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Sunday, 31 January 2016

**REVIEW BY HALEY** STEALING CHASITY by DEVON HARTFORD










Every GOOD GIRL wants a forbidden BAD BOY to steal her virtue... 

CHASTITY 
My new neighbor Lance McKnight is rude, crude, and totally irresistible. 
My mom hates him. She says he's going to corrupt me. 
Lucky for me Lance doesn't care what Mom thinks. From day one, he makes it clear he's going to have his way with me no matter what Mom says. 
Works for me. 
I'll do whatever Lance tells me. 
No matter how bad it is... 

LANCE 
I get what I want from women any time I want. 
That pisses you off, doesn't it? 
Deal with it. 
That's the hand life dealt me. I'm just making the most of it. 
What you don't know about me is, from what I've been through, it doesn't make up for much. 
That's all about to change. Because my new neighbor Chastity Shields is some kind of something else. Mmmm, mmmm. 
I don't know what to make of her. 
But I want her. 
And I'm gonna take her. 
Every last way I can think of... 

WARNING: Just when you think you know where this book is going, it doesn't. Lance McKnight is a real bad boy. At first you'll hate him. But in the end you'll love him twice as much. 

Recommended for ages 18+ 

***Stealing Chastity is a scorching hot erotic standalone romance with an HEA***


I was literally squealing with joy when Devons new book was realised, being a huge fan of Devons work i knew i was in for a rollercoaster of a story and he didnt dissapoint.
his book is centered around a simple family of three Chastity, Charity and mom Faith who by any means lives her life to rule of the bible and has raised her daughters to become ladies of god. Things begin to heat up when new neighbours move in next door and by no means are they living there life by any religious beliefs.

Bring in one hot man by the name of Lance who lives his life in the fast lane BUT he does have one secret and he intends to keep it hidden from anyone.
soon hitting adult hood she is on the countdown till she can live her life for herself and not for her mom. Charity is the teenage sister who watches as her sister grow to become something she wants to be and retailiates against there mom but it may have gone
Chastity and Lance are instantly attracted to one another and with Faith being hot on Chastitys heels things are not easy for the couple. But with Chast
ia step to far leaving Chastity wondering how she can leave her sister with there mom.

A fantastically gripping storyline that will leave you wanting to read more with no cliffhangers and a happliy ever after what more could a girl wish for a full 5* read

Friday, 29 January 2016

**FREEBIES ** ALEXANDRA DRAKE SERIES by SARAH ELIZABETH ASHLEY




The COMPLETE Alexandra Drake Series ***FREE*** for a limited time.
Friday January 29th 2016 until Monday February 1st 2016
A tale of sorrow, escape, strength and freedom. Of compassion, friendship and lust. 
Alexandra Drake, a lady in her early forties trapped in an abusive marriage to a controlling husband. Out of the blue she finds her life is transformed by the legacy left to her by her the woman she always thought of as 'aunt'. 
“This book had be gripped from the epilogue”
“a “very” enjoyable read that is perfect for curling up with a bottle of wine, and of course, strawberries!”
Freeing Alex – Part One




Loving Alex


Eternally Alex

Monday, 25 January 2016

**REVIEW by MRS KEBAB** THE DARKEST SECRET by ALEX MARWOOD



Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help.
My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family's holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday August 29/30th, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.
When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco?
Over two intense weekends - the first when Coco goes missing and the second twelve years later at the funeral of her father - the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed...
Taut, emotive and utterly compelling, an unputdownable 'ripped from the headlines' novel that you will want to talk about with everyone you know.









Wow this is my first book by Alex and i must say i very much doubt it will be my last. I couldn't put this down and even i thought i had it pegged by 40% i was wrong so so wrong. This is what they call a thriller, i couldn't put it down. The way we see things through everyones perspective was clever and the story really built. The story played out in the present and Sean has died and his friends are organising his funeral and 2 of his daughters are attending the funeral together. The flashbacks are of  time when Sean was married to Coco and Rubies mum Claire and they are all on a trip to celebrate Sean’s fiftieth birthday and toddler Coco disappears. The past and present collide when it appears his daughter’s don't know everything that happened when little Coco disappeared and evidence arrives and it doesn't prove anything or help the story any until questions are asked. I love the story of Ruby and Mila in the present as they get to know each other and a bond is formed by two sisters who have becomes estranged.
My only issues with this story was that i was so confused as too who’s POV i was reading and was it present or 2004.  sitting back now after i think 2004 was dated but not present day, but this wasn't apparent to me as i read. my first mystery read of 2016 and i blooming loved it.

Friday, 22 January 2016

**REVIEW** FIRST TOUCH by LAURELIN PAIGE


When Emily Wayborn receives an answerphone message from her former best friend Amber, she knows something is seriously wrong. Emily hasn't spoken to Amber in years, and when Amber uses a safe word in her message that Emily recognises -- a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild partying days -- she knows Amber needs her help. But when Emily tries to find her, she discovers that Amber is missing.
Determined to track her down, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis. Renowned for his shady dealings and playboy reputation, Emily is convinced that Reeve knows something about Amber's disappearance. To try and discover the truth, Emily sets out to seduce him. But when she's forced to decide where her loyalty lies, how will Emily choose between saving Amber and saving her heart?
If you devoured Fifty Shades and Sylvia Day's Bared To You series, you will love the latest intoxicating, passionate and addictive novel from New York Times bestseller Laurelin Paige.




Wow how much did i love this book, Reeve is drop dead gorgeous and a sexy alpha to boot, he values his privacy and being so rich seems to have screwed with his “ reality ” Emily has a love hate relationship with her look’s yes they can get her far in life but they can also be a hinderance as people believe she is nothing more than her looks. Her looks have brought her far in life. She used her looks to live off wealthy men but now she is a serious actress (trying to be ). she really is a interesting character from her inability to say no, down to her suspicions about Reeve and his family and the fact she still wants to be with him anyway. I love how the author made her a speaking computer in the book even this she is a stunner it makes it more realistic.  The ending was fantastic but left us hanging. I have read a few of  Laurelin’s books before but this one has me desperate for the next instalment.

**COVER REVEAL** TARGET ON OUR BACKS by J M DARHOWER

I can't stress enough how excited I am for this book. I adore this author and her writing is amazing. 





ISN'T IT STUNNING ? 

Monday, 18 January 2016

**REVIEW **UNHINGE by CALIA READ






In Calia Read’s electrifying and steamy novel of psychological suspense, a handsome stranger shatters a beautiful young woman’s picture-perfect vision of her past.


Hold your breath and count to ten. Soon it will be over before it ever began.
No matter how many times Victoria Donovan repeats that phrase to herself, she’s still trapped behind the walls of a mental institution. Once upon a time, her life was like a fantasy: Wes, the handsome fiancĂ©, followed by a storybook wedding and a white picket fence. But then a picture-perfect marriage twisted into something sinister. And as Victoria’s world warped from dream to nightmare, her husband’s obsessions pushed her beyond the breaking point.



At first Fairfax Mental Health Institute seems like a safe place for Victoria to heal with her baby, Evelyn, and to hide from Wes, presumed dead by everyone except Victoria. Her husband is still alive, she has no doubt: He slips into her room at night to torment and tempt her. One smoldering kiss and she’s powerless. Of course, no one believes her about these visits. When she meets a sexy, mysterious stranger intent on helping her recall her past, Victoria isn’t sure she can trust him. But deep in her heart, she also knows that the only way out of Fairfax is to remember the way she came in.


Unhinge is intended for mature audiences.


Advance praise for Unhinge
“Unpredictable, unputdownable, and simply epic.”New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans
“Calia Read has a way of making me feel as if I’m living inside her books. Unhinge is a haunting story that gripped me instantly and left me immersed in the world of Fairfax. I love it when books make such a lasting impression.”—Willow Aster, USA Today bestselling author of True Love Story




From the Trade Paperback edition




Unravel was amazing I still recommend it often, I was disappointed with some of Calia’s other works BUT this is her genre. This woman makes my heart bang and it is simply impossible to put these books down. Are 10* reviews allowed because this is so much more than a 5 *. I am simply blown away by the intensity of the writing, this story is sheer genius.

Remember Victoria from unravel ? (the lady with the baby doll ) well this is her story and what a tragic, emotional and amazing story this is.
a is a bright and vivacious young lady who seems to have the perfect life with wes. so why has she ended up at fairfax with her baby ? little by little we start at the beginning when vixtoria meets wes and work forward to the present date. who is the sexy stranger who comes everyday to visit but is not allowed to see her. why is Victoria’s baby acting up and crying so much. Victoria is told wes is dead but she sees him all the time and believe’s he isn't dead. is he dead ? is she just seeing him because she wants too ?. read this book ! it is amazing.
Im still confused by the 1st chapter written in Wes (Victorias husband pov) i am going to reread this as it might make more sense now.
Victoria is a bright and vivacious young lady who seems to have the perfect life with wes. so why has she ended up at fairfax with her baby ? little by little we start at the beginning when vixtoria meets wes and work forward to the present date. who is the sexy stranger who comes everyday to visit but is not allowed to see her. why is Victoria’s baby acting up and crying so much. Victoria is told wes is dead but she sees him all the time and believe’s he isn't dead. is he dead ? is she just seeing him because she wants too ?. read this book ! it is amazing.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

**REVIEW** FEAR OF FALLING by S L JENNINGS





***Inspired by true events***


I can't remember the last time I felt completely safe. Security seemed more like a luxury to me, reserved for those who were fortunate enough to have picture perfect childhoods. For those who didn't bear the ugly scars that keep me bound in constant, debilitating fear. I've run from that fear my entire life. But when I met him, for once, I couldn't run anymore.


He scared the hell out of me in a way that excited every fiber of my being. It wasn't the tattoos or the piercings. It wasn't the warmth that seemed to radiate from his frame and blanket me whenever he was near. It was just...him. The scary beautiful man that threatened to alter 23 years of routine and rituals, and make me face my crippling fear.


My name is Kami and I am constantly afraid. And the thing that scares me the most is the very thing I want.


This is the story of one woman's very real struggle through a world against her, the people who hurt her, her real life demons and the people who showed her that every gray sky, no matter how dark, has a sun waiting to break through.
Book 1 of the FEARLESS NOVELS.








From reading the blurb for "Fear of Falling" I was instantly intrigued by the character of Kami and how and why she had become the woman she now was. However, upon reading I found that it was Blaine (the leading male) that captivated my interest far more than Kami, he seemed a much more believable charming character and I must say I'd quite like a Blaine in my life! If I'm entirely honest it was him that made me read it to the end. As a little side note though, there's only so much lip biting a man can do before it starts to grow a tad boring. On the other hand Kami as a heroine seemed to have far too many holes in her character for me to fully understand her mentality. Don't get me wrong I could appreciated her struggle and the inner turmoil she felt was described sufficiently well for me to grasp just how strongly her fears controlled her. She did however seem to "overcome" these fears far too quickly for me to fully appreciate the severity of them. The story is very well written and I must say the characterisation was enough to engage me into the plot. I have to admit I did find it a little repetitive at times, the whole "turn him down, then go running back" wore tiresome after a while. I'd also add that if subjects such as; rape and child abuse aren't something you are fond of reading with a book this one isn't for you, as it does touch upon a few topics that are heartbreaking and graphic. All in all a story of love, loss and learning how to overcome fears that are so deep rooted they are as natural as the air you breathe. It is a touching tale if not a little predictable. I'd give it a 3/5 as I will probably forget the characters and storylines within a few days. All in all an interesting read

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

**REVIEW** THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT by KATEE ROBERT





New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert begins a smoking hot new series about the O'Malley family-wealthy, powerful, dangerous and seething with scandal.

Teague O'Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family's name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a "business" alliance, Teague's ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O'Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn't aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they're in. Because Callie's keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn't know could get him killed.






This book started out so boring i almost DNF but but once Callie met Teague started to  enjoy it. The spark’s  were off the page when these guys met and although Callista tried she just couldn't ignore the sexual tension rippling between her and Teague.
An arranged marriage for religion is one thing but because your family wants to gain more power is  little daunting especially when the other family is the completion so to speak. There were moments i was like WHAT, but they often merged into interesting plot lines. the speed they fell in love to me was ridiculously quick but its fiction and thats what fiction is all about. Calista is strong and fiesty, i really liked her but there were times i wanted to throttle her. Teague was a babe i think i fell for him  but i couldn't get my head around the things he did, like his involvement with other institutions but again this is fiction  and its about escaping reality for a bit.

This book is a crime family / mob drama about a murder and an arranged marriage. It is my first book by Katee Robert but I'm sure it wont be my last.

**REVIEW **MIDNIGHT MASS by SIERRA SIMONE







We are told that God will punish the wicked. That sinful men will reap what they sow. We are told to scourge our souls with prayer and pain to become clean once again.

Well, here I am. Wicked and sinful. Desperate to become clean…even though it feels so good to be dirty.

But even I never expected what came next. 

Even I never expected my punishment to come so soon.

***Midnight Mass is a novella and a sequel to Priest. It’s intended for mature audiences only.***




Oh my my how excited I was to get Father Bell back on my kindle,  I had missed him so. Priest was possibly one of the hottest books i have read but the passion our couple had dimmed a little with Tyler being so busy busy being a student and writing his dissertation. The couple have been married about 3 years at this point and Poppy is feeling neglected and Tyler is feeling possessive as ever and jealous of Anton, Poppy’s co worker. as ever Miss Simone knows how to write sex scenes that sizzle and i was left a little breathless after one or two sessions. it hurt my heart to see Tyler so at odds with himself and questioning his decision to leave the clergy. i must admit poppy had the patience of a saint because i would have kicked off way sooner than she did. its not a long book more novella size and was perfect to get a little hot father bell action before christmas.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

**REVIEW ** MARKED HEARTS BOX SET by M SEMBERA


Four full-length stand alone novels and one novella interconnecting four couples that will make you fall in love, laugh, cry, swoon, and believe in second chances. 

No matter what losses are suffered in life, for there will always be pain, never lose sight of love. There is strength in the ability to accept and to give love. It takes you past your scars, beyond your fears, and forever lays a permanent mark upon your heart. Love endures everything. 

Enduring Everything #1 
Charlotte #2 
One Penny #3 
C&A Novella #3.5 
Marked Heart #4 

Enduring Everything 
A Marked Heart Novel #1 
Time doesn't always heal old wounds. Often time makes them worse. Especially when you push those wounds to the back of your mind and focus on the life you want to lead. Then the day comes when you finally have everything. It is then, you realize that nothing ever goes away. 

Charlotte 
A Marked Heart Novel #2 
The true measure of a person's worth lies not within what they can offer you but what you have to offer them. No matter how desirable, are they worth your time, patience, forgiveness, loyalty, friendship, love, respect, understanding, compassion, trust? If not, they are worth more than you have to offer. They deserve for you to let them go. 

One Penny 
A Marked Heart Novel #3 
Foolish is the heart that leaves itself open to falling in love. Reckless is the person who steps away from tradition to claim a life of their own. Irreplaceable is the moment one takes the risk. 

C&A Novella 
A Marked Heart Novel #3.5 
He was all the things she really wanted and never bothered to look for in a man. He was also the most stubborn jackass she had ever met. 
She was an infuriating pain in the ass, and he'd be damned straight to hell if he had to spend even one day without her by his side. 

Marked Heart 
A Marked Heart Novel #4 
A marked heart, longing for the one is nothing more than a restless heart, burdened by a lie. 

ENDURING EVERYTHING


i adored the Renillia series and couldn't wait to dive into Enduring everything. This was a lovely story about Jacks, Ren and also the beginning of Charlottes story. As per usual i love M Sembera’s emotional writing and this was a nice continuation of Ren and Jacks story. I really worried over poor Charlotte and her issues but Ren was amazing in her part as Charlottes helper. 

CHAROTTE 

Charlotte is home and nobody seems happy about that. Charlotte was a deeply troubled girl when she left and she has returned to beg her former beau Wills forgiveness before he dies. Charlotte brings along her boyfriend who is assumed will propose after speaking with her father.  Charlotte and Auggie have never got on intact he says she is not welcome in his bar but this doesn't deter her form becoming best friends with his sister penny and when her boyfriend goes and leaves her there for 3 months she decides to keep good on her promise to will and help out Auggie. this book was my favourite so far Charlotte and Auggie are so messed up it is hard to believe they are meant to be. A fabulous hate to love story that sucks you in and holds you there until its over. 

ONE PENNY 

This is a sweet book with very little angst. To be honest the blurb didn't wow me but the book was much better than i expected from the blurb. I really enjoyed the book and read it n a few hours , it certainly kept my attention. Seth as a character made me swoon and shake my head at the same time thats always a plus sign. Penny was a bit too bloody nice for me but i felt like she worked with Seth as they bother came across as really genuine people.  I think i connected to Seth more because of his anxiety issues as i myself suffer. The book is well written and fun to read. there's a pleasant mix of drama in the book but not so much it spoils it, all round its a lovely pleasant read.

C & A NOVELLA 

Getting married is rarely plain sailing but for Charlotte an Auggie its a roller coaster.  An amusing but not funny story about the preparation for a wedding and the angst and family drama that goes with it. It has some emotional parts but its a quick easy read and i thought was a perfect ending for our Charlotte and Auggie.


MARKED HEART 

I enjoy Mary’s books and she has now become a friend which i think is lovely. This series, the books are all intermingled but standalone’s. I have read some and not others and it doesn't matter at all. I think I'm in love with Braden, he is beautifully written and i just felt something ( i hope he felt it too ;). I actually didn't like Liv at all, i thought she would grow on me but i kept wishing Braden would find somebody who deserved him. Again like many of the books i read Mary has an easy writing style that is nice and EASY to read. All the series is based around the Tattoo parlour and the “marked hearts” i only have one negative point which was the book was kinda slow until 40% but 40-100% were finished in one go. if you like a good romance then this series is for you xox







Monday, 11 January 2016

**REVIEW** DISHEVELED by EVE LENOIR



This was a perfectly pleasant and fun alpha billionaire story.  I hate serial books I usually wait for the end of a series before reading as a whole. I gave this a 3.5 *rating because I enjoyed reading it  but it wasn't a great read. I wasn't pulled in by the story and I forgot the characters names while writing this review. The book ISN’T badly written but easily forgettable  and I like books that I simply can not put down. In a world where we have so many  alpha billionaire books there needs to be something that is a focal point and there isn't really anything special about this story for me. If you are after a light fun read then this is the book for you. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

**REVIEW** BE MY DECEMBER by RACHEL BROOKES



I knew the exact moment I’d become a ‘yes’ girl. 
December 16th, a cold winter’s night, four years ago. 
The night my innocence was stolen, the night I made the mistake of saying no—a mistake I’d never make again. 
The dream of a ‘happily ever after' was now a locked away myth. I promised myself that I’d never return to the place of my worst nightmare, that I’d never let anyone get close, but then again, I never thought I’d meet someone like him. 
The intense, confident and beautiful Ky Crawford.

I had no plans to become someone’s Prince Charming. 
I couldn’t be. I refused to be. My plan was simple—do whatever it takes to correct my biggest mistake, my one regret that now controlled my life. 
I was on track. I had plans, but then everything changed when I saw her—the girl in the red jacket, the girl who I was told couldn’t say no. 
The reserved yet stunning Eden Rivers.

A girl who can’t say no.
A guy who craves redemption.
A chance encounter?

It all comes down to this.
One question.
One month.

Be My December? 







This was a proper emotional read. it pulled my heart out and stamped on it several times. Rape is a hard subject to write about and this book was written sensitively and was well thoughtout. Rape is featured so if that is a trigger then please don't read. i really enjoyed this book and of course i fell for Ky. Poor Eden is such a tortured soul and going back to her home town where “IT” happened is just too much for her so she pretends to be someone else. Her alter ego Kellie attracts guy at a bar and due to the rape she can not say no so when he is a little forceful she simply cant say no and goes with him knowing it could be dangerous. Prince charming Ky comes to the rescue but it isn't all  as it seems and both Ky and Eden have secrets they want to protect but they find them selves swept up in a plan, Ky asks her to be his for December while she is in town and he will prove she can say no. Ky has his own issues of guilt and even though he shouldn't feel that way he does and now  he makes it his mission to protect Eden. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

**REVIEW ** WORK OF ART COLLECTION by RUTH CLAMPETT











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A stroke of beauty
a palette of pain
a rendering of passion
…creating a work of art

In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?

Ava Jacobs is diligently working toward an art career of her own when she’s swept off her feet by the self-destructive artist — creating a world of sensuality and all-consuming love. But will the pain of the past and turmoil of the present make their future uncertain? From desire and mystery to a muse that almost slips away, The Work of Art Collection will be the inspiration that has you breathless for the unveiling of their final masterpiece.


This beautifully written love story is finally being released as a collection (complete box set) for the first time and includes new material and extras.












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“Max, I realize now I have to live my life with passion and go after exactly what I want.”
“What do you want, Ava?” His eyes search my expression for what’s still unspoken.
I look at him and smile before I hurl myself off the cliff. The anticipation
of the freefall is delicious, because I’m sure of where I’m going to land. I pause to study him for our final moment as two separate people.
Standing before me is my sparking live wire…his mind a verdant forest to endlessly wander. His uncontainable spirit swirls around me, lifting me off the ground. My cheeks are windburned and my heart wildly racing from the sheer force of it.
My gaze travels along his jaw, across his shoulders and down his thighs. I’m desperately hungry, because his body and his beautiful face
are the physical manifestation of everything I’ve ever desired.
My friend, my greatest love…my Max.
He looks at me expectantly.
“You,” I whisper. “I want you.”
           “Oh, Ava.” His voice is heavy with emotion as he steps forward
and pulls me into his powerful arms. All of the longing we’ve suffered
through now defines the surge of passion between us. His hands press
into me as if in prayer.
My next breath catches with a sob, and tears of joy and relief paint
my face. But he gently brushes them away and kisses the salty remains.
           A shade of disbelief and confusion lingers. “You want me?” he whispers,
as if he’s hoping so much to believe me. His lips graze my cheek,
pausing so close to mine. I imagine he wants to breathe in my response,
draw it inside and let it course through him like the blood that keeps
his heart beating.
I grab his arms and shake him, my voice heated and urgent. I’m
desperate to have him understand. “You have to know…I may have
fought it, but you’re all I’ve ever wanted. I don’t want to deny it for
another day, another moment.”
This time he sways, rocks forward, and lifts me into his embrace.
Our kiss is desperate as our hearts join together. I’m drunk with
his taste, my tongue sliding across his, my teeth grazing his bottom lip
before I sink further into him. His passion intoxicates me until I float
out of my body to watch the scene before me.
We’re in a Maxfield Parrish amber-dipped landscape redefining the
cinematic kiss. I imagine we’re near the edge of a cliff with the world
laid out before us. The sun’s about to sink behind the horizon while we
hold onto each other, bracing against the wind of all our past experiences
as they whip past us. It’s a masterpiece. This moment should be
in an elaborately gilded frame hanging in the Louvre.



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When an artist works at her craft long enough, she creates something so beautiful, it needs to be called a “collection.” Ruth Clampett has achieved this by creating three beautiful pieces in her compelling “Work of Arts” collection. As a former graphic designer and practicing (being the operative word!) artist and someone who appreciates art in all its forms, I immediately fell in love with the use of art in this collection. I am obsessed with “tortured artists” and bad boy Maxwell Caswell embodies this archetypal character so authentically. The world Max exists in, and Ava Jacobs is trying to join, can seem like a foreign land, filled with language and customs that many of us are not familiar with. It is immediately obvious that Clampett has an intimate background in the art world and I treasure her for inviting us into this universe. I absolutely loved this journey into the heart of two artists and their creative processes. I love Clampett in a whole new way as she shows all of us the deep angst of creativity and the pain of being true to your craft.

The first piece is called The Inspiration. It is a gripping story that was everything I expected and more. From the moment Ava and Max encounter one another, Max feels something that seems predestined and compelling. Max is quick to notice that Ava is a “calming force”, and he is drawn to her. But because Max is well known for sleeping with a different “art groupie” every night, Ava believes he is not someone she would ever date. As a writer, Ava is a creative force in her own right and is intelligent and driven. Ava is interested in the art scene for her own professional reasons and not just to “find a boyfriend.” 

From the first meeting, Ava and Max’s sexual tension is obvious. These two engage in the dance of intimacy, swapping the pursuer and distancer roles, trading back and forth throughout this first installment. Clampett outright pulls on our heartstrings as we watch these two characters attempt to avoid pain and yet don’t yet realize that their heart wrenching angst is created by the avoidance itself. The relationship is emotionally charged and the roller coaster ride is romantic, sexy, and infuriating at the same time. 

Clampett’s writing is beautiful, and I immediately fell in love with Max. I was right with Ava, when she thinks to herself, “I am aroused watching him. I want to be the canvas his hands are moving over, stroking and blending—his work of art.” But in true “Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler” style, they are at cross-purposes and their timing is out of sync. Both have obvious personal demons, although at times Max’s baggage seems like a United Van lines truck compared to Ava’s small trunk.

The story develops with some very intriguing secondary characters, including Jonathan, an influential man in the art world that takes a shine to Ava. Ava’s roommate Riley and Max’s friend Jess round out some characters I grew to love also. They were important parts of the story, not just extraneous sprinklings around the two main characters. 

Max and Ava’s relationship evolves as their careers develop adding another dimension to the story that held my interest throughout. The crescendo of The Inspiration is when Ava realizes, “Max has broken my heart. And perhaps through all of the events that led us here, his heart is broken as well.” Sob. 

The second act is called The Unveiling.  This piece picks up right where book one left us hanging, with three defaced paintings and a missing Max. The plot thickens and I am smitten. I came to understand Max’s broody and erratic behavior more in this even more compelling installment in the Collection. Max is a real flawed human being, endowed with special gifts that can overwhelm him at times. He is not unrealistically perfect; he’s just a man. One minute you are cheering for Max and the next you want to slap him silly!
This next chapter in the lives of Max and Ava lets us peek inside the development of their friendship and the fiery consummation of their love. Yet, once again Clampett forces us to get inside the roller-coaster car, pull down the bar, and hang on for the ride. These two have some of the most heartbreaking lover’s quarrels that broke this reader’s heart to read. Watching Ava come to understand Max in his jealous fits and his need for reassurance is heart warming and at the same time makes me love Ava even more.
The storyline is so full of drama and action that at times I wondered if this was a romantic comedy, drama, or a mystery novel. Clampett pushes/pulls on her characters and her readers at the same time, and I for one loved it. As the realization dawns on Ava, “Like there was ever a question—he owns me. He probably has all along; it’s just taken me all this time to figure it out,” we breathe a premature sigh of relief for our star-crossed lovers. 

I love the truth of their relationship, the passion of creating a relationship while trying to create a life’s work. It is raw and dark at times, yet it shines so bright at others. Whether Max is “diagnosable” or not, we love him, just as he is. From New Mexico to Barcelona our characters travel a rocky road. Clampett continues to remind us through The Unveiling that “The course of true love never did run smooth.” We are left on a balcony, wondering what simple words could cause Ava and Max to go from “No one will ever touch what we have” to unraveling again.

As all good collections should, Clampett’s ends with the aptly title, The Masterpiece, the final installment in the WORK OF ART series. This piece depicts a perfectly imperfect couple facing issues that would challenge any couple. The dual forces of Max’s past and Ava’s future collide in this crescendo piece. Once again this story feels uniquely intimate and enticing.

I really don’t want to leave this review with any spoilers so I will just say that I loved this collection. As this third piece evolved, I was left madly in love with this couple, this world, and Ruth Clampett, as I had to watch the percentage of unread words shrinking. I was actually grieving as I read The Masterpiece, savoring every word between these two characters. Watching these two humans create themselves, and their relationship was a thing to behold. This dramatic and passionate conclusion was deeply satisfying and at the same time left me “book bereft.”

Perhaps that is why Clampett offers us The Extra’s and Liz’s Boys. Ruth is lovingly weaning us slowly off of the passion, conflict, angst and humanity of Max and Ava and the beauty of her words.

Ruth Clampett, thank you for taking all this loveliness and putting it into a beautiful package. These beautiful pieces in your collection will live forever together, just as we hope Max and Ava do. Ruth, thank you for this journey, thank you for facing your own angst of your creative impulse and being true to your craft. Thank you for Max and Ava, they are in my library forever.




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Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.
The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom.
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