Five Star, Sep 2007, $26.95
Camille Hanssen left her broken heart and her shattered career as a dancer behind in Los Angeles to start anew in Callaport, Oregon. She obtains work on the Coast Gazette as the arts reporter. Camille meets local painter Alex “Mr. Aqua Eyes” Thompson, who tries to bully her into writing articles in support of the town’s annual art fair.
She also meets famous artist Kenneth Worthington, who asks Camille to serve as his model on a series of works involving Greek goddesses; he also asks her to ghostwrite his autobiography. Alex is unhappy that his former mentor is competing with him for Camille’s attention while his former girlfriend Morgan warns her to stay away form her man. As Alex and Camille fall in love, their differences over commercialization of the arts may keep them apart as she is an idealist and he is a pragmatist; besides he does not consider the performing arts on a par with the fine arts.
PAINTED HEART is an entertaining contemporary romance that looks deep into the world of art as the lead couple debate the freedom of the starving artist; Alex believes creativity is stifled if human basic needs are not met (Maslow’s Hierarchy) while Camille claims selling out stifles creativity. Readers will enjoy this fine tale as “every sunset is a dawn somewhere”.