Trompe L'oeil

K.C. Burn
Trompe L'oeil
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Loose Id
Release Date
August 2011
LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance

When Maxwell, a Depression-era artist, spurns the attentions of his sponsor, he ends up cursed to live out eternity in a painting. The man who cursed him delighted in playing the exhibitionist for Maxwell, and by the time the old man dies, Maxwell longs for his life and body back but he's pretty sure he never wants to watch anyone have sex ever again. Until he discovers who his new owner is.

Tyler isn't sure what to do with a life-sized painting of a nude man, but it was a gift from his sister to ease the pain of a disastrous break up and subsequent coming out. The gorgeous subject of the painting disappeared without a trace decades ago, rumored to have been killed by the painting's previous owner in a jealous rage.

Becoming more and more fascinated by the man in his painting, Tyler uses his resources as a history professor to solve the mystery of Maxwell's disappearance. He finds himself spending more time in his bedroom, talking to the painting, researching and aching to know the man in person. Maxwell falls under Tyler's sweet spell, discovering the thickness of canvas might be an insurmountable distance to cross.

Book Review by Midia
Oct 19, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
159 people found the following review helpful
A well-written story with likeable characters with a touch of paranormal in the midst.

Tyler has just moved into his new apartment. He is recovering from the end of his relationship (his boyfriend cheated on him) and is disappointed with the reaction of his parents to his homosexuality. His sister gives him as housewarming present a full-length portrait of Maxwell, a painter missing and presumed dead. Tyler is fascinated by the beauty (and other attributes) of Max and curious about the mystery surrounding his disappearance.

TROMPE L'OEIL is a story that begins with lust at first sight. But as the story unfolds and the characters get to know a little more of each other, they begin to fall in love. And the most interesting story is that they do not have any interaction except at the end of the book (Max is trapped inside the paint and cannot communicate with the outside world).

Tyler is a gay college professor who just wants to find his Prince Charming. After breaking up with his frog, he kind of got off track and ended up confessing his homosexuality to his parents who have not had a very positive reaction. Because of these two events, he is suffering. A series of tragic events has led Max to the situation he is now (cursed to be a painting). The two characters were well developed and has his own voice within the story. It's not because Max is trapped inside the painting that we do not know what he feels and how he sees the world.

The only problem I had with the story is in the end,when Tyler finally finds out what happened with Max I found his reaction kind of unreal. That said, I still enjoyed the story.
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