Six months ago, Stefan Cobbe was at rock bottom: grief-stricken, guilt ridden, debt laden, artistically blocked, and living on charity in an isolated mountain cabin. But after reconciling with his first love, Luke, and moving to Sarasota with him, Stefan is preparing for his first major show. Yes, he still has debts, and no, Luke doesn’t understand Stefan’s desire for independence. But compared to last year? No contest.
Luke Morganstern ought to be happy. After all, his art-investigation business has recovered and he’s got his boyfriend back. But Stefan stubbornly refuses to move in with him or accept Luke’s financial help, and it’s really starting to bug him. Who knew that the biggest test of their relationship wouldn’t be time or distance, but his own insecurities? After Luke’s next job—a trip to Italy to retrieve a mysterious artifact—he plans to convince Stefan that it’s time to totally commit.
But when Luke returns, he changes, and Stefan begins to suspect that the person in Luke’s skin isn’t Luke at all. He can hardly go to the police and claim his lover is the victim of a supernatural hijacking though. He needs alternative help to find Luke and get him back, because he refuses to let anyone—or anything—come between them again.
Publisher's note: The Art Medium collection is available in both ebook and print.
Russell's solid second paranormal Art Medium romance (after The Artist's Touch) hums smoothly along from the first page to the last. Sarasota artist Stefan Cobbe should be on top of the world: he's making some money, and his relationship with Luke Morganstern, a dealer of artifacts, couldn't be better (except for the pesky fact that Luke's not quite ready to move in with him). But when Luke comes back from a work trip to Italy, he's suddenly like another person. It soon becomes clear that a misguided ceramics artist has given Luke's body to her evil partner, Signor Jacques DiBartolo, and swapped Luke into Jacques's body, which has been incapacitated by a stroke. Luke has to find a way to let Stefan know who he really is and figure out how to get out of Jacques's body and back into his own. The body-snatching, while slightly improbable, works well enough, and colorful supporting characters, such as salty psychic Peg and ghost Hootie, have some appeal, as do occasional snarky asides. A hair-raising finale finishes off the tale in fine form.