As I have said before, I would read anything Edmond Manning writes, including his grocery list. I adore his books and was thrilled to see this new title become available. Lucky me for getting the opportunity to review it!
Title: Filthy Acquisitions
Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Keldon Thurman hates his job, purchasing serial killer art for a private investor. He would quit if he weren’t completely impoverished, but with no life skills and no ways to generate income, Keldon has no options.
However, Acquisition Number Five proves to be more challenging than expected. Wheel-chair bound Irene Woullet and her handsome nurse caretaker, Joshua Greene, refuse to cooperate. Keldon’s only chance is to seduce the old-fashioned, simple-living Josh in the hopes that Joshua can persuade Irene. But Keldon has to work fast—he has only two dates to win Josh’s affection.
With love’s potential in bloom, how can Keldon live with his own worsening conscience as he gathers these filthy acquisitions?
Keldon Thurman is a poor, unskilled man on a mission: collect several pieces of art for his employer and receive a huge chunk of cash. Seems simple, straightforward, and lucrative. However, when the pieces of art are the creations of a convicted serial killer, the job is not so palatable, not to mention extremely tricky if a seller doesn’t want to relinquish their piece. This is the difficulty Keldon encounters when he meets the owner of Acquisition Number 5, Irene Woullet, and her nurse, Joshua Greene. He must somehow convince Irene to give up her painting and decides that romancing Josh is the way to do it. With two dates under his belt, can he persuade Josh and Irene to give up the only thing that stands between him and destitution? More importantly, will the truth about these acquisitions destroy the possibility of a budding romance?
Let me just start by saying that Edmond Manning can take the most mundane event and turn it into a captivating adventure. Whether he was walking me through the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, or feeding me pot roast, I was completely immersed in this story through his lush, vivid descriptions. He also has a unique ability to tap into his readers’ emotions, and I found myself riding the wave from the trough of loss and self-recrimination up to the crest of the possibility of newfound love. The clever dialogue was amusing and intriguing, and I got to tag along on two of the best dates I have ever read. Edmond’s skill in evoking physical and emotional responses in his readers was proven once again as I spent most of the first eighty percent of the book hungry and the last twenty percent in tears. Edmond knows how to describe food and heartbreak, no question.
The characters in this story are fascinating and engaging. Keldon is a tough person to understand, as it is hard to be sympathetic to someone who manipulates people and buys serial killer art for a living. However, his growth and self-awareness throughout the book is endearing and satisfying. His earnest feelings for Josh, paired with his guilty conscience and self-doubt, give him vulnerability and render him more appealing than one might think. Josh is just loveable from the get-go. A combination of charm, sincerity, and concern for his carbon footprint make him a true gem of a character. He and Keldon work well together, and I think I may have had just as much fun on their dates as they did. I pulled for them as a couple and enjoyed the process of them getting to know one another. The secondary characters of Catherine and Irene are also solid, well developed, and likable. Both women, with their strong personalities and life experiences, bring the wisdom of age and their own share of heartache to the pages while playing quite significant roles in the story.
In order to avoid getting into a detailed analysis of the morality of acquiring serial killer art, I will just say that the premise here is intriguing and begs many questions throughout the story. It makes the reader look closely at all the characters and their motives, judgments, and reactions, especially those of or directed at Keldon. It makes the reader think about the human condition and how we rationalize our actions and judge and respond to others based upon our own life experiences.
I did have a few technical issues with the book. There were several instances where the editing could have been cleaner and tighter. Better proofreading could easily have picked up typographical errors. I also found that there were a few instances in which overstatement or repetitive information caused a bit of a distraction in the writing and felt that the inferences up to that point were perfectly sufficient and much more pleasurable to read.
Overall, however, I greatly enjoyed Filthy Acquisitions. More traditional in the m/m romance sense than his other books, Edmond Manning provides a tender HFN, his beautiful trademark imagery, delightful characters, and an interesting premise. It was a pleasure to lose myself in this sweet, touching romance, and I highly recommend it.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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