Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Fine Work of Art by Shelby Reed

Lots of other people have been doing reviews of ebooks lately so I though I would jump on the bandwagon. AFWOA was my very first ebook which I purchased from Ellora's Cave several years ago. I got a PDA for Christmas in 2003 and it came with Microsoft Reader but I downloaded a free copy of Mobipocket because my library uses that format. I picked this book because someone had made some ebooks recommendations on the RtR message board at AAR and the blurb sounded just my speed since I love younger man/older woman stories.

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.

AFWOA is a character-driven story and is considered a category in length. It was a very quick read and I finished it in one sitting since I found it impossible to put down. Elizabeth and Boone are very likeable, well-drawn characters. Elizabeth with her insecurities and wounded self-esteem, and Boone with his total self confidence (minus arrogance). The growing attraction between Elizabeth and her student, Boone, was handled very realistically. Elizabeth is newly divorced from her cheating husband and feeling vulnerable. She fights her attraction to Boone since teacher/student relationships are big no-nos and he is 12 years younger. But Boone has other ideas. I loved how he is so certain in his approach to her without being aggressive or arrogant. A thoroughly yummy man, just what Elizabeth needs. We see Elizabeth grow in confidence but she backslides into self doubt causing some very emotional intense moments near the end.

The sensuality level was very hot, but not over the top with S&M or kinky stuff. I was afraid that the age difference in this story would turn me off, but it really worked well. Reed is a gifted writer and has been flying under the radar for most readers; a buried treasure author that is not getting enough recognition. I want to try another by her, but I haven't got around to it yet. But I will. If anyone has a recommendation, I'd love to hear it.

My grade: A

I have since re-read this one 3 or 4 times since I take my PDA everywhere and it comes in handy when I have forgotten my current read.

WARNING: Don't click on the 'See More' link if you are at work in case someone is looking over your shoulder. When I bought the ebook version online it had a different cover than the one above and, wow, is it HOT. It shows the gorgeous backside of a sleeping male.

What do you think? Pretty sexy, huh?


Jay said...

lol I clicked anyway. They couldnt find any spray on tan so his ass didn't have to be five shades lighter than his back?

ReneeW said...

But, Jay, that would mean he sunbathes in the nude. Hmmm, yes, I like that thought. By all means, get out the fake tan spray.

Karen Scott said...

I absolutely loved this book Renee, it was fabulous!

ReneeW said...

Yes, asolutely, Karen. I wish I could get some more people to read it.

Dylan said...

LOL, I clicked anyway, I need to put this on my TBB list...pronto!

ShelbyReed said...

Dear Renee,

Thank you so much for this complimentary and lovely review! I'm thrilled you liked it. It's one of my earlier novels, and my first for Ellora's Cave. You should have seen my editor prodding me to add sex scenes. LOL I was such an innocent in those long-ago days...

The cover--ah, the cover. And the hours of ribbing I have received because of that naked butt. The jokes, even three years later, keep rolling at my critique group. They say stuff like, I ASSume you've seen the cover for Shelby's AFWOA. She's BOTTOMed out from being teased. Don't ASSSk her any questions about on and so forth. It's agony. ASStronomically embarrASSing! LOL!! The cover has changed, however, since its early release. The paperback is much tamer, and even the download--if purchased from EC's website--is different.

Thank you, too, to those of you who pick up any of my books. I so appreciate this one's exceptional grade, but I look forward to any comments you have on other titles, "A" or not. :-) I've tried out a couple of fairly risky topics in other stories--combining religion and sex in one about angels, etc. But I try to keep true romance at the heart of every tale.

Thanks again for the beautiful review!


ReneeW said...

Shelby, you are so welcome. Ever since I first read this I have been trying to spread the word about it whenever someone wants an ebook rec. Every person that I have convinced to read it has enjoyed it.

Thanks for sharing about all the teasing you get about that cover. Too funny. Your friends will never let you live that one down. :) I did notice the much tamer cover on the PB and the download. More tasteful but I still like the original. I have a couple more recs from KarenS that I'm going to try. Thanks for stopping by!

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...