Can love be more than a four-letter word?
Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.
Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.
When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.
After reading Love Me Later, I was psyched to read this second book. Art-Crossed Love has a much different story than Libby Rice's first book in this series, but it is still totally in line with the series and her writing! Libby Rice is not an author that writes the same characters over and over again. Cole Rathlen has had a couple rough years and is just trying to make it through each day, and Lissa Blanc won't let up. She has her own demons that compromise their work and romance, but she sees the worthy heart beneath Cole's stoic exterior and keeps at Cole until he's putty in her hands.
Not only are the characters interesting, there's also an intriguing mystery, a realistic take on the tortured mind, and a very clear glimpse of northern India. It's obvious that the author writes places she knows. India came alive for me.
I started this good on a busy family Sunday. I had to send my kids off with husband because I knew there would be no stopping till the end. I read straight through to the last page. I wanted to know who dunnit? Could Cole and Lissa really fall in love? Could this be one of the hottest books on record?! For sure!