*Warning* Strong language and sexual situations. Ends in MAJOR cliffhanger. Not for the faint of heart. 🙂
Beautiful heiress Dalilah Gallagher, a former child art prodigy, has lost her way. Harsh criticism in her formative years has left her floundering and without the artistic voice that once centered her life. Now, at the age of 20, she has spent the last nine years trying to reclaim what she lost.
Her struggles lead her to the nude-modeling world in New York City, where she hopes she will find her passion for art again. What she finds is surprising: Her artistic voice isn’t gone, merely misplaced.
Luke Roberts has a different problem. Raised by a solid, working-class fisherman in Maine, Luke is a gifted artist struggling to get a foothold in the busy New York City art scene. His gifts attract the attention of a wealthy benefactor, Blake Nottingham, who finds himself fascinated with Dalilah. Nottingham commissions Luke to provide him with a piece of art: A painting of Dalilah.
As the two young artists fall in love, Dalilah finds her artistic voice once more, so she’ll do anything to help Luke find the prominence he deserves. This leads to a dangerous game of deceit that puts Dalilah in Nottingham’s clutches when she tries to manipulate him into helping Luke.
Nottingham isn’t easily manipulated, though, and things go seriously awry for Dalilah. What happens when the manipulated becomes the manipulator?
Will Dalilah’s lies cause her to lose the one person that means everything her?
Worldbuilding: This novel takes place in and around New York. Some of the story line is set in rich surroundings while the rest of the book is in regular joe-shmoe places. I liked that the heroine preferred the regular places instead of the places that boasted opulence.
Characters: There were three main characters in this story. First was the ultimate villain, Mr. Nottingham. Second was the heroine, Dalilah. And third was the hero, Luke. Mr. Nottingham was enigmatic. He was an aloof billionaire that had a dark side to him. I wish his character was a little more developed in the terms of his behavior. He did abuse the heroine as some points and I wish his dark character didn’t have to resort to that. Dalilah kind of came off as a wilting flower at times. I did admire the fact that she was willing to do anything for Luke but I wish she just used her common sense more. As for Luke, instead of believing that Dalilah deserved more than him, he needed to believe that he was awesome. Because that is exactly how Dalilah saw him but he just couldn’t believe it. I wished his character had more confidence in himself.
Plot: This novel had a few story arcs to it. The first was the romance between Dalilah and Luke. The second was the uneasy manipulation of Mr. Nottingham. And the third was Dalilah regaining her artistic voice again. Out of all of the arcs I really wish that Dalilah’s art was given more focus than it was. I loved that she lost herself years ago and was finding herself again. Also even though it might seem like it, this story is not a love triangle story, I repeat it is NOT a love triangle!!
Writing: A lot of the language and dialogue in this story was proper. Sometimes it made the conversations a little less than believable. Also all of the main characters had an air of arrogance to them, which I could understand sometimes but it did get on my nerves after a while.
Curb Appeal: The blurb really gives you the story in a neat little summary. You do get to know the characters more as you read, so this blurb gives the story a good starting point. The cover is pretty cool looking too.
Ultimately: I did believe this story had a hell of a lot of potential. I feel like the author could have really delved deep and given all the characters more depth if the story was developed a little more. If you’re looking for a tale that has great arts and dark manipulation, come and check out how Dalilah learns to be Fearless!
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