Drawing Lessons, Julia Gabriel
Drawing Lessons, Julia Gabriel
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, I told myself “ no more books Jeannie, not til that list is down” but….the cover on this caught my eye. I’m an artist too as well as a reader, and it just drew me in. I rarely look at covers ( except to avoid any with Barbie pink and swirly gold writing!) but somehow this book wouldn’t leave me, and eventually I gave in and clicked “request”. I am so glad I did!!
It’s one of those romances that start slowly, where the reader can see what they think is going on and is urging action – and it doesn’t happen. Julia taunts us with promises of what could be, and then we get a second chance when the scene is set up once again. Its fabulous, perfect pacing, realistic romance and characters and a gripping read. First we’re taken along an art journey with Marie and Luc where his teaching methods are at times very… unusual….and at others very realistic. “Draw what you see not what you think you see” is something all students hear at some point. Then her other life, the one where she’s still a Senators wife, intrudes. Her pushy parents want a reconciliation, despite her telling them she doesn’t, how unhappy she was etc. etc. They really are cold people. Poor Julia and thank goodness she had such a great friend in Nishi. No wonder she blossomed under Luc’s warmth and attention – though there was more to their relationship than that, its easy to see how she was in the mind to need someone like him. He’s a real romance hero, good looking, wonderful accent, and of course so full of fabulous and sensual ideas. He’s got a dark past too, and was just perfect in his role. I loved him – who wouldn’t.
Just when all’s going well, when she’s basking in Luc’s love the bomb drops, with Richard calling off the divorce. Her parents are ecstatic, she’s commanded to drop Luc by Richard, and the family move everything to get her back into position. Her love and relationship with Luc is passed off as a fling, and she’s dressed up and trotted out for the cameras. She’s trapped, can’t see a way out – she can’t just leave as Richard has shown her through some very dangerous ways that she’s vulnerable, and that he can ruin Luc too. The hallways of Power really are dirty and coming from that background she knows how easy it is to get dirty deeds covered up. How can she leave Luc, but then how can she not when she’s risking his life and career.
Its a wonderful read, full of romance and emotion, drama, power plays, and so so believable. One of those that has the reader pondering what they would do, and thinking of ways for Beth to escape ( well that’s me anyway!) Its easy to say Beth should stand up to them but she’s been the dutiful daughter, the dutiful wife for so long and they hold all the aces. She’s trapped and distraught and I wanted to cry with her. Then there’s a sliver of light, a glimmer of hope….
Just when I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and relax for them, Julia gives an intro to the next book and …dammit… I NEED that one now!
Stars: Five, an incredibly moving and realistic romance and one to savour and re read.
ARC supplied via Netgalley and publishers