True Colors by Clare London

True Colors by Clare London


Blurb:

From the very first, Zeke Roswell and Miles Winter are like oil and water. After a tragic fire claimed his brother’s life, Zeke’s personal and professional life spiraled out of control, and now he has no choice but to sell his gallery to cover his debts. Enter successful entrepreneur Miles, who buys it and plans to make a commercial success out of Zeke’s failure.

Their initial hostility stands no chance against the strong passion that ambushes them. Zeke’s talent and lust for life intoxicate Miles, and Zeke finds Miles’s self-assurance and determination equally fascinating. But it’s not until an unsolved mystery of violence and stolen sketches threatens to sabotage any chance at happiness that Miles and Zeke realize they have a chance at all.

 

 

Review:

I have to say I didn’t intend to read this so fast. I thought I would read the first few pages just to get a feel for the story and then put it down for later. Well, I ended up completely absorbed in the story and didn’t want to put it down until I finished. While not without problems, this book is still engaging, interesting, creative, and absorbing with great complicated characters and a solid, well-written story. There is even a mystery side plot that is unfortunately completely unnecessary and distracting but is unlikely to really take away from the book. The elements are telegraphed early and often so shouldn’t be any big surprise to readers but will fit in with the romantic ending.

This is mostly a character driven story with a small mystery woven into the plot. The majority of the action revolves around Zeke and Miles as they are first antagonistic and then sexual with each other while negotiating the minefield of personal expectations, disappointments, emotional baggage and the outside art world. While there are some conflicting personalities, the main characters have it rather easy and the majority of drama is self created. The few adversarial people are soon won over by Zeke’s charm and any pesky journalistic problems are swept aside by the ease of money, privilege, and of course artistic temperament.

There is the mystery of the stolen/lost sketches with a few other elements related to that but all the clues are given freely and often throughout the story so the ending is rather telegraphed. While this was slightly annoying, the bigger annoyance was the prolonged confrontation and confession scene between the culprit and the characters.  This involved an intelligent, meticulous, calculating, and amoral person suddenly confessing all to them in a groan-inducing moment. If you remember similar scenes from books and movies when the evil person always confesses everything before attempting to kill the hero? This was that scene without the threat of death.

Unfortunately not only was this annoying, but it was completely unnecessary. I didn’t feel either the mystery or the resolution really added anything to the story, characters, or the writing. Just as the resolutions to the mystery of the missing sketches was ridiculously easy and totally unbelievable. Well I suppose it could be believable but it takes quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to accept the explanations the author has offered for the missing two sketches. Neither one felt authentic or keeping with the characters of either man, instead the answers are easy and tidy, wrapping up all possible problems and questions into neat, tight bows.

However as much as I’ve disagreed with the mystery portions, they are certainly not a reason to avoid the book as it is a smaller aspect of the story which focuses for the majority on the characters and their burgeoning relationship. Both Zeke and Miles are absorbing and intricate characters. Zeke is a very moody artist with lightening fast changes from anger and rage to fear and isolation. His range of emotion which is always loud and obvious often directs itself at the first available target and the implication is that though by the end of the story he certainly has matured, this tendency to yell first and think second is likely to continue. However, Zeke undeniably has talent and is emotionally fragile due to the tumultuous relationship with his brother Jacky before he died.

Miles provides much needed calm and serenity to the outlandish and emotive Zeke, creating complimentary personalities that suit each other even if on first glance they would be more likely to kill each other. Miles’ quiet fascination with art and its impact, even while being color blind; lend intensity to the man’s personality as well as his interactions with Zeke. His awe of Zeke’s talent and growing connection to the man allows for a lot of forgiveness for the more unlikeable aspects of that personality, even if Miles is slow in stopping some unjustified rants. Together these two posses important facets that work well in a passionate relationship, though not always easily.

Secondary characters such as Carter and Red are completely wonderful and no doubt will have their own story coming in the future. Red is very interesting in that he acts as an interpreter of Miles for the reader. While Miles is very controlled and precise, Red’s internal musings and commentary interpret Miles’ real personality versus his projected one down to his needs, wants, and confused feelings for Zeke. Carter is a supportive friend and while he is not exactly necessary to the story, his self imposed isolation contains an alluring aspect that had my attention gravitating towards him during his scenes.  I do like a wounded, quietly angst filled man.

The character progression and slow maturation of the relationship was a wonderful element to the story, especially considering Zeke and Miles never get sexual until well into the story. However, after that there is no shortage of steamy erotic sex scenes so the author didn’t scrimp on that. The third person writing style with changeable point of view worked well and never created any confusion. The prose was tight and clean with hints of humor woven into the dialogue and descriptions. The vitality of art, movement, and emotion created within the writing was felt repeatedly and created an interesting setting for the story. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting to get sucked in but I absolutely was. While I didn’t appreciate the mystery portion and felt the book would have been better ended at page 200, this isn’t enough to stay away from the story. Be sure to check this out! You may groan at the end (or not) but you won’t mind it too much.

 Get it HERE!

 


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