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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Reluctant Nude by Meg Maguire

The Reluctant Nude by Meg Maguire
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (154 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Chipping away at her resistance, one touch at a time…

Fallon Frost’s late foster mother had done so much to heal the wounds of her damaged childhood. So when a lecherous developer plans to bulldoze her old home to make room for a strip mall, the practical, ordered life Fallon has built for herself is threatened.

Then he makes a twisted proposal. He’ll leave the land alone if she poses nude for a sculpture that’ll end up in his collection. Seeing no other choice, she heads for Nova Scotia—only to find something totally unexpected. A sexy, hot-blooded, infuriating sculptor.

Guarded, sexually detached Fallon is a challenge Max Emery can’t wait to tackle. Yet with each tap of his chisel, he uncovers a woman who rekindles a dream he thought lost. Home, family…love. And the closer he gets to her core, the harder it becomes to accept that he’s carving her naked body for another man’s eyes.

As progress on the sculpture almost grinds to a halt, their fragile fantasy world collapses under the weight of reality. Threatening Fallon’s one chance to save her foster mother’s land…and any chance she and Max have to find love.

Fallon will have to willingly take off her clothes for the eccentric artist but will Max strip away the protective layers around her closely guarded heart in the process?

Do you enjoy a story where the relationship builds at a steady pace and you’re able to savor the romance? Do you enjoy characters that are so layered with personality they practically jump off the page? If you answered yes to these questions I can guarantee you will love The Reluctant Nude. Ms. Maguire sets this heart tugging love story in beautiful Nova Scotia. Her writing and descriptions are amazingly vivid and enable the reader to imagine the picturesque town and smell the ocean breezes blowing in off the sandy coast.

Fallon has embarked on a journey that will force her to face her fears, her past and her short comings. Her voyage into self-discovery begins from the moment Max answers the door of his unique little studio. Max is such an enigma and keeps Fallon on her toes trying to understand this “weird” and yet charismatic artist. Max has such a terrific sense of humor, you never know what he’s going to say or do. To say that he's direct would be an understatement.

Watching the uptight Fallon unwind and fall in love with the tortured self-possessed Max was a delicious tension filled adventure. They're both flawed characters with even more flawed childhoods that shaped their formative and adult years. It affected their ability to relate to others and offer trust and genuine affection. The emotion between these two is so tangible I hurt along with Max and Fallon when reality crept into their little hideaway haven.

Ms. Maguire’s characterization of Max left me breathless. His childhood was cut short and distorted because of his talent and subsequent free fall from fame. Likewise, Fallon’s nomadic foster home experience has made her strong but sometimes distant. They each crave the stability of “home” and a normal life. Ms. Maguire paints an awe inspiring and well earned HEA for this precious couple and gives the reader a lovely closure to their story, it feels complete.

The Reluctant Nude is a steamy romance with a well-developed plot that kept me engaged from beginning to end. The dialogue is often witty and had me laughing out loud more than once. This is Ms. Maguire's second book with more on the way. This reviewer has put her on automatic buy list and looks forward to seeing what she offers up next.