Author: Anne Whitney
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Marina Phillips has spent her entire life as her father’s victim. But enough is enough. All it took was one moment of realization to send her fleeing across the country into the unknown of New York City with no plans and no money. A new life without the constant torture is all she wants, but what she finds waiting is something she never expected.
Fitz is New York’s premiere playboy artist. Sexy, tattooed, and coveted by women and men alike, his performances are heralded as the coming of a new god of modern art. But when Marina wanders into his show, she becomes the inadvertent piece he’s always waited for – a girl to sculpt, to change, and to craft in his own image.
She never expects to fall head over heels into the world of parties, drag queens, agents, and artists craving for her and her benefactor. She didn’t even expect to begin falling in love with someone like Fitz, the sexy, pretentious man of her nightmares.
Above all, Marina never expects her father to stage a cross-country mission to paint her as a kidnapped girl taken by a psychopath.
With her life on the line, Marina has no choice but to accept Fitz’s proposal – change everything she is, inside and out, for the chance to start anew. But Marina has plans of her own. Plans that will rock her world forever.
Once in a while a book falls into your lap that blows you away. When Megan from Book Brats announced the opportunity to be part of Anne Whitney’s blog tour, I couldn’t pass up the chance especially after reading the synopsis. Anne Whitney’s debut, The Art of Love, is what all New Adult books should emulate.
Character development is strong and we get to know each one to the point that they become personal friends. I really liked the personal journey Marina makes. When we first meet her, she’s a bit shy and uneasy and then she grows into her confidence. I adored Fitz! I was bit unsure how to react to him, but he’s kind and knows how to help someone in need. Your heart will break for him when you understand his past and you’ll see him a different light. Fitz introduces Marina to his inner circle, Viridian and Derek. Viridian is an artist like Fitz, but her area differs. Whereas, Fitz focuses on performance art, Viridian is trying to make it as a painter. Derek, on the other hand, is Fitz’s half brother and he’s a drag queen who takes Marina under his wing.
The writing is engaging and witty. Narration is first person told via Marina and it makes sense since this is her journey. Although I’m not a fan of first person perspective because it limits what the other characters are thinking, Whitney does a good job and at no point did I feel it was necessary to know the thoughts of others. Marina’s description of what is happening and even a character’s reaction was enough for me. It was raw and it felt like you were in the room. The scene where Marina meets Fitz for the first time will have laughing out loud and it’s such a memorable scene. At the same time, you can feel Marina’s awkwardness and if she’s blushing, you know you are too. The conflict in The Art of Love isn’t a love triangle and yet there’s no real conflict. Most of what Marina is running from happens off stage and it when it comes to light, you’ll be cheering her on for leaving. I’m not going to go into detail about her past because it would be a spoiler.
What I loved about The Art of Love was the realness Whitney not only gives us a strong female character, but one that isn’t afraid to stand on her own two feet. Furthermore, we have a hero that we can truly love. New Adult is saturated with abusive bad boys and filled with instant love, not here. She also gives us a realistic sex scene and ending. I apologize if you heard me screaming, “hell yeah,” because it was refreshing to read. Most importantly, Whitney delivers the message that all New Adult books fail to deliver and that is, it’s important to know who you are, live life, and then open yourself to a relationship. I freaking loved that Marina wasn’t afraid to say she didn’t know about love because she had never been loved and wanted to discover herself.
I want to take a moment to touch upon art and the art scene included in the book. You don’t have to be an art aficionado to enjoy this. I truly believe everyone will walk away with an appreciation or at least an interest in finding out more. Performance art is one area that I’m not too familiar with, but Whitney encouraged me to learn more. I don’t want readers to be put off thinking The Art of Love is inundated with talk about art and that they won’t understand it because even though art is central to the book, it doesn’t dominate it.
My favorite quotes:
“It’s hard when you’re eye level with a man’s naked twig and berries dangling like Christmas ornaments.”
“You’ve got a longer enemies list than Nixon. Is your apartment Watergate now?”
“He leads me through the labyrinth of tables occupied by diners who wouldn’t have looked out of place on the first class decks of the Titanic.”
If you’re looking for a book with heart and that’s real, Anne Whitney’s The Art of Love is the book for you. Anne Whitney dazzles and I can’t wait to read her next book. She’s one you’ll want to watch for.
(click on the banner for the full tour scheduled organized by Book Brats)
Anne Whitney lives near New York City and spends most of her time writing stories in her head. When she’s not putting those stories onto paper, she can be found browsing art galleries, watching sci-fi and reading whatever she can get her hands on.
The Art of Love is her first novel.
Connect with Anne
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads
Anne is hosting a tour wide giveaway! $50 to the Book Depository plus a copy of The Art of Love to one grand prize winner and 10 others will receive a copy of The Art of Love.
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