07 July 2016

Selling Grace (Art of Grace, Book 1)


Synopsis from Goodreads: I felt the man’s hand resting on my hip, his skin radiating heat into me. “A divine piece of art,” he murmured into my ear…”

Becca Grace is ready for her life to turn around.

Her disastrous one-year marriage is finally behind her, and all she needs to get her ex-husband Barry out of her life is make one last payment. Unfortunately, that payment (ten grand!) is a little beyond Becca’s already-strained bank account. With the deadline looming, she’s gotten a job working at her Uncle Preston’s art gallery, selling overpriced art to tourists on vacation - but at least she gets paid on commission. She just needs one big sale.

The art gallery, however, comes with its own distractions - Carter James, a gorgeously warm real estate agent, keeps on dropping in and catching Becca at embarrassing moments. In addition, one of the gallery’s featured artists, a tall taste of dark chocolate named Onyx, keeps on inviting Becca back to his private studio for some one-on-one modeling…

Despite the interests of both sexy men, Becca’s determined to pay off Barry and put her past behind her before moving on to a new romance. But can she manage to get her hands on the money - and resist falling into bed with either of these muscled, sculpture-ready men?

The first in an exciting new series, SELLING GRACE is more than 50,000 words, filled with twists, turns, and with a happy ending that’s guaranteed to satisfy every urge - yet still leave you clamoring for the next book in the series! There’s even a bonus novel, TOMCAT, included! Does love have nine lives? Find out for yourself!

Content warning: This novel contains explicit scenes, and is intended only for adult romance lovers.

Stats for my copy: Kindle edition, 2016.

How acquired: Received from eBook Itch ARC Group for review.

My thoughts:  It's billed as a “Light Romance Novel”, and it was light. So light that for almost the entire book I kept waiting for the build up to end and for the story to actually begin, for something to happen.

Becca is recently divorced, and somehow, by signing papers without bothering to read them when she got married, she's now on the hook for the mortgage on the marital home. As part of the divorce settlement, she has to pay her ex $10,000.00, and the deadline for payment is looming. Her uncle gives her a job managing his art gallery, despite the fact she has no knowledge of art, no sales or management experience, no qualifications for the job. But since the gallery doesn't seem to get a lot of customers, I guess she can handle it.

At the gallery she meets two men. Carter James is a very successful real estate agent who often purchases pieces from the gallery to put in the various buildings he owns/manages/sells. Onyx, no last name, is one of the artists whose work is exhibited in the gallery. He's dark and brooding, and spends his time carving penises out of stone or black marble. I don't think he carves anything else, and I'm not sure what that says about him.
Becca is nice enough and a little interesting. Her friend Portia is more interesting, and the scenes with the two women were some of my favorites. I liked Carter. He's fun and has a lot of charisma, and he and Becca seemed to have some real chemistry. Onyx, no last name, is dark and brooding, maybe a little bit dangerous, a bit stereotypical.

Altogether, the story was pleasant enough, if a little mundane (when Becca answered her phone I didn't really need her to explain that she did so by flipping it over and swiping across it). There is some amusing bantering back and forth between Becca and Portia and Becca and Carter. I find it a little hard to believe that a judge would agree to making her pay her ex $10,000 on a short deadline when she obviously didn't even have a job at the time the order came down. And when she approached the ex to ask him for more time or to accept monthly payments, he threatened to sue her, and then to sue her parents, which freaked Becca out, though I can't even imagine what grounds he could have to sue her parents. For not providing a large dowry?

Light, a little breezy, and a quick read, with an HFN leading into the next installment of the series.  

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