A Fine Work of Art, by Shelby Reed

>> Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AngieW's November TBR Challenge is to read a book that was originally published in electronic format. I went for one from Ellora's Cave.

Title: A Fine Work of Art

Author: Shelby Reed

Year published: 2003 (positively an oldie in the e-book world!)

Why did you get this book?: I think I saw it talked about in some of the blogs I visit, but I don't really remember which. And since I tend to like December/May romances...


At thirty-six, university art professor Elizabeth Gilstrom finds herself facing a bleak, lonely future when her husband leaves her for his young medical assistant. After giving up her own career as an artist a decade before, Elizabeth has nothing to show for their ten-year marriage…only the faded memory of a paintbrush's weight in her hand, an empty bed, and an empty heart.

She's still reeling from shock and devastation when graduate student Boone McCrea walks into her office...and into her bed. Boone might only be twenty-four, but he is, quite simply, one of the most attractive men Elizabeth has ever seen, a work of art that stirs wild sensations she has long repressed.

Do you like the cover?: Yes. It's sexy, but tasteful. At least, the one I posted here is. I've seen another version that's pretty bad.

Did you enjoy the book?: Not really. I mean, it wasn't bad, and there was nothing I hated here, but as a romance, it just wasn't believable to me. A C.

I think the main problem was that neither Elizabeth nor Boone were characters in whose story I was particularly invested. Elizabeth never rose above the cliché. She's a woman whose husband, a doctor, has left her after 10 years of marriage, a marriage that never satisfied her sexually or emotionally. With Boone, one of her graduate students, who's 24-years-old to her 36, she rediscovers her sexuality and, supposedly, finds love. So what makes Elizabeth Elizabeth, and not any other of those just-left-by-their-longtime-husbands heroines? Nothing.

And Boone was even more undefined. At least we got to see Elizabeth's POV and thus, how she felt about things, but we never get inside Boone's head and I never understood who he was, either. By the end of the book, all I knew about Boone was that he was a talented artist, he was 24 and he was attracted to Elizabeth. Nothing else.

So when these two declared their love, I didn't buy it. I didn't really see anything in common between them, or felt anything other than attraction, and not a very deep attraction, at that.

The age thing might have been an issue for me, too. It's just that 24 is so young! I'm 28 and not particularly mature (*g*), and I'd think twice before I went out with the typical 24-year-old. And that's just the thing, maybe if it had been established that Boone wasn't typical, but a very mature and grown-up 24, because this and this and that had influenced his growth, I could have bought it, but there's nothing of the sort here. Reed just tells us he's mature for 24, but never shows us.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again?: She was new to me. I might give her another try (they have a good review of one of her books at DearAuthor.com), but I won't be in a hurry to do so.

Are you keeping it or passing it on?: It's an e-book, so keeping it.


Post a Comment

Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP