(Image from Barnes & Noble)
After the devastating scandal that broke her heart and shattered all the illusions of happiness her fancy Manhattan life seemed to offer, Lia Carswell came home. Six years later, she's still too paralyzed to paint the pictures that made her famous. Instead, she throws her energy into less lucrative projects—slinging hash at a local diner, babysitting her 3-year-old niece, and soaking fresh mountain air into her soul. She's too busy helping her younger sister make ends meet to worry about petty things like romance and art. But both are about to come crashing back into her life. With a vengeance.
When Lia receives word that a wealthy buyer would like to commission a painting from her, she wants—desperately—to refuse. She promised herself she would never again allow pieces of her heart to be sold to the highest bidder. And yet, her niece needs expensive therapy to help with her developmental delays. Lia can't afford to say no to any paycheck, let alone one that could send Chloe to the best school around.
Crippled by fear and doubt, Lia picks up her brush. While she struggles to find the muse that turned her art into the most sought after in New York, she's got another problem: Aidan. A regular at the diner, he's determined to break her hard shell. Lia's not into players and their games. Maybe her laidback, ski-obsessed neighbor has a better chance of warming her heart?
As Lia rides the ups and downs of her suddenly complicated life, she must re-discover who she really is and what she truly wants. But knowing her heart means finding the courage to follow where it leads, a risk Lia's not sure she can ever take again ...
Melanie Jacobson has published six novels. I've read them all. I've liked them all. But, this one? My favorite. Hands down. At less than two hundred pages, Painting Kisses is a quick, enjoyable read. Unlike her other books, Jacobson's newest is written for a mainstream audience instead of an LDS one—still, aside from a little innuendo, it's as clean and uplifting as her previous novels. Filled with her trademark warmth and wit, this one seriously gave me all the feels. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me swoon ... Was the story predictable? Absolutely. Contrived? Yep. Did I care? No. (Okay, a little.) Overall, though, I loved this one. It spoke to me. Jacobson once told me she was determined to write a story that would earn an A from me. Guess what, Melanie? You did it.
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for sexual innuendo
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Painting Kisses from the generous folks at Covenant Communications in exchange for my participation in the book's blog tour. Thank you!
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