Saturday, April 12, 2014

"The Color of Light" by Helen Maryles Shankman

This is a book that I thought I would love, but unfortunately the author ran out of coffee halfway through, and began making rash plot decisions.

Vampires and I have simply been best friends. We both burn in sunlight (literally, have you seen my wild Irish pallor?). We met when I was a Twilight addict, then returned to love with The Historian, Dead Until Dark, and Lover Awakened. Indeed, I find blood-suckers the choicest of beaus, you can actually stake them out of their undeath when you tire of them.

The Plot:
Tessa Moss (our fickle heroine) attends Raphael Sinclair's art school, one of the very last that teaches students to paint like "The Masters". Tessa looks disturbingly similar to Rafe's lost love Sofia Wizotsky, who died in the Holocaust. Raphael strikes up a friendship with Tessa's gallery mate in an attempt to discover what her connection is to Sofia. He proceeds to basically stalk Tessa, showing up and scaring her to death. Did I mention there is a no faculty-student relations rule? Well, Rafe decides he won't actually do that, despite his salivating appetite for her. Another thing I dislike about Tessa: she's an artist's bitch. She is a slave to this has-been artist, Lucian, wanting a relationship with him, but when they finally have a "relationship" he cheats on her. She also kept him from killing himself when he became a has-been.

The plot thickens at The Naked Masquerade, a Halloween fundraiser for the art school, where you can get in for free if you arrive naked. Unfortunately, both the would-be lovers arrive clothed. Tessa's boyfriend arrives with someone else, and she's demolished because she forgot her big girl underthings at home that night. Mr. Sin comes and dances a tango with her, then absconds with her into the night. Apparently, his little dance lifted that painful sorrow on poor Tessa, and they have a heated convo about the unmistakable connection between them. The author even mentions that it was like something out of a movie. Very helpful. She leaves, he stalks her home, then orders a late-night snack ala vampire. The next time he has a chat with her, he thinks Sofia is her grandmother, but Tessa has never heard of the woman. She chooses to mention it at her family's Thanksgiving meal, leading her grandfather into a heart attack. Seriously, I'm not making this up. It's definitely Lifetime Movie Fodder.

I refuse to divulge more of the drama, as it is just that, drama and plot twists and a very confused heroine who doesn't know what the hell she wants. There is much, "Do I love him, do I love him not," going on with Rafe later on that just makes you want to push the girl off the bridge of indecision for her own health and sanity. When the Sofia Wizotsky story unfolded about halfway through, I thought this would be a four asterisk read, but as I said, the poor author ran out of Starbucks and switched to Maxwell House, leading to this novel's demise.

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars for a book that didn't fulfill its promise.

Content: Paranormal Romance, so 18+ for sexual content.

Page Count: 557 in the paperback edition

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