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Michelle Reviews: Brush Strokes by Dee Carney

Sensuality Level: Torrid

Multicultural Contemporary Black Female, White Male

I always enjoy reading about artists so when Dee Carney offered this book to me for review I agreed. In compliance with whatever the hell that blogger law is, please note, this book was given to me for free by this author.

The set-up for this story is interesting. The heroine, Tanya is a painter. Joe is her model. Her really smoking hot nude model. When the story opens she’s already been painting him for several months, or at least trying to. However, she is hopelessly blocked and unable to complete a painting. He suggests that she learn his body through touch. His rather unique solution to her problem leads to some of the most well-written sensual scenes I’ve come across in a while. Joe is an absolute sweetheart, and I like Tanya as well. The descriptions of the creative process are well-done and I could all but feel Tanya’s frustration and anxiety as she has a patron waiting for her paintings. Her passion for her work comes through in nearly every scene. You can understand why Joe would fall in love with her and be inspired by her as both a woman and an artist. On that level I really liked this story.

I think your ability to enjoy this book depends on your ability to suspend disbelief in a story. As a sweet, but hot novella it is very well-done. However, there were some issues that I found it difficult to get past. First, Tanya paints in a home studio. I found it hard to believe that a single woman would hire a male model from an ad to pose nude in her home. And when you factor in his remedy for her painter’s block, it sounds dangerous to the point of craziness. I also find it hard to believe that a professional painter would agree to engage in this kind of behavior with one of her models. We aren’t told whether this is her first time painting a male nude or not, but I would think a female artist would be leery of getting that type of reputation.

Then there’s the issue of racial dynamics. Tanya’s wealthy patron is a black man. I’m no expert on the New York art scene but the notion of a black man paying a black woman to paint naked pictures of a white man just seemed, well less than likely. I could be wrong, but it seemed odd to me. I was also amused by Joe’s pondering as to whether Tanya would date a white man. Dude, she’s been painting your freaking pubic hair for months! Somehow I don’t think THAT’S gonna be a problem!

I think if this story had been longer with more scenes of the beginning of their relationship I might have found it more believable. I especially needed to see the scene where he actually suggests his remedy and hear from him what inspired it. As it is, we meet this couple two months into their working relationship and it’s kind of jarring for him them to already be in the midst of a very intimate sensual encounter before we really know anything about them.

If you’re in the mood for a hot little story, this is great and I did like it on that level. But those other issues kept taking me out of the story and definitely brought it down a couple of notches.

Available for purchase here.