Published by Self-Published on November 5, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Daniel’s got everything figured out. He makes a good living as an artist ... mostly through offering "private shows" to the wives of local wealthy businessmen. He never stops playing the game and never lets anyone touch his heart. But when his current fling offers him a few hundred an hour for art lessons for her reclusive, college-dropout daughter, Daniel finds himself forgetting his own rules. The girl is rude. Insulting. Incredible.
And she sees straight through him.
Stella is hiding from the world, not because she wants to, but because crippling panic attacks await her every time she tries to live a normal life. She's determined to push everyone--including her handsome new art teacher—away. But Daniel makes it utterly impossible. The guy is irritating. Mocking. Magnetic.
And makes her want things she knows she can never have.
What starts as a battle of wills turns into passion, where giving in means facing the things that scare them most.
Daniel took the term “man whore” to a whole ‘nother level. He is this talented young artist that provides private lessons to upper class married women in exchange for referrals and commissions. For him, his current lifestyle is a win-win situation. He is creating art which he loves, has unlimited amounts of sex and gets his bills paid while doing so. His life is simple, unattached and uncomplicated up until his current flame Liza manipulates him into giving her “mentally disabled” daughter Stella art lessons.
Stella does not want anything to do with her mothers’ attractive “mister” but she isn’t really given a choice in the matter. It was either agree to take part of the chosen therapy or be forced to do something far more worse. She decides to accept the lesser evil. She however doesn’t make it easy for Daniel. She ends up challenging him at every turn. So many circumstances throw them together they start to develop this unexplainable bond. As much as he wants to remain apathetic to her predicament he can’t help starting to feel….feel so much more than he has ever experienced before.
From the very start I found this story intriguing. I wanted to know why such an intelligent and outgoing twenty year old all so suddenly becomes a recluse. What happened in her life that made her so debilitated by these unexplainable panic attacks? After getting to know Stella more I couldn’t help feel empathy for the poor girl. She was so weak and vulnerable and had a not so supportive family helping her through things. She was doing the best that she possibly could given the circumstances. As the story goes on, she flourishes into this wise and courageous woman who I absolutely adored.
“I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so, the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Daniel seems to be this over-confident man but deep inside he is convinced that he isn’t as talented or as capable. He thinks he needs his sexuality to succeed in his profession. Stella can see right through his facade. They aren’t that different as they would have imagined. He is just as debilitated as she is but in a different context. As they find their common ground he unexpectedly starts changing his views and his ways. From the very start I knew he had it in him – to be so loving and caring since he had this amazing relationship with his family.
Their relationship develops from a questionable friendship into something much more. It changes slowly over time – from a low simmer into boiling point. That was one of the factors that made this book terrific. I thought that the couple were very much compatible – emotionally, intellectually and physically. I adored their bickering in the beginning and also the playfulness which I found endearing. I was tickled how one grown ass man would be willing to do something that seemed so childish just to make this woman that he hardly knew happy.
For me, this story had just the right amount of tension because of the so-called intricate relations. I thought the flow was superb. It was later towards the end that we finally discover what really went on with Stella but at that point it really didn’t matter to me as long as she was taking control of her life and striving to get better.
The only thing that I found unsatisfying about this book was the lack of an epilogue. I felt a little short-changed. Don’t get me wrong, there was a very much HEA. It’was just that I had become fully vested in the characters that I really wanted to know what happens to them 3-5 years down the road. I am hoping that the author plans on expanding on their story or at least mention them in future books.
I also won’t neglect to mention the authors creativity on how she was able to manipulate one remarkable classic to further compliment her story. Likewise I appreciated it for its depth as well as its insight. It did have this Jerry Springer “eeeek factor” moments but for me that was one of the many elements that made it worthwhile.
I have to admit that I have never read anything from this author and after thoroughly enjoying this story I would have to say she definitely acquired a new fan.