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Posted April 18, 2011
Artistic Romance with plenty of flair
If you are looking for a nice, contemporary, romantic, Christian fiction novel with an artistic flair... and meddling Grandma's, then this is the book for you. "The Art of Romance", by Kaye Dacus starts us out with 2 plotting Grandmas "Sassy" and "Perty"- don't you love them already?- who have decided that it's time for a little matchmaking for their respective Grandkids Caylor and Dylan. As these Grandma's are a part of a larger group called collectively the "matchmakers" (this is Book 2 in The Matchmakers Series), Caylor and Dylan stand no chance. After all these Grandmas are in a race for Great Grandchildren!
This story involves an accomplished and Tenured English Professor and author Caylor Evans and the struggling,in more ways than one, artist Dylan Bradley. Dylan Bradley is coming off of a bad and dominating relationship with an old colleague at a former college in New York and trying to heal from his past mistakes and start over in a whole new place, his home town of Nashville, Tennessee. He is doing this by moving in with his Grandparents to try and get his life back in order. He has a lot of work to do, in terms of his relationship with God, his parents , brothers, etc., because his former relationship was incredibly toxic in his life, not exactly a time to meet someone new and start a relationship. But, in time, they do and there are many hurdles to overcome during this story. A part of the story that I really loved was one involving Dylan and his 3 brothers- they all come together via a Skype type of interlude- and I don't want to spoil it, but- I just loved how the author incorporated that into the storyline because it is just so "now". It turns out that Dylan is not the only one with a skeleton in his closet, it appears that Caylor has one of her own. So both of them need to be honest and have "some esplainin' to do"( Imagine Ricky Ricardo accent here).
I think that Kaye Dacus does a nice job of taking her characters on a journey where they truly do grow and change. They are not perfect people, some more flawed than others, but with God's help trying to change and grow and become all that they are meant to be. I just think it brings hope to show the process and how they change, as opposed to," they are perfect from the beginning and have it all together all the time". Kaye Dacus always throws some cute humor in her characters as well, which makes it fun to read. It's also a pretty sweet love story with just the perfect ending. So, if you're in the mood for that sweet Contemporary Christian Romance- then I think you'll enjoy this book. And the moral of the story- always listen to your Grandma.
Disclosure-I was graciously provided with a digital copy of "The Art of Romance" by Kaye Dacus , published by Barbour Books through the Netgalley program. The opinions I expressed are my own and I was not obligated to write a positive review .
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2011
Kaye Dacus writes a refreshing fun romance!!
Snazzy! This is one of those books that you must keep lying around the house to grab when you need a comforting old friend. The characters felt so real and so very familiar that it's hard to even explain.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved the author meets artist scenario but I honestly think that my favorite part is that the characters don't really take themselves too seriously (well, not the main characters). It's really refreshing to see people who have many of the same character traits that I look for when choosing friends. For instance, there is a part in the book when Caylor is with someone who is drinking, quite a lot, I loved how she handled that and how nonjudgmental the players in the scene were with each other.
Posted July 6, 2011
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Posted June 22, 2011
4 out of 5 starsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
If you are a fan of "fluff" romance than The Art of Romance probably isn't what you're looking for but if you like your books to feature realistic heroines with well-researched storylines I highly suggest picking up a Kaye Dacus novel. Having read all of her previous contemporary romances it's safe to say that she's got the smart, independent, educated lead down pat. There are no "too dumb to function" heroines to be found and yet they are not without flaws.
In this, the second installment of the Matchmakers series, we once again meet Caylor Evans, a thirty-something English professor by day and romance writer by night and struggling artist, Dylan Bradley. Neither Caylor or Dylan are looking for a relationship, Caylor having to take care of her aging grandmother and Dylan having just left a disastrous relationship with a former colleague, but God and grandmas are a team that will not be thwarted. Where Love Remains didn't include a lot from the meddling grandmas, this book more than made up for it. From setting up a "fantastic" kitchen remodel to painting daisies in an art class for seniors Sassy and Perty were unstoppable and I loved them. If anyone knows about grannies concerned for their still single grandkids, it's me and these two matriarchs were right on target.
As much as I loved the Sassy, Perty, and Caylor, Dylan wasn't my favorite hero. I definitely liked him towards the end of the book when he learned to be a little more assertive. I guess I am so used to the big, strong, alpha male heroes that Dylan came as a bit of a shock allowing his ex-girlfriend and his family to have so much control in his life. Not only was he a bit diffident but also a lot younger than Caylor. That said, I really appreciated Ms. Dacus breaking the mold so to speak with this story and making it reflect modern day trends, I just have to get used to it I think! Altogether, The Art of Romance is a terrific book and perfect for today's Christian reader.
* I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my thoughts on the book for the author.*
Posted June 2, 2011
Another unforgettable story by Ms Dacus!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The characters are well-developed and the reader learns more about them gradually - making for a great friendship. It makes the book hard to put down.
The grandparents, parents and siblings are expanded and interact very naturally. I especially enjoyed the intervention by the brothers.
Dyland is a great example that even men can be emotionally abused and I cheered him on as he emerged from that abuse to live a full life again.
I appreciated the subtle ways Ms Dacus showed the effects of the abuse and how he changed when not under that cloud - the ability to carry a conversation.
This book should win another award for Kaye Dacus.
The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus is a humorous story about two matriarchal match-makers. It's a wonderful romance story, but not the gushy, unrealistic type. It's based on real issues that are current to today's culture.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Dylan has been fired from his position as an art professor due to a betrayal by his ex-girlfriend and colleague, is currently unemployed and living in his grandparents' loft in their old carriage house, and is definitely not ready for a new relationship. When he moves back to his home town, there are rules behind his living with his grandparents, and he tries to abide by them.
Caylor is a tenured English professor and established romance writer who lives with her grandmother, escorting her to events and shopping after her husband passed away. Due to her living arrangements and a past relationship, she, too, is not in any hurry to get married.
Sassy Evans and Perty Bradley have different plans for Dylan and Caylor. However, they don't know the painful and embarrassing secrets both Dylan and Caylor are hiding.
This is my first book by Kaye, and it was an absolutely delightful read. The issues she brings about are so relevant for today's culture. She paces the drama and character information in a manner that keeps the pages flying. The romantic sparks and conversations between Dylan and Caylor are very realistic--the shyness of flirting without trying to overdo or pushing the relationship. The age factor comes into play as well, which society relates to differently. That issue is handled very well, whether you agree or disagree.
The relationships of friends and siblings really touched my heart, especially those of Dylan's. You'll find that love, trust and faith in each other and God are the building blocks of the relationships and marriages, young and old, with a few exceptions.
For a fun read about conniving matriarchs and the hearts of two broken people being mended, this is a book you will not want to miss. But don't be fooled, this book is not a simple plot of boy meets girl.
This book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review. My gracious thanks for a delightful read!
Posted May 16, 2011
"The Art of Romance" - When I first read the title, I was unsure about what to expect since I've never read a Kaye Dacus book. I was pleasantly surprised. The title fits it so well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Caylor, English Professor and writer, gave up her independence - her life - to help take care of her grandmother, Sassy. Not that she had a life anyway.
Dylan, artist extraordinaire, had a life, but it was yanked away from him when he walked out on a bad relationship, one he should have never been in to begin with.
In come Sassy, and Perty, Dylan's grandma - matchmakers. They want great-grandkids before their friends. Will it be with Dylan and Caylor or will they have to wait for Paxton, Tyler, Spencer, or Sage?
Will Dylan's and Caylor's secrets keep them apart? Or will romance be created?
This was a fun book, clean and entertaining. Life after 30 can be romantic. :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Posted May 11, 2011
Not for the Hungry or Those Craving Much Romance
3-1/2 stars. From a technical and editorial standpoint, Kaye Dacus's newest book cannot be faulted. However, as an avid contemporary romance reader, I found the lack of true romantic moments in this book and the inordinate focus on all things food-related to be annoying and less than satisfying. Even the heroine's sister is named Sage (and the overabundance of odd or unusual names was distracting). The preoccupation with food made me groan aloud toward the end of the novel with this line, "Caylor used her teeth to scoop out the soft inside of the spear first, then bit into the firmer exterior." Nearly every other page involves either eating, thinking about eating, talking about eating or food preparation of some sort. I say this not to be nit-picky, but to say I'd rather Ms. Dacus focused on the actual romance and gave me characters to care about instead of making me crave a Monte Cristo sandwich. I admire the author's obvious desire to step out of the mold and create characters (especially her hero, Dylan) who have feelings of insecurity and doubt, and a somewhat checkered past. Not to mention his longer hair, unshaven stubble, leather jacket and even a tattoo (and younger than the heroine, to boot). Both the heroine, Caylor (I love that this unusual name came from the author's grandmother) and Dylan spend way too much time thinking about each other and admiring each other from afar. But it quickly grew tiresome reading how handsome he is and how tall and statuesque she is, and how cute and sensual her crooked smile with the adorable chip in her front tooth. Both harbor secrets the author makes pretty obvious from the start (coincidence, anyone?). Their insecurities stemming from their pasts keep them from having a serious, mature adult conversation instead of pursuing their mutual and growing attraction. The matchmaking grandmothers are endearing overall, but it gets cloying when they discuss which one of their grandchildren will produce the first great-grandchild, as if it truly is a "contest." I hope in her next "romance" that Ms. Dacus puts the focus where romance readers live - in the "heart" of developing the romance between her two main characters, the true "art" of romance, indeed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2011
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Posted May 11, 2011
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