A promising debut with some snappy dialogue and delicious innuendo. Unfortunately, the rest is a little nanna for me.
This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for a list of books I’ve read so far.
Vera is recovering from a long bout of illness and is preparing to take her first leap away from her comfort zone by going to Spain when she is invited to exhibit her work in a gallery owned by her late mentor’s brother, Leeson (‘He has a Wikipedia entry and everything.’). Leeson is attracted to Vera, and he knows she won’t just go to bed with anyone, but he refuses to commit to a relationship due to personal issues he’s been harbouring since he was a kid. Vera has trust and self-esteem issues of her own, but eventually, she agrees to a fling and revels in how Leeson makes her feel—normal.
Australian author Madeline Ash’s debut shows promise. The dialogue between Vera and Leeson is snappy, modern and full of delicious innuendo. Their flirtation is subtle, wonderful and thrilling. Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect between the dialogue and the narrative, which has a more old-fashioned tone to it.
To be frank, it was a little nanna for me. This feeling is exacerbated by having a 25-year old virgin heroine who is not only an artist but an artist with no business sense whatsoever. (She prices her work according to her intuition about the buyer’s love for the work.) This character is a little too 80s for me, and I’m not sure if peasant skirts are mentioned, but if not, then I certainly imagined her wearing them.
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