Reviewed by Elizabetta

SERIES: True Colors
AUTHOR:
Clare London
BOOKS: 
5
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

True Colors (Book One, True Colors series)

True Colors by Clare London eBookBLURB: From the very first, Zeke Roswell and Miles Winter are like oil and water. After a tragic fire claimed his brother’s life, Zeke’s personal and professional life spiraled out of control, and now he has no choice but to sell his gallery to cover his debts. Enter successful entrepreneur Miles, who buys it and plans to make a commercial success out of Zeke’s failure.

Their initial hostility stands no chance against the strong passion that ambushes them. Zeke’s talent and lust for life intoxicate Miles, and Zeke finds Miles’s self-assurance and determination equally fascinating. But it’s not until an unsolved mystery of violence and stolen sketches threatens to sabotage any chance at happiness that Miles and Zeke realize they have a chance at all.

REVIEW:

Take one hot, passionate, mercurial artist… 

add one cool, collected, sexy entrepreneur… 

and shake vigorously.

What really hooks me in is the simmering attraction between Zeke and Miles. I get drunk on it. Good to remember; the story starts slowly and you have to be patient as the author carefully sketches out personalities and setting.

But patience pays off as the guys get a bead on each other and we get a sweet, slow-burn romance. The reader sits comfortably, we get it, as we wait for Zeke and Miles to catch on too. Some good prurient fun.

Zeke has been stuck for a year, grieving for older brother, Jacky, killed tragically in a home fire. A brother much like himself— both of them gifted artists, bright stars in that rarified world. But the remnants of a rocky sibling rivalry keeps Zeke wrapped up in guilt and remorse. Jacky has left behind a lot of hurt and misunderstanding; his cavalier treatment of those close him leave deep scars…

Because of Jacky’s death, in one year, Zeke loses everything: his ambition, his muse, and his beloved gallery where he was going to make his mark in the art world.

On the surface, Miles wears his success well. His brilliance is in the business deal and his drive to excel. He also loves art and plans to resurrect Zeke’s abandoned art gallery putting Zeke, once again, in charge. But underneath the polished and fastidious entrepreneur hides a desire to cut loose and explore another side to his sexuality. Zeke gets to him. The business arrangement forged by the two men sets the stage for a magnetic attraction— lots of heated exchanges, lingering glances and heaving chests.

Zeke and his art are wild, passionate, kinetic— he melts Miles’s cool control, teaches him to look at art in a different way. Miles color blindness also propels an awareness at the form and movement of the work. A shift in perception allows for discovery and melding of two very different personalities.

And… what IS it about flirtation and romancing at an art gallery exhibition? The cool cats gathered in their cool threads, glasses of wine in hand, slowly perusing the paintings on display, slowly perusing each other. Glances across a crowded room. The promise of some hot sexing. Does it to me every time.

There is a bit of a mystery woven in the romance, a smaller thread that answers some questions about the guys. There is a lot of sex, and it is luscious and revelatory. It is balanced with wonderful discussion of the art— Zeke’s work, his brother’s work, the gallery hangings. The author has taken care to fully render each of these aspects, so much so that by the end you really feel as if you’ve gotten to know the characters, and what motivates them.

Which brings up the secondary characters: Carter Davison, Zeke’s best friend and Jacky’s long-time, long-suffering lover, and Red De Vere, Miles’s bestie who nearly steals the show. These two guys deserve a story of their own. And there are two women, Jo and Remy, who’s inclusion is confusing and off-putting at first, but explained eventually.

I so enjoyed this sensual feast. Hot and steamy, the writer pours the sex on— these guys who can’t get enough of each other burn the pages up and I’m so looking forward to the sequels.

Elizabetta’s rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Flying Colors (Book Five, True Colors series)

*Flying Colors can be read right after book one, True Colors*

Flying Colors by Clare London eBookBLURB: Red De Vere appears to have everything—good looks, a prestigious job, attention from the paparazzi, and a choice of lovers. But one day he takes an outrageous step too far at a formal embassy dinner, and the press turns on him. Shocked, he realizes it’s time to find something better in life than partying. He envies the love that his friends Miles and Zeke have, and when he dares to consider that possibility for himself, his hopes and desires rest in his quiet, serious friend Carter Davison.

Carter loved a man who cheated on him, then died violently, and he refuses to make himself vulnerable again. He knows Red is interested; Red has been supportive and admiring since they met. And Carter’s honest enough to admit he’s attracted to Red. But Carter can also think of nothing worse than being the lover of someone in the public eye. Playboy Red must stay an attractive friend, that’s all.

While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.

REVIEW:

We continue a few months after the end of True Colors, and Zeke and Miles are now in a committed relationship. The focus shifts to their best friends, Carter and Red— we knew it was coming, there were indications previously that something was brewing between these two.

Jacky’s ghost continues to have a huge influence in the plot (kind of like the dead Rebecca de Winter in de Maurier’s famous work)—  while Zeke has worked, with Miles’s help, through his guilt and remorse over his brother’s death, Carter still has issues with moving on. He was Jacky’s faithful lover, but Jacky’s constant philandering and abusiveness have left Carter haunted, brooding, with trust issues and shut off to loving anyone else.

Red De Vere, vibrant, wealthy playboy— who knows his way around the club scene and society pages— still has his eye on the quiet, handsome Carter. Red doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. He is intrigued. He senses a darker, complicated man under the controlled facade and needs to convince Carter that he is much more than the shallow party-boy persona he’s quickly tiring of.

We get Miles and Zeke’s dynamic again with this new couple— repressed and controlled versus vibrant and dynamic, reluctant and complex versus patient and determined— the formula is one we’ve already seen in the first book.

This installment in the series is calmer and quieter as Red works his way slowly into Carter’s confidence. This couple has some great sexual tension but it is a very slow build up and there isn’t a lot of tension elsewhere in the story. The guys come together because of their joint work on building a new non-profit teen center in London. There is a side story involving some nicely written teen characters at the center and an act of vandalism there, and the author again uses fire as a plot catalyst. Other than this, we mostly have a carefully made character study.

I wasn’t quite as taken with the story here, but I did find Carter and Red two very interesting, well-written characters (though Red’s affected southern drawl (he is British), which he hides behind, feels odd. In fact, in the books the author uses differences in speech, from quite formal to lingo, to further delineate the opposing characters.) The issues Carter and Red need to overcome and the growth they undergo make for some sympathetic reading and I would recommend Flying Colors for that study.

Elizabetta’s rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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