Trompe L'oeil by K. C. Burn

Title: Trompe L’oeil

Author: K.C. Burn

Genre: LGBT Paranormal/Mystery

Length: Short Novel (152pgs roughly)

Publisher: Loose Id (30th August 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When Maxwell, a Depression-era artist, spurns the attentions of his sponsor, he ends up cursed to live out eternity in a painting. The man who cursed him delighted in playing the exhibitionist for Maxwell, and by the time the old man dies, Maxwell longs for his life and body back but he’s pretty sure he never wants to watch anyone have sex ever again. Until he discovers who his new owner is.

Tyler isn’t sure what to do with a life-sized painting of a nude man, but it was a gift from his sister to ease the pain of a disastrous break up and subsequent coming out. The gorgeous subject of the painting disappeared without a trace decades ago, rumored to have been killed by the painting’s previous owner in a jealous rage.

Becoming more and more fascinated by the man in his painting, Tyler uses his resources as a history professor to solve the mystery of Maxwell’s disappearance. He finds himself spending more time in his bedroom, talking to the painting, researching and aching to know the man in person. Maxwell falls under Tyler’s sweet spell, discovering the thickness of canvas might be an insurmountable distance to cross.

Review: This is a true romance story. Max has been trapped inside a painting for 76yrs.  When the person who trapped him in the painting dies he is passed on to Tyler. Tyler has moved into a new apartment and his sister has bought him a nude painting as a house-warming gift.

Right from the being Tyler is drawn to the painting and the mystery surrounding the subject’s disappearance.   As he delves into the mystery, he begins talking to the ‘subject’, Max.  Max is trapped in the painting but, he is aware of Tyler talking to him.   He watches Tyler with longing and despair knowing that breaking the curse is next to impossible. We get to know Max well from his own inner monologue, flashbacks and his journal that Tyler finds.

I liked this book.   It was quite simple in its explanations, we know that Max was trapped in the painting and instead of coming up with a long-winded theory it was so simple it was refreshing.   The story moved smoothly along and the characters were a nice bunch.

So this is for anyone who likes gentle romance with an interesting mystery thrown in.