Brush Strokes by Dee Carney
May 25, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Joe has been modeling nude for Tanya for about two months but recently, Tanya has been struggling with her paintings. Joe encourages Tanya to close her eyes and open up her other senses and tells her to touch him. With her eyes closed she starts to experience the contours of his body. This touch session sets off the sexual tension that has been hanging around them for weeks, and it ends with a happy ending for Joe. But it also gives Tanya the push she needs to complete her painting. She has a renewed passion and vigor to her art.
She needs this new energy because her patron, Mr. Killian is ready to show her work. He has invested a lot of money into Tanya and is now demanding six pieces to show and Tanya only has four days to get them all ready. Tanya has started several amazing pieces, but hasn’t finished any of them. Joe has deep feelings for Tanya and is ready to put in the extra hours so she can finish this show, and hopefully realize Joe is means more to her than just a nude model.
Brush Strokes starts off with a very sexually intense scene, as Joe gives Tanya permission to touch him. The sexual tension is very thick, as she slowly goes over his body, and eventually turns into a sexual release for Joe. I like this scene, but I wish the ramifications of what happened between them were explored more. Instead, Tanya gets Joe off, and then there isn’t really any awkwardness between them. Tanya goes off to paint, and Joe continues to moon over Tanya and try to figure out how to get her to really see him.
Shortly after this, a crisis hits Tanya, and Joe is there to pick up the pieces. I kind of felt like Joe is the only one in this book who puts effort into courtship. Even by the end, I didn’t really feel Tanya’s love for Joe. I also had issues with his professionalism. Things get clouded between them as Joe goes from male model to physical lover. Joe gets frustrated (with good reason) at Tanya because he loves her and yet he only sees her looking at him as a model. But he explodes at her at a public event, and it just seemed really immature. He even thinks to himself that she might shun him because they are each of a different race, which seemed to come out of nowhere in the story. All of these issues are deep ones, and I think reasonable to question, yet needed much more time to be explored. I think this novella offers a good start to a relationship, but I wasn’t convinced of the romance. Joe felt too immature and Tanya too wrapped up in her career to appreciate what Joe is to her.