Brush Strokes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 May 2019

Member Reviews

Sweet ~ Endearing ~ Romantic

tl;dr: Even guards need love

This books is a great short, romance novel for someone wanting a solid, character-driven book. Karlquist does a wonderful job of depicting friendship, in the platonic relationship. Also, the love story (m-m) is also so well done. This author is particularly good at character-driven story. One character is hard of hearing, and the dialogue is well-done (intentionally awkward). I wondered if this story has a visual arts element b/c of the hearing element, i.e. when one sense is diminished another grows. I don't know, but the museum part is probably the weakest element. It's really a book about people set around a museum. For most people, that will be plenty of museum. If you happen to be a museum worker, it's done just fine with no glaring errors. 

Really well-done debut. 


Seema Rao Write : Instagram| Blog| Twitter|
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Super cute read! Daniel is an angel and I’d do anything for him. I liked Todd, but he had a tendency to get on my nerves. He worked out his issues for the most part which made him less annoying. 

Some parts seems really stretched out and other felt a little rushed. Some things maybe should have been clarified a little earlier. For example, I had no idea what kind of pet Sandwich was for a little bit. I eventually figured it out before it was confirmed. It wasn’t critical to the story, but I don’t like feeling confused every time I run across a “character”. Also, I was unsure of Evan’s relationship to Todd for a bit. I figured it was a brother, but I wasn’t 100% sure until it was clarified later in the noon. But it is good for a debut novel. 

The thing I really loved about this book was all the time we got to spend with Daniel and Todd building their relationship. It was nice to see the little slice of life parts that tend to get overlooked in most books. 

I’m not deaf or HoH, but from what I could tell the rep was good.
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I didn't know to much about the book when I requested it from Netgalley. But it featured Art and a M/M romance. What more could you want?

Todd Navarro is halfway through college, trying to juggle his art studies with work and avoid the ongoing feud between the gallery where he works and the one next door. When his best friend Mela invites him to a frat party, he meets athlete Daniel Berger, who doesn't fit Todd's preconceived notions about jocks. After an unexpected night together, a romance seems possible, until Todd discovers that what they have in common could also drive them apart.

'Why would you look at it that way? Because it's easier than being helpless and sad.'

This book has one of the best M/M romances I've read in a while. After Todd and Daniel meet at a party, they end up spending all night with each other. Reading about their night is sweet, charming yet it's not cliched. I think the best thing about it is their chemistry, you can feel in the pages. I mean, that's some great writing. You instantly want them to be together, and when things go wrong you spend the rest of the book willing them to get together. The romance is subtle yet epic. It keeps you intrigued right till the very end.

I also love, the storyline of Todd trying to save the art gallery that he works for. I'm a sucker for this in books, to see our characters work hard for their end goal. It really makes me root for them. This storyline adds another layer to the plot, it makes it so the romance isn't alway centre stage and it's refreshing.

Now, I think a real highlight in this book is its representation. It has a character who's hard of hearing. I've never read about this in a book before and I have to say, it made me quite emotional. You can feel the characters struggle and the sadness, yet it doesn't stop his life or his dreams. I think that's so inspiring, and I hope it inspires others who are hard of hearing. It has certainly made think twice. I love it when a book does this.

'It wasn't until I started spending time with other people with hearing loss that I stopped feeling like I was the odd piece in the puzzle somehow.... Sometimes, especially in large groups, it's easy for people to forget to not have several conversations at the same time or interrupt each other. It's tiring for me to read lips... I'm proud of who I am, but it blows when other people forget who I am.'

This is E.S's first novel and to be honest that surprises me. It's self assured and the writing is confident. The book is complex, funny, sweet. It left me feeling so hopeful. In my opinion that's the mark of a great book and a great writer. I'm looking forward to see what she does in the future. Whatever it is, I'll be reading it.
I can't recommend this book. I read this book in two days and that never happens.

I have to Thank Netgalley and InterludePress for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. It comes out on the 12th of March and you can preorder now. Don't miss this one.
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