Art-Crossed Love by Libby Rice
(Second Chances #2)
January 26, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Thrilled
Contains: strong language, sex
Source: eARC for Honest review
Should they let love be more than a four-letter word?
Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from a shadow cast by painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.
Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.
When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.
What first made me want to read this book was art aspect added into a love story. I wasn't sure how it would blend, but I love art and hoped for the best. Well, the art was just one beautiful part of this fantastic story. I was completely drawn into this story from the start. I found the style, the writing, the plot pacing and subject matter, the characters, all of it fascinating. I loved this story.
The build up between the characters really grabbed me. This was not your typical lust-at-first-sight. With Cole's backstory in particular, I knew the read would be great, and it was. The layers of character development, decoding, and delivery was rich and introspective, as well as healing and hopeful. While there was so much going on with both Cole and Lissa, I didn't feel like this was an angsty story. It felt like a journey. I was on this journey of healing and love with these characters. I also appreciated that the author didn't rely on heavy language and excessive sex scenes. Now don't get me wrong. There is still some language. And there are a few very hot and significant sex scenes. But they are not the crux of the story. They add to the story but do not detract or overwhelm it as a whole. And I loved that. I loved how much I got to know Cole and Lissa and watch how they got to know themselves and each other. I loved them together, strong personalities and all.
Then there's Cole's family, the good and the bad, making this way more than a simple love story. And though I did figure stuff out along the way, it didn't detract from my reading enjoyment and how the author brought the intersecting stories together. I loved that we got some perspective from and about other characters and the significant roles they played. I also loved the relationship between Cole, his brother, and their uncle. But beyond these relationships and the character development of all parties, their is a great and engaging mystery going on that really added a wonderful and important layer to this story.
Overall, I loved this story. I was engaged from the first word to the last. I loved all the nuances of getting to know these characters, their inner and outer workings, and their varying circumstances. This was a journey, and I loved the ride. And, of course, it was also a beautiful love story. I didn't read the first book in this series, and this one can certainly be read as a standalone. But now I not only want to go back and read book one, but am eagerly anticipating the next book with Trevor.
Love Me Later:
Before becoming a writer, Libby was first a mechanical engineer in the data acquisition industry (voltmeter anyone?). Preferring writing to technical design, Libby headed to law school and eventually practiced patent law for several enterprising years (patent application covering a voltmeter anyone?). Finally realizing that technology just wasn’t her bag, she traded the voltmeters for alpha heroes and the women who love them.
Today, Libby writes contemporary romances from the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she lives with her husband, a bona fide rocket scientist (he stuck with the voltmeters!). When not writing, Libby loves good food, even better wine, and traveling the world in search of the next great story.
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