uncle, Dom, has come home, causing tension in the family and Caprice has reached the point where she must decide between two suitors, Grant or Seth. I pegged the wrong person as the murderer and was surprised with the ending, when revealed! (I received a copy of the book from NetGalley.)
Caprice is hired to stage a house for Alanna, the wealthy fiancee of her friend Ace, a former rock star who's trying to get his career going again. As they will get married soon, they want to put her house on the market. That doesn't seem too likely at this point, when Alanna is killed and Ace is named as the main suspect. Poor Caprice, not only is her work life slowing down, but her personal life is being put to the test. Grant and Seth, her gentlemen friends would really like Caprice to decide who she wants to be with. Her formerly estranged uncle moves back to town and moves in with Caprice's parents. Lucky for Caprice and for us, she is a strong modern woman and takes it all in stride. Drape Expectations is the 4th book in the Caprice DeLuca series. Karen has recently found out that #5 and #6 in this series are a go. I also have heard, from a reliable source, that Karen has another series that will be out next year. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Drape Expectations is book four in the home staging series written by Karen Rose Smith which feature Caprice Deluca. These books are delightful to read because whatever is happening in Caprice's career a mystery always occurs and she can’t resist solving it. Caprice DeLuca is a home stager with busy schedule getting her girlfriend’s house ready for sale, her family, caring for rescued animals along with a complicated love life. Then she gets a phone call from Ace Richland requesting a favor, to stage his girlfriend Alanna’s mansion for sell. As Caprice visits she discovers that Alanna has a cat named Mirabelle who makes her worry about it. The day of the home staging Caprice and Alanna have some issues and Caprice can’t find the cat. Finally, she discovers her in a closet and gives her food and water. Caprice finally decides to go home. Ace calls her the next morning to tell her he found Alanna dead and he becomes the prime suspect. When she goes to the mansion; she can’t talk to the officers about the crime. Caprice asks about the cat and she is given Mirabelle until a relative is found. The characters in this series are like old friends whom I want to know what is going on in their life. There are also some delicious recipes included. This book moved along at a fast pace and kept me turning pages to attempt to figure out who killed Alanna and free Ace Richland. The twists and turns made the story line more suspenseful and holds your attention to the end. Caprice begins to realize she might be in danger; will she catch the killer before she is next? In addition, Caprice has to make some personal relations decisions about her love life, who will she choose? I gave this book five stars and eagerly await the next one in the series and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves cozy mysteries with animals. I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.