THE ART OF ROMANCE
Misconceptions arise when meddling matriarchs connive
Sassy Evans and Perty Bradley are determined to get their older grandchildren married off, but when twenty-eight year old Dylan comes home after being fired from his teaching position because of the betrayal of his ex-girlfriend, Perty knows her grandson has more important issues to deal with first.
Sassy understands her friend's reservations about timing, but she also sees so many ways in which Dylan would be the perfect match for her thirty-four year old granddaughter Caylor. With his record of acclaimed paintings and Caylor's bestselling novels, they could complement each other's talents and provide each other support and encouragement. And there's no denying the spark of attraction between the English professor with the untamed red hair and the painter with the unusual tattoos.
But neither grandmother realizes the secrets both Caylor and Dylan are keeping from each other. Will pain and embarrassment from the past keep Caylor and Dylan apart, or will they develop the courage to be truthful with each other and discover the true art of romance?
Clever, clever, clever ending...but don't start there, begin at the beginning and trust me when I say you'll be impressed by the clever, clever, clever ending. :-)
This isn't your typical romance. It's full of surprises -- like the age difference between Caylor and Dylan with Dylan being younger. I think it was a pretty gutsy move on the author's part but she pulled it off. Then there's Dylan's background and more importantly how it affected his self-esteem and the way he reacted around others. He doesn't come off as your typical strong, take-charge hero. He had a past that left him with issues and in a way they emasculated him to some extent. Another gutsy move by Dacus but again she more than pulled it off by fleshing out Dylan's history, gradually feeding us the information we needed to understand him. And then she gives him a lion's heart for determining change and we get to watch as he struggles and conquers issues that have all but crippled him in some areas of his life.
Though this book is rich in relationships, the focus isn't on romance...not for the first half of the book anyway. The intent is there -- Caylor and Dylan's attraction for each other is evident but there are too many obstacles in their way and Dacus takes us on a journey over months as they both work on themselves -- Dylan in particular. Another gutsy move for a romance.
We first met Caylor's friends, Zarah and Flannery in Love Remains which was Zarah's love story. They are back - and there is lots of girl time in The Art of Romance. In fact one of the highlights of the book for me is Zarah's Say-Yes-to-the-Dress-like visit to New York City with entourage in tow.
Not to be out done, Dylan has some quality guy time with his brothers and I wonder if Dacus has plans for another series featuring the three Bradley brothers.
All in all this was an unexpected read but an enjoyable one. Kudos to Dacus for striking away from the usual romantic formula.
Giveaway: If you would like a chance at winning a copy of The Art of Romance please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Giveaway isn't limited by boundaries. I'm in Canada and will ship anywhere. Draw will be held on Sunday June 12.