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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Strokes by Ashlyn Chase and Dalton Diaz

Strokes by Ashlyn Chase and Dalton Diaz
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Book reviewer Darcy Dennison wants to wring her neighbor’s neck. That’s a crying shame considering how gorgeous the artist is, but she needs peace and quiet to get her work done. Models throwing fits in his apartment don’t help.

On a temporary work visa, Paolo Santori has little time to paint his nudes before returning to Italy to marry a woman he doesn’t love. Then Darcy bursts into his life. The solution to her noise complaints is simple—she’ll model his favorite subject while she works.

Making her glisten thrills them both, but falling in love could mean losing everything he’s ever known.

Who’d have thought a little bit of noise would lead to a potential muse? And who knew it would be so hot to read about!

I’ve read other works my Ms. Chase and loved it so when this one became available, I had to nab it. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the introduction to Dalton Diaz’s work and feel the combination of the two authors is great. From page one I felt like I was right there with Darcy and Paolo trying to find a happy medium in what could’ve been a sticky situation. I loved the modeling sessions and would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall. Seeing Paolo and Darcy making love was palpable. The passion and the desire were thick enough to cut with a knife.

Paolo cracked me up. When he got flustered, he returned to his native tongue and spoke too fast for Darcy to even begin to understand. Readers can relate. I know when I get flustered, I stumble over myself to explain whatever it is I’m talking about. I also liked that he was an artist. His affection for her feminine parts was sweet, because he wanted to glorify, not demean. His confliction was easy for the reader to relate to as well. He wanted to follow his heart but at what cost?

Darcy was interesting, but if I had any complaints it was wanting to know more about her. Although the story comes from her POV, I wanted to know more about her — what did she write reviews for? What books did she read? It was alluded to, but I’m nosy. I wanted to know more. Still, it wasn’t enough to deter me or keep me from loving this story.

If you want a story that’s steamy and soul-filled, then you need to read Strokes. I’m recommending it to all my friends. I give this book a 4.5 cherry rating.

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