Title: The Artisans
Author: Julie Reece
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
ABOUT JULIE REECE:
Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!
Connect with the Author:
I'm gonna start this off by saying I was so worried about reading this book. I've been in an awful reading funk lately and haven't really been in the mood to read anything. I was worried this would affect my reading of The Artisans but thankfully it didn't. The minute I started I got really sucked in and managed to finish the whole book in a day. It was a fascinating take on the Beauty & the Beast tale and I was not expecting it to go in the direction it did.
Initially I thought this was gonna be just an ordinary contemporary read with maybe some mystery and intrigue but it ended up being so much more. I'm not sure if I should say what because it might be spoilery. Maybe this was left out of the blurb intentionally? I'm not sure. Just know that there is more to this book than what you might think.
The characters of Raven and Gideon were really interesting. Raven was a really cool character to read about, she had such a gothic and steampuck like style. I loved the descriptions of the clothes she designed. She did annoy me a couple times because of her indecisiveness and constantly switching her mind though. Gideon of course was the expected brooding, mysterious and damaged type, but I did like him. He has a dark secret that I really was not expecting. It was an interesting element to the story and I think this was the main think I liked about the book.
The romance element felt maybe a bit rushed. Even though they had been sharing the same house for months, I think they may have fallen too hard too fast for each other. I feel like there wasn't enough time spent on them getting to know each other really. Actually I kind of feel this way about a few aspects of the story. I think they could have done with being explored more in-depthly.
Overall though I did enjoyed this book. It was a mysterious, creepy and intriguing read.