The Art of Love
by Anne Whitney
Release Date: 6/18/13
Genre: New Adult
Marina Phillips has spent her entire life as her father’s victim. But enough is enough. All it took was one moment of realization to send her fleeing across the country into the unknown of New York City with no plans and no money. A new life without the constant torture is all she wants, but what she finds waiting is something she never expected.
Fitz is New York’s premiere playboy artist. Sexy, tattooed, and coveted by women and men alike, his performances are heralded as the coming of a new god of modern art. But when Marina wanders into his show, she becomes the inadvertent piece he’s always waited for – a girl to sculpt, to change, and to craft in his own image.
She never expects to fall head over heels into the world of parties, drag queens, agents, and artists craving for her and her benefactor. She didn’t even expect to begin falling in love with someone like Fitz, the sexy, pretentious man of her nightmares.
Above all, Marina never expects her father to stage a cross-country mission to paint her as a kidnapped girl taken by a psychopath.
With her life on the line, Marina has no choice but to accept Fitz’s proposal – change everything she is, inside and out, for the chance to start anew. But Marina has plans of her own. Plans that will rock her world forever.
My Rating: 4 Coffee Cups!!
I LOVED this book. I knew I would like it when I read the snippet and was all kinds of excited to get the eARC from the kick-butt Anne Whitney (which if she's reading this THANK YOU!) but I didn't realize how much I would truly love it. This book just has something that connects with me. This will likely make others do Scooby Doo confused noise, but to me personally, it had an itsy bitsy RENT-like feel to it. Struggling (some more than others), young, bohemian artists trying to find their way and make their mark in New York City. And if you know me at all, you know that I am a total RENT-head. But that's essentially where the comparison ends.
Marina is a sheltered, introverted girl from Spokane, Washington. Not exactly the hub of society. She escapes her troubled and pretty painful past via train and ends up in New York City with $6 in her pocket and nowhere to go. With her stomach grumbling and in much need of a meal, she ends up in an art gallery boasting a free buffet and her life is irrevocably changed. With a mouth full of free food she, quite literally runs into the gallery's headlined performance artist Fitz (no last name), in all his naked glory. He chooses her out of the crowd to perform his art around and they are completely drawn together. After only a brief conversation Fitz insists that she stay with him being she has no other options. He takes her in, feeds her, gets her a job and makes her a part of his life. And with him comes a set of friends she never expected to have- Viridian, a struggling painter and Derek aka Zinnia, drag queen extraordinaire and Fitz's half brother. After everything he's done for her, Marina can't help but begin to develop feelings for Fitz despite knowing that she is so insanely far from his type. She begins to get comfortable in their easy relationship and the life that he is such a major part in helping her build.
But you can't run from your past forever and it began to catch up to Marina. Her mentally and physically abusive father stages a cross country man-hunt to find her and bring her home. Meaning her face is covering newspapers and TV headlines EVERYWHERE. Despite the fact that she is 20 years old and can't legally bring her home she is terrified of him finding her. So Fitz, Viridian and Derek help her go from shy, mousy haired, un-trendy Marina to sleek, platinum haired, cutting edge Mary. At least on the outside. Of course that's when Fitz makes his move. Confusing the heck out of Mary/Marina and making her question whether it's her he's attracted to or her new look.
Fitz and Marina's relationship is a tough one. She has so many complicated issues, not the least of which is the abject terror of her father finding her. She has never been in a relationship and wouldn't know what a happy, functioning one would look like if it hit her in the head. Because of this she is confused about what is going on between the two of them. Is it love or lust? Is it supposed to move as fast as it is? Then you have Fitz. On the outside he is a muscled, tattooed god. A bit arrogant and egotistical and a passionate artist. Although these are a few of his traits, he is also just a confused boy, struggling to find his way. He has major family issues, identity issues and is quite honestly somewhat of a mess. And with all of that he is an artist with an artist's soul. And what I mean by that is artists tend to rule with their emotions. And when you mix the two of them together you, as a reader, know what you want to happen. You want the "Happily Ever After" and declarations of everlasting love immediately, but in reality it can't really happen that way. They have a lot to sort thru and a lot of self discovery and it makes the love aspect of this story so much more realistic. I will admit that at times the actions of each of them bug you and make you want to shake them, but for the most part it makes sense.
The Art of Love is complicated, funny and an all around awesome read. All of these characters are going through their own personal struggles, there's a reason why they all ended up where they are, but they all help to support each other and form their own small family. Seriously, this book captured me. I'm not 100% sure if this was a stand alone, but I for one would definitely like to see more of their story.