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Finishing up the Alphabet Challenge:

Since I’m only doing ten books per challenge, this book will wrap up the Alphabet Challenge for me. For the letter “P,” I’ve read Artistic License by Elle Pierson (aka Lucy Parker) published in 2014. The book is only 178 pages and is an E-book.

This story is a contemporary set in New Zealand. (The author is also from New Zealand.) Our heroine, Sophy James is a 24 year old art student who specializes in sculpting. She is also a somewhat reticent figure. Although very social with those close to her, she’s shy and doesn’t do well with strangers. Mick Hollister, is a 34 year old, security specialist, who comes from a well-to-do family from whom he is estranged. The two of them meet at an art exhibit being held at a hotel. Even though Mick has long seen himself as a rather plain, brutish looking fellow, Sophy spots him and immediately sees him as an interesting subject for a project she wants to do for an art competition. But before that can be addressed, there’s an attempted heist at the exhibit, putting Sophy in the middle of the investigation and suddenly she’s got Mick’s attention — both in terms of getting the bad guys, but also in terms of protecting her … and perhaps something more.

This story reminded me a bit of a throwback to romances of the past. The heroine, although intelligent and talented, is socially awkward and even has an asthma condition that makes her appear needy — as viewed by the hero. And the hero is an alpha who is protective and hovers over the heroine. The author tries to soft pedal this by giving the heroine a more outgoing side job and allowing the hero to give her some space, but I honestly felt this was very old school. That being said the hero’s relationship with his family was interesting although not adequately explained – in my opinion. (Frankly, they just appeared to be ugly people for no reason.) And, of course, the setting was interesting and clearly well described since the author is a native. But, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I did her later work, Act Like It, as Lucy Parker. I’d give it a B.


The Cocktail Challenge – 9 down, 1 to go.

Alphabet Challenge – 10 down (A, B, C, G, H, J, K, M, P, & Q) – complete