Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: Artistic Appeal
SERIES: Art Series #2
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
NARRATOR: John Solo
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 6h 43m
RELEASE DATE: July 3rd 2017
An Art Series novel
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 ten 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.
The audio book of Artistic Appeal was hard for me to review. I read the book when it first came out and really enjoyed it. But reliving the book in audio was different. This is the second in the Art series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.
The book is about the relationship between Nicolai, who is deaf and Brain, who is divorced with a daughter. There is also a court case happening that Brain is in charge of (he is a lawyer) about paintings that his friends are taking legal action to get back after they were taken by the Nazis.
The thing I really struggled with in this book is the ‘Woman in Blue’ storyline. It is so similar to the ‘Woman in Gold’ that it is distracting. It took me out of the book almost constantly. It was a rather large negative for me.
But the largest positive for me was Andrew Grey’s dedication to portraying a character with a disability in a well rounded and positive way. Nicolai is my favourite character. He is full of depth and interest. I love how he is with Brain’s little girl. His relationship with Brain is really beautiful. They are not without their obstacles, but that makes them more real.
I also really enjoyed the storyline of Brain with his ex-wife. It works really well within the story. And is a good opposite to the strong female character that is Brain’s sister.
John Solo’s narration is smooth and well rounded. It is enjoyable to listen to. I have always enjoyed his narrations. This is the same high quality of his others.
Overall, Artistic Appeal is an enjoyable book. The audio is well worth listening to for both the story and a really good narration.