**I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Please understand this is just MY opinion **
Art Crossed Love, by Libby Rice, is book 2 in her Second Chances Series. I haven’t read book 1 but from what I understand, each book in the series can be read as a stand alone.
Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.
Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.
When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.
Okay, so after going through the synopsis I had an idea of where this story was going to go, and I was excited for it. I was so wrong. Not only was I wrong, I was confused as hell. It started off weird but then when we got to the deal that the hero/heroine struck I was back on track with the synopsis and over looked the initial confusion I felt.
I’ve never skipped ahead in a book. I try to stay on task and read through everything so I don’t miss anything important, however, I found myself bored and more than a little confused. How does Libby continue to express how much she wants to prove herself as an artist outside of her family and how much feeling she puts into her paintings; but when Cole gives her sh*t for not following direction or being true to the artist she can be, the first thing she says is, “she’d have put her father’s resources to better use and become a doctor. This artist crap was overrated.” That, to me, doesn’t sound like someone who LOVES their craft. I also didn’t understand the relationship between her and Cole or how it even developed. I mean, I guess spending so much time with someone you can eventually have feelings for them especially if they are attractive but their relationship was just…forced?? I really can’t explain it. And she kept mentioning his vascular forearms. Vascular?? What the hell is sexy about veins? Not muscular, not tan, not smooth hell not even hairy but vascular!! There were no other adjectives out there better than that? I mean I unless you’re a phlebotimist who in the hell finds veins sexy?
The book did get better as it went along and the mystery of Cole’s grief was revealed. I loved Lissa’s nosiness about the situation. She should have been a detective if she wanted to put her parent’s money to good use!That was the complete saving grace for this book and the only reason I kept reading. I loved that twist and how it played out. I swear this book could have done without the art set up. I mean I guess it gave the book its own little uniqueness but it didn’t add anything to the real story. Well, now that I think about it, it was the way that Cole and Lissa bonded…oh well, I think it would’ve been more interesting if the heroine was the hooker from the beginning of the book. I know I pride myself on no spoilers but that was a little snippet, nothing too big. So a whopping 3 out of 5 stars for this book. I wanted to love it but alas, you can’t love em all.