Author: Laura Lascarso
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 11/16/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
hen up-and-coming Miami painter Martin Fonseca encounters youthful pretty boy Andre Bellamy washing dishes in the kitchen of La Candela, he swears he’s known him before, intimately. But Andre only arrived in Miami weeks ago, after running away from small-town Alabama and his abusive father. When Martin discovers Andre trading sexual favors for a place to stay, he offers him a room in his studio apartment. As roommates only.
What starts as a playful friendship turns into something more as Andre begins posing for Martin, whose true passion is painting fantastical portraits. Martin’s obsession with Andre grows until they are sharing more than just flirtatious conversation. But when an eccentric art collector buys one of Martin’s paintings, Martin’s past jealousies resurface and threaten to destroy what he and Andre have so lovingly built.
When I realised that this was the same author who wrote the YA novel Counting Backwards I was so excited, and curious to see how the rather gritty and realistic writing style would translate into a romance. It translated very well indeed.
That’s not to say that this book doesn’t have a happy ending, it is a romance after all – but how it gets there was different.
Martin is a struggling painter. who works as a waiter, and Andre is the latest addition to the restaurant and a dish washer, but Martin can’t get rid of the thoughts that they’ve known each other before. They end up as room mates, as Andre is broke, then Martin starts to paint Andre- and all this emotion is unleashed in both of them.
Its totally clear to the reader that they are falling in love, but it’s a love that is more than tinged by obsession on Martin’s part; Andre is happy to go with the flow, and he is young , but Martin’s possessiveness which is coupled by an inability to say how he feels starts to ruin the relationship, as does the interference and animosity of Martin’s agent Melissa. Ultimatley Martin needs to face up to who he is, and try not to ruin his relationship and be honest.
For a novella this works really well, the writing is elegant and the characters well drawn and realistic, which is exactly what I expected. I felt that the character of Melissa needed a little more of a backstory, and that the events leading to the ending could have been tighter. That being said the actual ending was very much in keeping with the age and background of Martin and Andre and full of hope and potential for the future.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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