“Must be slim, able to stand for long periods of time, and be impervious to the cold.”
The headline caught my attention.
“Hours are negotiable, pay is minimal, clothing absolutely forbidden.”
The second line piqued my curiosity.
“Able to hold your bladder and tongue, refrain from opinions or suggestions, and be the perfect living canvas.”
The third made me scowl.
“Other attributes required: non-ticklish, contortionist, and obedient. Must also enjoy being studied while naked in a crowd.”
The fourth made me shudder.
“Call or email ‘YOUR SKIN, HIS CANVAS’ if interested in applying.”
The final made my heart race.
I should’ve kept scrolling past the advertisement.
I should’ve applied for the boring receptionist job at minimum wage.
I should’ve clicked on any other job where I got to keep my clothes on.
But I didn’t.
My interview is tomorrow…
This blurb gave me an idea of a cliché erotica to come in this book. Prologue was everything that can pique your interest and keep it there. It let you know that this book was much more than your usual erotica. I was prepared for a gripping tale of romance, passion and darkness to come.
Olin responded to an advertisement requiring a model for a body painting project, description of which is given in the blurb. She was almost broke and was grabbing at straws when this job opportunity came up. Here’s when she met Gil, her ex-boyfriend and the source of the advertisement. Gil and Olin had a troubled history with high school romance filled with stolen touches, deep caresses and intense feelings. Their relationship ended abruptly for some inexplicable reasons but Olin’s love for Gil never died. It simmered low with anger then guilt and then boiled into an even more fervent lust for him. Their connection refused to break over the years and time only strengthened the ever present bond.
Gil was a body painter, a tortured, injured but an extremely talented body painter. He hasn’t had an easy life. He was complicated, broken and emotionally scarred. Gil had always been a loner with an abusive past and Olin was his safe haven. He remained aloof and secretive till the very end. When faced with the demons of his past in the face of Olin, he was intent on saving her from brutality of his present. There was too much pain and too much history between them and the monsters in Gil’s closet didn’t do him any favors. Gil ended up in a mix of confusing emotions that switched from desire, lust, and protection.
Olin has always been besotted with Gil. She has always belonged with Gil even after their bitter history. He was the love of her life and she was his. She had been the “it” girl for Gil. She was popular, kind-hearted and had high hopes of turning into a dancer. All of this were shattered when she had an accident that rendered her unable to pursue her dreams of dancing.
They had an undeniably violent connection that was ready to burst in flames with the undercurrent of sizzling heat between them. Off the charts sexual tension and explosive chemistry fueled an angsty romance. Winters wrote a titillating tale of a body painter that stimulated each and every nerve ending of his subject. His painting was art that flowed in the form of words on the pages. These words were filled with raw desire and passion that oozed lust on every page.
“You’re in my mouth, up my nose, in my fucking blood. I need to see you. I want you as broken as you’ve made me.”
Winters raced us from present to past giving us glimpses into the secrets of the past that left a breadcrumb trail throughout the story. Ever since the start, there was push and pull between Gil and Olin. Gil obviously wanted her but the thick impenetrable cloud of secrets obstructed his desires.
While Winters was well on her way to create her usual masterpiece, this story was caught in the mist of regurgitation of events. The ominous “you’re in danger” talk was intriguing at start but it got tedious so fast with Gil repeating the same thing over and over again on every damn page. He sure sounded like a broken record.
Gil: I don’t want you. Stay away from me.
Olin: No, I won’t leave. I want to care for you.
Gil: Ok, let’s have sex and repent later.
This went on and on till the very end of the book and the story lost me somewhere in between.
Next, the nicknames. Am I the only one who think they are as ridiculous as they come? And high school kids being so much in lust rattled my adult brain.
You can fault Pepper Winters for anything but her writing. She is flawless in expressing her characters. She’ll force you to live with them, feel them and entirely new world. She’ll make a voyeur out of you. This was a cliffhanger and we’ll continue with Gil and Olin’s journey in the second installment of the series. This book left us with too many questioned unanswered, too many puzzled unsolved and too many secrets unrevealed. Shadows will be illuminated, bonds will be tested, mysteries will be unraveled and an unknown future will unfold in the conclusion of this story.