Title: Artistic Appeal
Series: Art Stories 02
Author: Andrew Grey
Narrator: John Solo
Genre: Contemporary, Arts
Length: 6 hrs, 42 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (3rd August 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Brian Watson knows close friends Gerald Young and Dieter Krumpf have an ulterior motive when they invite him to their Christmas party. Brian has taken over the case to secure the return of the famous painting called The Woman in Blue to Dieter, but they don’t want Brian to be all work and no play. They intend to set him up with a friend, but he’s not who catches Brian’s eye. Instead, it’s Nicolai, the deaf art restorer caring for the works already returned to Dieter.
But pursuing Nicolai won’t be easy. A year ago Nicolai had to fight to regain his independence after a bad break-up, and he’s reluctant to give up his freedom a second time. Plus, Brian has competition in Justin, Nicolai’s ex, who wants him back badly.
Nicolai’s reluctance isn’t the only roadblock. Brian was married to a woman for almost 10 years. Now he has to confess to his mother, his ex-wife, and his young daughter that he loves a man, all while conducting a potentially groundbreaking court case and trying to convince Nicolai that love isn’t about co-dependence, it’s about support.
Review: Artistic Appeal is the second installment of Andrew Grey’s Arts Stories series. If you’ve enjoyed reading the book, the audio narrated by John Solo is an absolute joy to read. Solo’s efforts to bring the characters to life had me enthralled and it made a train ride and shopping in the city fun (as well as helping me avoid people handing out leaflets).
Artistic Appeal can read/heard as a standalone book. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have read the first book in the series and don’t really remember too much of it. Yet I had no problem picking up the story and the threads of sub plot that continued from the previous story. However, in saying that I now want to go back and reacquaint myself with Gerald and Dieter’s story.
The story follows recently divorced, single dad Brian Watson. He’s friend and boss to Gerald from book 1. That means he’s a lawyer and a damn good one. After being set up by his friends, among the few people that know his true sexuality, Brian meets arts restorer, Nicolai. Nic is deaf after losing what little hearing he had by the age of ten. It is Brian and Gerald’s work on the art scene, dealing with stolen art and the like, that brings Nic into their circle.
Brian and Nic are just ordinary guys, though. Brian needs to come out of the closet to those who are closest to him and that includes his harpy of an ex-wife. At the same time he’s enjoying a massive upswing in his career while trying what could possibly be his hardest case to date. On the other hand, Nic’s career is only just building after the GFC saw a decrease in the number of clients willing to pay to have their artwork restored. Similar to Brian, he also has seen the end of the relationship in the past year and unfortunately his ex is suddenly unwilling to let go Nic. Nic has only just got used to being on his own and regained his independence rather than rely on another man for so many things because of his deafness. Needless to say, he’s a little reticent to let another man into his heart.
Grey has a knack with writing characters that feel real and are totally relatable. He also has a knack to write wonderful child characters and allows the family to form organically. This story is no different, Brian’s daughter Zoe is a wonderful character in her own right.
If you are unfamiliar with the Arts Stories series, then those familiar with Grey’s Senses series, would also enjoy these books/audios. However, if you ask me anything Grey writes is gold and he is a must-buy for every book release.