Book Review – Painting Kisses, by Melanie Jacobson
After her divorce, famous artist Lia Carswell throws away her brushes, paints, and canvases, and she flees from New York to the mountains of Utah. There she invents a simpler life by changing her name, waitressing in a small diner, and helping to care for her sweet little niece. Her heart is broken, and she swears off men and painting forever.
But when her sister can’t afford to get her daughter into a good preschool, Lia decides to do one more painting for a mysterious, fabulously rich buyer. As she begins to paint, something happens that she didn’t expect: she reawakens to the beauty around her and the need to paint, and her frozen heart begins to thaw. To her dismay, two men vie for her attention: the handsome, smooth-talking Aidan (who she assumes is a construction worker), who orders everything on the breakfast menu just for a chance to talk to her, and her shy neighbor, Griff, who plays guitar and is gentle and sweet to her niece. Will she dare to risk her heart again?
I have enjoyed all of Melanie Jacobson’s books, but I have to say I loved this one the best. Full of her usual witty dialogue, fabulous non-verbal communication, fully developed characters, and a gorgeous setting, this story was more serious than her earlier works, with a beautifully unfolding romance between people with wounds and issues that need resolving before they can truly love again. I was even more impressed with how Melanie shows how deeply an artist needs to create, and the creative process involved. As an artist, I could relate completely. I especially loved the scene where Aiden is with Lia on the mountain. By showing her a different way to see the scenery, he helps her to break through and be able to access the genius within her. I’ve now read this sweet romance three times. Thank you, Melanie.