It’s kind of crazy how many times I had to remind myself when reading this book that when the male character referenced his “sitters” he wasn’t talking about people who made sure he behaved until his parents got home.
What’s it About?
When a family friend invites widow Ellen Ross to the Basel art fair, she stifles her misgivings and takes a hesitant step toward healing. Yet it is an accidental meeting with youthful Swiss artist Christian Karl that offers her an escape from grief. Captivated by his zest for life, she is shaken on her return to find she carries his child. Christian takes pride in seeing through the facades his sitters present to him. When he paints Ellen, he sees passion and courage beneath the prim, conventional shell she shows the world. Despite her denial, he cannot believe his instinct has betrayed him. To find the truth, he must pursue his love to her native Scotland. Face-to-face again, Ellen must decide–can she accept Christian’s optimistic approach to life and take a gamble on their future? Or will pride force her to reject him?
Ellen’s husband died of cancer, and she is still struggling to move on and live her own life. When her husband’s former boss asks her to travel to Switzerland with him, she insists it’s a purely platonic invitation. Oh, you silly little thing. I think we all know he’s not just inviting you to partake in the exquisite chocolate and culture. But alas, she goes along, and after attending an art show she meets and quickly bonds with a younger artist, Christian. Stand back, we’ve got a cougar on our hands here! Roar! This is another one of those whirlwind romances which seems exciting in theory, but I really question how long it would last.
Things are good in Switzerland
Ellen isn’t in Switzerland long, but when she is it’s probably the best part of the book. Sure, she and Christian fall in love rather quickly, but aren’t you supposed to do stupid things when you travel abroad? He takes it upon himself to show her the city, and even though they know their moment in the Swiss sunshine will soon end, they can’t help but try and make the best of it. Carpe diem, and all that joyousness. They have a little tumble in the sheets, after which she “sits” nude for him, and he paints her portrait a la Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. Mmm, if someone could guarantee me that kind of sexy experience during a trip to Switzerland you might actually succeed in getting me away from stuffing my face full of chocolate and cheese. Maybe…no guarantees. I really like my chocolate.
When Ellen’s little vacation is over she heads back to her native Scotland, convinced that she’ll never see Christian again even though the two exchanged e-mails. This is when things get kind of weird story-wise. Ellen soon realizes that she’s missed her monthlies, and believes that she’s pregnant with Christian’s child. Oh snickerdoodle, that’s what happens when you don’t use a condom! Anyway, she gets upset over the fact that Christian hasn’t tried to contact her via e-mail, even though he did send her the nude portrait of herself. But it’s not like she tried to contact him at all! “Hello kettle? This is Ellen, you’re black!”
Then we find out that Christian has been missing Ellen terribly, so he decides to make an impromptu trip to Scotland to be with her. Talk about a grand gesture! Whatever happened to Skype? Or phone sex? She tries to dissuade him from coming, but he goes anyway, and then they have some of the most confusing arguments ever. When he arrives he’s so excited to see her, but she insults him repeatedly and throws money at him saying he’s a poor artist who can’t afford anything. He yells back, and then basically implies that all women are selfish. Gosh, you need a freakin’ map to navigate the verbal spats these two are having.
Momma’s got a brand new bag!
A really interesting part of this novel is when Ellen introduces Christian to her two full grown children. This is when we see that Ellen didn’t just lose her husband, but her children also lost their father. They too are trying to adjust to a new life without him. When Christian comes along, Ellen’s daughter can’t believe her mom is moving on so quickly. It shows that no matter how much time has passed, her children will see any new man as an attempt to replace their father. So sad! Her son, on the other hand, is convinced that Christian is a con artist who is only interested in the life insurance money Ellen now possesses because her husband died. Awkward!
Series: Nope. It could probably use a follow-up story though.
Should you read it? I question if Ellen and Christian’s relationship will last longer than a month. They fall in love so quickly, and so deeply, but the book ends with them not really having resolved any of their main issues. They basically decide they’ll try their best to make it work. Not really a vote of confidence.
Smut Level: Ellen may pose for Christian like Rose did for Jack in Titanic, but we definitely don’t have any sexy car-sex hand print scenes.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 227 Pages