Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good review from Night Owl Romance!

Painted Lady
Street Date: 2009-07-22

Author(s): Maggie Anderson Website
Genre(s): Historical
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60394-332-1
Print Book Price:
E-Book Price: $4.99
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Score: (3.75 out of 5)

Painted Lady is really two parallel stories that dance all around each other, hooking up occasionally, but mostly just mirroring and teasing one another. In one story, set in 2008 London, two actors -- Astrid and Dylan -- develop a relationship on the set of a film in which they portray lovers. They haven't met before, and both are coming off of unsuccessful relationships. They experience a spark not unexpected between two beautiful people, and a brief romance ensues. It's a modern romance, replete with guilt-free sex and that zero-sum tug between relationship and career, between fierce independence and wanting to be part of an "us." The addition of a villain, a thoroughly despicable man who wants to sleep with Astrid and coincidentally plays the bad guy in her movie, provides an interesting subplot, a device that brings the principal characters together when Astrid might have otherwise sweltered in indecision.

It also provides one of the several motifs that echo in the other story, which depicts the historical events upon which the "movie" is based. As Painted Lady progresses, it becomes clear that this second plot arc is really the meat and bones of the romance. It deals with the true-love affair of the historical figures in Astrid's movie: 19th century artist's model Gina and wealthy Irishman Blair. Details of 19th century London, Ireland, and Scotland are vivid and compelling, and the archetypal traits of the characters come through very clearly: Gina's strength, Blair's loyalty, Ogilvie's villainy.

Fragile threads -- yellow roses, Irish eyes -- lace the stories together, but they never really overlap. A stronger connection between the two stories, perhaps a plot twist that bound them together or a lesson learned from the history and applied to the contemporary arc, would have been a bonus, but even tenuously connected, the stories were interesting and exciting.

Book Blurb & Info for Painted Lady


Were Astrid and Dylan merely caught up in their roles as they performed the screenplay based on the life of painter Milo Russo and his daughter, Gina? Or was the magic that seemed to explode between them with each on-screen kiss real?


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