The Art of Deception by Liz Harris

liz harrisThe Art of Deception by Liz Harris

“Jenny O’Connor can hardly believe her luck when she’s hired to teach summer art classes in Italy. Whilst the prospect of sun, sightseeing and Italian food is hard to resist, Jenny’s far more interested in her soon-to-be boss, Max Castanien. She’s blamed him for a family tragedy for as long as she can remember and now she wants answers.

But as the summer draws on and she spends more time with Max, she starts to learn first hand that there’s a fine line between love and hate. ”

 

 

umbria

This is my first Liz Harris book and She is an amazing author and I will be coming back for more of her titles. I what I loved about this book, was that no one was what they seemed. Jenny blamed Max for years and carried this huge weight of emotional baggage. She almost demonizing him until she actually met the man.

I think luck had very little to do with Jenny’s new job; I felt like she spun a web and she waited for things to fall into place. There was definitely some amount of planning going on.

Italy is described beautifully and the details are that of that of someone who loves and knows the region well. It was a very nice change of pace to read a book set somewhere so lovely.  The other art student characters are just as interesting, as everyone had their own reasons to be there as well as Jenny.

The one thing I didn’t like about this book was that it was too short. I didn’t want it to end. From the moment I picked it up I couldn’t put it down and it felt like it just flew by.

The Art of deception is such an intriguing book with themes about revenge, hate, love and forgiveness. I highly recommend it as a fast paced quick read that wont let you down and you will remember for a long time after.

 

road backAlso by Liz Harris:

The Road Back

“When Patricia accompanies her father, Major George Carstairs, on a trip to Ladakh, north of the Himalayas, in the early 1960s, she sees it as a chance to finally win his love. What she could never have foreseen is meeting Kalden – a local man destined by circumstances beyond his control to be a monk, but fated to be the love of her life.

Despite her father’s fury, the lovers are determined to be together, but can their forbidden love survive?

A wonderful story about a passion that crosses cultures, a love that endures for a lifetime, and the hope that can only come from revisiting the past.

‘A splendid love story, so beautifully told.’ Colin Dexter O.B.E. Best-selling author of the Inspector Morse novels. ”

 

Here is a little taste of Umbria for you to try at home:

umbrianlasagnaIngredients:

Umbrian Ragu Sauce:
1 Carrot, Peeled & Finely Diced
2 Celery Stalks, Finely Diced
1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Finely Diced
4 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
1 Pound Ground Pork
4 Ounces Finely Chopped Prosciutto
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Dry Red Wine
2 (14 Ounce) Cans Chopped Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
Dash Red Pepper Flakes
1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
Pasta Dough:
4 Cups Unbleached Flour
5 Extra Large Eggs
Pinch of Salt
Bechamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
4 Cups Milk
1 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Ingredients To Assemble:
3 Cups Finely Diced Mozzarella Cheese
1 1/2 Cups Grated Pecorino Cheese

Directions:

To make the sauce, Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan and cook the celery, carrot, and onion over medium heat until tender.
Add the ground pork and chopped prosciutto and cook until the meat is no longer pink and has begun to brown.
Add the garlic and cook an additional couple of minutes.
Next add the wine and cook until it has almost completely evaporated.
Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an hour and a half until the sauce has thickened.
To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large pastry board, or the counter, and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into this well, and start to scramble each egg with a fork as it is being added.
Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well.
Continue adding the flour to the eggs until they are no longer runny.
Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board.
Use only the amount of flour needed to form a soft ball.
Begin to knead the ball of dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand.
Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny, for about 8 minutes.
Wrap the prepared dough in plastic wrap, and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Use a pasta roller or roll by hand to make long sheets of pasta 1/4 thick. (I use my Kitchen Aide table mixer with the pasta attachment and roll my past to the third last position.)
After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips.
Precook in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place in ice water.
Dry and set aside on clean kitchen towels.
To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.
Once it is completely melted and bubbling, add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Cook for a minute or two until the flour just begins to take on some color.
Slowly start adding the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring often, then season with a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Set aside until you are ready to use, by pouring the sauce into a glass bowl and covering with a buttered sheet of plastic wrap.
To assemble the lasagna, first scoop a ladleful of the béchamel sauce and spread across the bottom of your lasagna (13 x 10 inch)pan.
Add a layer of noodles and then cover the noodles with a couple of scoops of the ragu sauce.
Place another layer of noodles on top, then another layer of béchamel sauce.
Sprinkle some of the diced mozzarella and pecorino cheese on top of the béchamel.
Continue to layer using up your noodles and alternating the sauces.
On top of the final layer add a couple of spoonfuls of both sauces and sprinkle with some of both the cheeses.
Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbly and beginning to brown.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Receipe owned by Italian Food Forever all credit goes to them. Why not visit thier site for more receipes

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “The Art of Deception by Liz Harris

  1. What a fabulous review of The Art of Deception, Robyn. Thank you so much for it. I really enjoyed writing the novel as it’s set in a part of Italy that I know well and love. And thank you, too, for the recipe – I adore Italian ragu and I’ll certainly make this.

    • I am just glad you liked it. It is such a wonder book, I should be thanking you. This was the first of many more to come 🙂

  2. Oh, I can’t wait to read this Liz. I love your writing, and I think Italy is such a romantic country. Shan’t be attempting to make my own pasta though, I’d rather hold a book in my hand!

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