April 27, 2011
The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus
Here's the back cover copy:
Sassy Evans and Perty Bradley are determined to get their older grandchildren married off, but when twenty-eight-year-old Dylan comes home after being fired from his teaching position because of the betrayal of his ex-girlfriend, Perty knows her grandson has more important issues to deal with.
Sassy understands her friend's issues with timing, but she also sees so many ways in which Dylan would be the perfect match for her thirty-four-year-old granddaughter Caylor. With his record of acclaimed paintings and Caylor's best selling novels, they could compliment each other's talents and provide each other support and encouragement. And there's no denying the spark of attraction between the English professor with the untamed red hair and the painter with the unusual tattoos.
But neither grandmother realizes the secrets both Caylor and Dylan are keeping from each other. Will pain and embarrassment from the past keep Caylor and Dylan apart, or will the develop the courage to be truthful with each other and discover the true art of romance?
I loved the theme of forgiveness and acceptance throughout the book. Dylan had some issues in his past that had him building up walls, struggling to forgive himself for things done. The author made Dylan so real to me that my heart just ached for him. I wanted to help enfold him into God's peace and give him assurance that God knows and accepts him no matter what. It was beautiful to see his gradual acceptance of himself.
Caylor was a unique character in looks and had a great personality. Extremely tall and self-assured, she seemed to radiate life and confidence. I think the thing I liked about Caylor was her acceptance. While she longed for romance in her life, she accepted her place helping care for her grandmother. She was accepting of others whose lifestyle was unlike her own. She was accepting of other's faults and past life, choosing to see them as God's handiwork...a work in progress.
I think Kaye Dacus does such a great job with character building. She weaves in dialogue that gives us such a sense of who the characters are without telling us about them. The romantic tension is tangible and made my heart skip a bit in places. She has created a great cast of secondary characters that adds depth and texture to the story. There's the grandmothers, the friends, Dylan's brothers, his mom and dad, and then some coworkers. I think one of my favorite scenes is with Dylan and his brothers. Their camaraderie made my heart smile and had me wondering if there might be a future series planned with them.
One of the unique things about the book is the seven year age difference between Caylor and Dylan...with Caylor being the older one. You don't see that often and I love how Kaye made it seem natural. You are aware of it, but it never seems awkward.
Anyone whose heart longs for others to find healing from their past will enjoy reading this compelling story. The Art of Romance is full of hope and longing fulfilled. It is a story of the bloom of love in the midst of healing and discovery.
The Art of Romance is a keeper and I can't say enough good things about it. So far it's my favorite of Kaye Dacus's library of work. It is set to release May 1, so order your copy now!
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*I was provided a digital copy of The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus , published by Barbour Books through Netgalley. The opinions expressed are my own and I was not obligated to write a positive review .