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Finishing up the Cocktail Challenge:

Tom and Jerry – Read a book about an artist or cartoonist.

To wrap up this part of the challenge, I decided to read Katherine Reay’s A Portrait of Emily Price, published in 2016. The heroine — Emily Price — is an art restorer for an insurance company who aspires to be a painter herself.

This book was reviewed by AAR, and so you’ll find a good description of the plot at this link: https://allaboutromance.com/book-review/a-portrait-of-emily-price/ However, I think I would give the story a lower rating than AAR.

First off, as the review mentions, this story has the hero and heroine falling in love pretty quickly and so their courtship doesn’t involve much conflict. For this reason, I saw it less of a romance-centered story and more of a book about a woman figuring out and finding herself while dealing with fitting in with her new husband’s family. The conflict was mostly internal to the heroine and involved her relationship with supporting characters, surrounding the hero, rather than with the hero. Only towards the end of the book did I wonder if the hero and heroine would remain together and I even felt conflicted about it, which made me realize that I wasn’t very invested in them as a couple. When you’re allegedly reading a romance and you honestly don’t care enough if the main couple remains together, that’s a problem.

Don’t get me wrong — for what the story is — it’s well written. It does an excellent job of describing Emily’s work, her passion for art, her new life in Italy, trying to figure out her place in a family with secrets that have been long buried. I had no problem with any of that, but I wasn’t totally engaged with it, especially when the romance part of the story almost seemed an after thought. I think I’d give this book a B-.

By the way, as the AAR review mentions, this book is an inspirational, but I honestly didn’t see many, if any, overt religious messages. There are scenes set in a church, but that’s about it.


The Cocktail Challenge – 10 down – complete

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