Cover Image: The Body Painter

The Body Painter

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Member Reviews

This story is gripping, emotional, gritty, uncomfortable, dark at times and very well written. There might be triggers for some and there is quite a lot of anguish and angst within this twisted on/off relationship. Also a warning that it is number one in a duet - so you will have to read book two (not out to date). Set in Birmingham England. Olin and Gil reconnect accidentally after seven years when Olin applies for a job as a body painters (Gil) model. She is destitute and needs the work. They are still drawn to each other but both try to deny their feelings from the past until it's impossible to any longer. There's lots of blood, lots of body paint and lots of desperation. Many steamy, descriptive and sizzling romance scenes (after quite a few slow burn chapters), that are not on the gentle side by any means. This isn't hearts flowers and kisses, so be warned. The chapters flit between scenes in the past when the H/h are at high school and the present. Written from both points of view. I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars, because at times the romance/sex scenes just keep going and going and the push/pull of the romance starts to get a bit irritating after a while. I do recommend this book if you like edgy, different romances. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC, in return for my honest opinion. I look forward to reading the second book.
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Thank you NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. This is definitely more in the realm of dark romance. I find it hard to like the lead male. There are also plenty of moments that make me dislike the female lead as well. The relationship is push-pull and at times (especially at the beginning) was very repetitive and little depth was given to the relationship. I found myself losing interest towards the middle, but then the story really picked up after that. I enjoyed the premise for this book and I wanted to see how this story would end, which happens to be with a big cliff hanger! Overall, I like the direction of the plot and very interested how the next book will finish out, but I find it difficult to root for this couple. Honestly, they should go separate ways.

Also, be warned there is abuse, violence, and rape in this novel - so if that can be a trigger you may not want to read this one.
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Let me start by saying I love Pepper Winters writing. I think she is brilliant. I like the passion that Gil and Olin have for each other. The story is dark and perplexing, which is fine, but it seemed to drag to me and was repetitive. I just want them to work everything out and be happy but who knows if that's in the cards. The ending is a big cliff hanger leading to the next book which has me wanting to read it badly.
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This is dark romance at its very best. Olin and Gil were teenage sweethearts until something happened to drive Gil away suddenly and unexpectedly. Olin was devastated by his betrayal and never got over him. Several years later, Gil advertises for a living canvas and Olin, desperate for work, applies not knowing it's Gil. Then all hell breaks loose. The plot involves murder, dysfunctional families, kidnapping, dark sex, lies, deceit, etc. etc. I loved the characters, two extremely stubborn people butting heads. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the conclusion.
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At the heart of this novel is a compelling story however I felt pulled away from the main story arc by the repetition. It was entirely too wordy and detailed.
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This is a combo of a second chance romance and an enemies to lovers romance. It wasn't what I expected from this author, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. As amazing as usual, writing is really good. Not just the story but the way it is written. So glad this is a series, not a standalone!
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Olin is a young lady who not only had her heart broken since high school, but she also suffered a terrible tragedy that left her scarred and maimed. Gil is the Body Painter who has also known Olin since high school. When fate intervenes and Olin and Gil meet again after many years, Olin realizes that Gil is no longer the young man whom she knew back in high school. When a murderous evil seeks to rip them apart, will Olin and Gil fight together or will they be torn apart?

I absolutely love Pepper Winters. When I was given a chance to receive an ARC of The Body Painter, I jumped on it. I have to say that I found it to be a bit slow at first. I found Olin to be a young lady in love who never gave up on those close to her. Gil came from a very broken and immoral family, and he had to learn to find the good in others and in himself. Even though it was a bit slow in the beginning, I was engrossed in what was happening to Olin and Gil. I liked that there were flashbacks where things were explained, but the mystery surrounding Gil and the choices that he has made continues to elude me. I must warn that this book does end on a major cliffhanger. Thank you Netgalley and Ms. Winters for allowing me to enjoy a new story. I anxiously await the second book.
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This book was incredible. I need book 2 right now because that was a crazy cliffhanger. I loved couldn't put it down. What a mind trip.
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3.5 STARS
This author was on my radar a long time ago, so I took the opportunity once I’ve red the intriguing blub.

All in all, I loved the writing and the story, but I had issues with the pace and sometimes it felt too repetitive.

It took me longer than usual to get into the story, and finish the book, sometimes I got really frustrated with Gil and Oli’s back and forth.

But the plot is so good, and intriguing, I just “needed” the second book.

I think I would have rated it better, as a part of a duet, if it would have been shorter, or if the story was a standalone

Gil and Oli’s story is heartbreaking, both characters being broken in very opposite ways, it’s dark, hot, and despite my 3.5 stars, I just know I’ll enjoy the whole story one I’ve read the Living Canvas.

The wait is almost over!!
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3.5 stars

I hate to say this but the first 40% of this story was very repetitive and boring, to the point where I was skimming to get through it. The two main characters had the same conversation over and over again...he would push her away, tell her she should leave him alone and never come back. She would offer him help, want to know why he pushed her away so many years ago and repeat. And repeat. The heroine even commented once about how repetitive their convos were!!!! I like a little push and pull between main characters but there has to be some variety, it can't be the same exact thing!

At exactly 62% we got our first interesting plot point and the book was really good from that point on...so much so that I want to find out what happens, I want to read the second book. 
BUT. 
SERIOUSLY.
We could probably shave off 50 pages from the front half of this book and not miss a thing.
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I have mixed feelings about this. From the start I knew it would have a cliffhanger since it's a duet so that didn't bother me. The book felt long because the characters kept circling and avoiding a conversation (not for lack of one of them trying btw). The things that happened to give clues for the reader were kept close to the ending. So I loved the idea of the story but it frustrated me. It give you all the feels ina dark way, which I liked a lot. I felt for the characters. Gil is a tortured man. In the soul kind of sense but also in the literal sense. I don't remember reading before a more tortured character. And I feel for him. Felt disturbed and disgusted for what happened to him. Felt his distrust and despair. I wish he would finally have it better. I wish he would be truthful and open. That he would grab the little chances he is granted. But fear is a powerful feeling. And Gil and Olin have it in spades. I also felt like being Olin's voice of reason most of the time. I wanted her to take answers some other way besides asking. But it's not easy when feelings of love and hurt are mixed. It's not fair for her to deal with rejection again when she is willing to selflessly put herself last. But nothing is fair in this tragic love story. 

Their tale is gritty and brutal. It grabs and squeezes. Even I don't see a way out for these characters but I would love to know how they will manage to be safe and happy. It's time they get a semblance of what living is.
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First off let me start by saying I love Pepper Winters!  But unfortunately this was a difficult  read for me.   I like some dark romance but this one was hard for me to.get into.  There were some good parts in the story, but overall it felt drawn out.  This is the first in the series so hopefully book 2 will be able to redeem it for me.  I definitely recommend some of her other books!

I received this ARC from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow! Loved this book.  I finished it in a day. Sexy, funny, mystery, fear . All wrapped up in one awesome book. Anxiously waiting for the next one !!!
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I felt like Jekyll and Hyde while reading "The Body Painter" by Pepper Winters.  A part of me loved certain aspects of the story and a larger part disliked a lot of what I was reading.  While I found the writing to be beautiful and intoxicating, the content was disturbing, drawn-out, and dysfunctional at best.

Gilbert Clark and Olin Moss, two estranged teenage lovers, end up colliding into each other in present day when Gilbert posts a job available as his living canvas.  While Olin becomes Gilbert's last minute art project, flames ignite and the two rekindle their love for each other.

I thought this would be a simple love-affair with a friends to enemies to lovers twist, but this book is about so much more.  There is childhood abandonment, statutory rape, endless fighting, dysfunction at its highest level, and murder.

I really feel a like/hate for this book.  Even though a lot of what I read was over the top and somewhat annoying at times, I believe the actions were necessary with everything that's happened to Olin and Gilbert as children, excluding the ending.  The ending has a giant cliffhanger and I'm actually a little intrigued to know what happens even though the characters drive me insane

I still don't know what to think.  I would rate this book somewhere between a two and a three.  The cover and synopsis we’re a bit misleading, as I thought this would be a steamy light-hearted romance instead of a dark and tragic emotional journey.

The hardest pill for me to swallow was the ending.  I’m not sure how Gil can redeem himself after the stunt at the end.  I’m still interested to see where this story will lead, even if it’s messed up.
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Absolutely brilliant, Pepper Winters at her best. I’ve been a massive fan of this author since the Tears of Tess series, and I can quite honestly say that her books continue to get better and better. She blows me away every single time.
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I just could not get into this story.  I am not a fan of books that go back and forth with history, or second chances.  The story itself seemed well done if that is the type of book you like.
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3.5 Stars  Entertaining, intense, and emotional

This is the first book in the Master of Trickery Duet, and the story of Gil, and Olin.  We are introduced to these characters through chapters that move from the present to the past, and back.  

Gil, and Olin are both intriguing, but troubled characters, Gil is an intense, mysterious, and very complicated man, and Olin, is a fighter, determined, and stubborn, hell bent on reminding Gil of their past.  This book is intense, mysterious, suspenseful, and emotional  3.5 Stars
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There is an interesting story in its core but you have to dig through so much to get there. This book needs some massive editing. There is so much unnecessary description. The repetitive and overly flowery descriptive dialogue slows the pacing down. And the the push/pull from the male protagonist is over the top. Its problematic and unrealistic. 

I ended up skimming to get to the good parts. There was a lot of skimming.
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A SWIRLING MIX OF ARTISTRY, PASSION, AND TRAGEDY THAT LEFT ME SPEECHLESS

“Monsters walk among us. They wear the same skin. They just hide who they are.”

“A man who earns money by turning others into a chameleon might also be a chameleon himself.”

His art is awe-inspiring.  Her dancing could make the gods weep.  Their love was celestial.  What happened to the unbreakable love between the poor boy and rich girl outcasts? 

THE BODY PAINTER was one of my most anticipated books of 2019, but whatever I was expecting from this raw and mysterious love story was far off the mark.  Once again, the prolific and creative mastery of Ms. Winters has snatched the rug right out from underneath me with mounting tragedy, nail-biting suspense, shattered love, and one of the most volatile and enigmatic heroes in her repertoire  Told in past and present chapters, the duet love story of broken ballerina Olin and tormented body painter Gil bewitched me with the sweetness of first teen love that can overcome the stiffest odds only to break my heart piece by piece with the cruelty of fate and life choices years later.  Two ill-fated soulmates who find, lose, and find each other again … only to face a bombshell of a cliffhanger that may tear them apart for good.  Don’t confuse Olin’s perseverance and determination to save troubled Gil for being a doormat without any self-respect.  And, don’t dismiss Gil’s seemingly abusive  push-pull of Olin as mean and selfish.  Much of their interactions is repetitive for a reason, and lays the twisted foundation for an ending that chilled my heart.  I felt immersed in the danger and volatility of their soul-deep passion, while champing at the bit to find out what and who was controlling Gil to make him keep Olin at arm’s length.  Secrets of the past hold all the answers to the present toward a compelling crescendo of unimagined revelations.  I’m putting my trust in Ms. Winters’ trademark style to deliver the final, paradoxical blows in what will certainly be an explosive ending to this tragically passionate, romantic suspensor.
Thank you to NetGalley for offering this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The synopsis quickly had me hooked -- the job description was definitely intriguing and I found myself wanting to know more. The art of body painting is incredible. Especially since the artist has to be incredibly talented and the model has to be able to stand completely still for such a long amount of time. Based on the description, I was completely unsure what direction this book would go. The added mystery and thrill was my favorite part though!

Both main characters, Olin and Gil, were incredibly unique with very different histories and lives. On one hand you have the girl who seemingly had it all and had it taken away from her, then on the other the guy who had nothing and then made something of himself. Completely opposite, they keep finding their way back to each other.

Throughout the book there was a lot of tension -- sexual tension and just plain tension. While Olin is happy to have found Gil again, Gil does not feel the same. Gil is brooding, moody, and full of secrets. Meanwhile, Olin is an open book who just wants to be let back in to his life.

Unfortunately, this book fell completely flat for me. I found myself getting incredibly annoyed with how Olin never stood up for herself. I get that she is trying her hardest to help and be there for Gil, but there is a point where you have to put yourself first. I don't care how selfless you think you are. There was too much frustration for me. I loved the idea of this book, but I just was not a fan.

I will admit, though, that I want to read the second book because I want to know what the heck is going to happen!
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