Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Painting Kisses

 Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson was such a great read, I started carrying my Kindle with me everywhere I went "just in case" I had a free second to get in another page or two. And when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. It was so good!

There were so many things to like about this book.  Lia Carswell is a famous New York artist whose work commands six figure price tags. But when her ex-husband embezzles her money and she feels like she's losing her soul, she retreats to Utah to help her sister who is a single mother trying to go to school, work, and take care of her little girl.

I loved the characterization of Lia. She was so easy to relate to, and her inner demons were ones that made you wonder how you would deal with them if that happened to you.  One of the standout things about this novel, though, was the descriptions. The art, the way art made Lia feel, the way her pictures came about, it was so breathtaking. I could completely see it in my head because of the amazing descriptions of the author. She just had a way of making a certain turn of phrase easily create the scene in my head, and yet it didn't come across prose-y or literary. It was just so well-done.

Of course, Ms. Jacobson is known for her witty and fun guy/girl relationships and this book does not disappoint. Lia is now working in a diner to help make ends meet and she has a "regular" customer named Aidan who flirts with her shamelessly.  They have a little bet going as to who can make the other one laugh first with the winner buying the orange juice.  Lia is totally drawn to him because he's funny and smart, and well, hot, but since he has some of the same characteristics as her ex, she keeps herself fairly aloof.  Then there's Lia's neighbor Griff, a guitar-playing, sort of shy guy who might have some potential. He's adorable with her niece Chloe and definitely easy to be with.  Some of the funniest scenes were in the diner with all the regulars (including the banter with Aidan) and Lia, but I enjoyed the interactions Lia had with Griff as well---casual and fun. I know I had my druthers in who I wanted to see her with and the author really works the "love triangle" so the reader can experience it all with Lia.

Another thing I enjoyed was Lia's niece. The relationship that Lia has with Chloe is sweet and realistic and Chloe is adorable.  Lia's reasons for starting to paint again are completely understandable when you see the relationship these two have and makes you love Lia even more for her sacrifices and the type of sister and aunt she is. Her character was really well-rounded and absolutely made the book. It was more than just a romance, it was a glimpse into Lia's life and choices and growth as a person.

This was the first book I bought in 2015 and it was a good choice.  My only complaint was that it ended! I wanted more. Just one more page. An epilogue. Anything! I really do hope we see these characters again in a future book maybe.  Perhaps her sister's story? I think that would be awesome.

Here is the back copy:

Lia Carswell is good at what she does, even if it isn't as glamorous as her old artist life in Manhattan. The popular waitress works hard in a small Salt Lake City diner, with the goal of easing her sister's financial strain. And with her witty personality and good looks, she's something of an enigma to the male customers who vie for her attention. Ever the professional, Lia keeps her distance, with one exception. Aidan is a breakfast regular, and his gentle, clever teasing draws Lia's attention and builds an easy rapport between them, though Lia would never let their relationship get serious, especially since he's not the only one trying to catch her eye. Her handsome neighbor Griff has been hinting that he wants more than a neighborly relationship.

Then her old New York artist life comes knocking, and an offer is made for a series of commissioned paintings. Lia knows it would ensure financial security for her family, but she doesn't know if she wants that life anymore. When she undertakes one final project, she reawakens her heart and soul. And as she finds herself falling in love and needing an outlet more and more, she realizes her paintings might be her saving grace.

You can buy your own Kindle copy here for $10.49


Debra Erfert said...

It does sound good. But once again, I'm looking at an expensive ebook, and I can't bring myself to pop for it. I'll wait and see if it goes on sale sometime in the future and live vicariously through your review. :)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Yeah, I agree with you there. And again, it's that same publishing company as the other one we talked about last week. I've been watching for it to go on sale, or to come in at my library, but when I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas, I used that to buy it. Maybe you could check your library? You might like this one. :)