Author: RJ Scott & Meredith Russell
Reviewed by: Aggie
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: MM Contemporary
ISBN 13: 9781614955832
Blu Taylor has a problem. He isn’t sophisticated. He doesn’t like to dress up and mingle at swanky art parties. He’s shy and more comfortable donning a pair of ripped paint-filled blue jeans and t-shirt instead of a suit and tie. So when the reader first meets Blu, the twenty-four year old ‘starving’ artist is locked in a bathroom, anxiety-ridden and almost having a full blown panic attack, afraid to show his face to the ‘creme de le creme’ of the art world. His wealthy, straight friend, Jackson Middleton convinces him to show a couple of his paintings at a studio party with hopes that Blu will get noticed and his career kick started. Blu does get noticed. By a wealthy dolt named Harry Dalton. And this turns out to be a disappointing experience for Blu, who already suffers from low self-esteem. In addition, he was taken advantaged of and emotionally hurt from a relationship three years previously.
Things change though for the better when Blu gets a phone call from one Thomas Harrington III, the man who was with the idiot, Harry the night of the studio party. Thomas has seen his paintings and is very interested in sponsoring Blu and promoting any current and future works by him. Blu is stunned and nervous, especially when he has to go to lunch with the man, who is obviously wealthy.
What unfolds next is a nice, tender love story. It is also a rather heart wrenching one because Blu is so plagued with self-doubt and fear, that he doesn’t trust Thomas enough to share a shameful secret with him. This almost destroys their burgeoning relationship. Thomas is confused. His motivations are honest and he wants to help Blu, but he doesn’t even know what’s wrong. Blu is afraid to tell him.
Anyone who likes vulnerable male characters (as I do) should like this book. Blu is a fascinating character. You just want to give him a reassuring hug, ruffle his hair, and take him to McDonald’s (ok…just kidding about Micky D’s. He isn’t that childlike. He doesn’t need McNuggets….just some confidence, served in abundance, please!!) He really doesn’t believe in himself. He’s a neurotic bundle of nerves in the beginning but by the end of the story the reader will be smiling with him.
The writers actually had me teary eyed at one point. And when a book hits me on an emotional level like that I usually rate high. They deserve it. The writing was crisp, clean, and realistic. The story wasn’t bogged down with a lot of conflict, which I appreciate since it was a relatively short read. Blu’s problem with self-esteem and his shameful secret was enough to keep the story flowing.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes m/m romance.
And I definitely would read another book by this writing pair.
By the way, the cover is gorgeous. The two men on it are striking.