Althea Grant’s Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she’s doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes.
Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modeling for him is the second.
As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all—it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?
While there were things I liked about this story I kept feeling like I wanted a bit more from both of them. There is a sense that the pair are going to make things work but I would have liked seeing them more after her break-thru.
Althea is a stifled artist that opens a gallery in the old district. Unfortunately her gallery isn’t doing so well so when an artist comes in looking to get his works shown there she is understandably wary. Once she sees his work she knows that it won’t work for her conservative gallery and tells him this. He manages to persuade her to let him use her basement space for a place to complete a commissioned work and that is where the fun begins. She’s so locked up in doing the proper thing that she doesn’t have a healthy sense of self but with his guidance you get to see what has been hiding behind an albino’s shell.
Steel was one sexy beast. He works in metal and other medium but his work is so blatantly sexual that heat seems to radiate from him. He’s rough, primal and from the wrong side of the tracks but he’s also just what she needs. He starts to wear her down with his blatant offers until she finally agrees to be his any way he wants once she steps across a line in the basement. He’s so dominant and yet there is something hiding in everything he does to her that makes you believe he really is a good, sensitive man. I loved his reaction when something went to far and found myself melting a bit at his need to feel like she wanted him for more than scratching an itch.
Overall not a bad read but I just wish that we got a bit more after she breaks out of her shell. Thanks to Carina Press and NetGalley.com for a chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. As always you can click the Carina Press link on the sidebar to pick this and other titles up.