Shy art-student, Sophy James, is sketching a world famous art collection when a man’s face catches her eye. Beautiful to her artist’s eye, she starts sketching him instead when he’s not looking. She makes promising progress when she realizes that she is witness to an art heist. Security expert, Mick Hollister manages to thwart the thief, but manages to mow down a much smaller and asthmatic Sophy down where she is unable to catch her breath and must be taken to the local hospital. When Mick tracks her down she manages to convince him to pose for her which is the start to a beautiful friendship. Artistic License is a beautiful friends to lovers story about two people who’s insecurities keep their hearts safe but taking a chance might bring them a new world of happiness.
Mick is used to most women being attracted to his body but finding his face unappealing, so when gentle and sweet Sophy finds him attractive he wants to take a chance but her shyness holds them both back from being more than friends. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel where the hero is not described as attractive, yet is made attractive through the eyes of our heroine. I loved Mick’s protective personality, and wanted to nudge Sophy to give him a chance a lot quicker than our author played this story out. However, Sophy had a reason for not wanting to upend her world by taking a chance at romance. Her severe asthma might be the reason they met, but it’s also kept her in an insulated world keeping new discoveries at arms distance. I cheered for them when they finally got together and ended up really enjoying their journey.
I don’t read a lot of books set in New Zealand but loved how this book made me feel like I was learning a new culture, seeing new scenery, and hearing their accents and different patterns of speech. This may be Elle Pierson’s first novel, but she also writes under the name Lucy Parker and that feeling of traveling to a new place is something she brings to all of her novels, be they set in New Zealand or England. I’m a huge fan and was excited to discover this new name to add to my author list on Goodreads and Amazon. Here’s to hoping another book by either author will be out soon.
If you like slow burn love stories, you may want to give Artistic License a try. I really enjoyed the pace, the characters, and the journey to a different country. I found myself really invested in why these two were holding themselves back from being together and when they finally took that leap I felt the satisfaction of a book well written.
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