“Well?” Josh said from his side of the screen. “What are you waiting for?”
“Further instructions.” I crossed my arms. “They’re coming, aren’t they?”
“How right you are.” He laughed. “I do have a commission for you.”
“And what would you have me paint?”
“Oh?” I had a moment of confusion. “Do you want me to paint a self-portrait?”
“Kind of, but not quite.”
How was that for a reply that wasn’t one?
“Look at the spread on the counter,” he said.
I got up and inspected the neatly arranged supplies. An impressive array of high quality paint brushes, sponges, rags and other tools lay next to several bowls of water. A three-tiered display of paint jars rose against the wall, arranged along the color wheel spectrum. I’d never heard of the brand before.
I unscrewed the cap of one of the jars and inspected the paint. A bright yellow shone from the jar, the color of sunlight, rich with pigment and thick as acrylic. I lowered my nose to the jar and sniffed carefully. I frowned. I knew my paints really well, and this looked like a quality product, but it was most definitively not acrylic, or oil, or anything I’d ever used before.
I capped the jar and read the properties in the back panel. Water-based, quick dry, non-toxic, non-allergenic, smudge-proof, cleans off easy. Cleans off easy? I turned the jar in my fingers and spotted the label that confirmed what my brain had been screaming at me for the last thirty seconds.
I met Josh’s amused stare on the screen. “Body paint?”
“Yes, Lily.” His smile widened. “So shed that robe and get to work.”
About the Author
Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.
A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.
Indecent proposal meets Fifty Shades with a little Coming Home twist. I applaud that del Mar brings something different to the romance game with her heroes with a (damaged) heart, but this take lacked an emotional connection between its main characters. The premise and backstory were ridiculous as it was unbelievable. I lost interest about halfway through the first quarter with Lily’s “will she or won’t she,”act. del Mar does a lot of telling us how strong Lily is, but I found her one of the weakest protagonists I’ve read in some time. The male lead doesn’t fare much better and instead of sexy brooding he is more of a boorish bore. Their relationship is one supposedly built on chemistry and uncontrollable attraction, but it takes over half the book for the heroine to not have a panic attack when they’re together. Their agreement/contract is odd and not very seductive, as is the pedestrian pillow talk. There is a big buildup towards it, but I never understood what the big rush was. Grand setups of corporate espionage and the big reveal are underwhelming: villains coming and going, physicality issues and plenty of sexy times, however, it has a rather staid and somber. I was expecting big things after del Mar’s last book, and while her perspective is interesting I found this particular outing a letdown. I wished I liked this one more, but it lacked the heart and heart-pounding action I have come to expect from this author.
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