Review: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter

The Genius and The Muse

13590219I decided to read this book after loving Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series. I knew this was not a paranormal, but rather a contemporary, standalone romance novel. Nonetheless, it was not what I expected. I really liked it, it was just uniquely different and unexpected. This character-driven novel revolves around 24-year-old photographer and graduate student, Kate Mitchell. In the process of completing her thesis on a brilliant, reclusive and seemingly mercurial photographer, Reed O’Conner, Kate gets drawn in to a deep and complex story that begins to unravel at Kate’s unrelenting insistence.

“To understand Reed O’Connor, you have to understand Samantha Rhodes.”

And with those words, Kate begins her journey on learning more about the “extraordinary love” between Reed and painter, Samantha Rhodes. After a series of conversations with their tightly knit group of friends, she can’t seem to figure out why they would break up, ending something so remarkable. She begins to find the pieces of the story and try to put them together as her curiosity about the couple grows.


“When Kate Mitchell decided to research the mysterious portrait in the student gallery, she had no idea how her life would change. She thought she knew what she wanted. She had a great boyfriend, a promising career, and a clear path. 
How could one simple portrait change all that? A photograph. A sculpture. A painting. One clue leads to another, and Kate learns that pieces of the past might leave unexpected marks on her own future, too.  And how, exactly, did she end up in an irritable sculptor’s studio? One portrait may hold the answers, but learning its secrets will challenge everything Kate thought she knew about love, art, and life. A single picture can tell more than one story, and in the end, a young artist will discover that every real love story is a unique work of art.”

In the process of meeting the group of artist friends, Kate meets talented sculptor Javi Lugo. She begins to spend time in his studio, unexpectedly drawn to him.

“Javier Lugo was built like a bulldog, a massive one. His round heat sat on a thick, muscular neck, and his broad shoulders were layered with the musculature he had developed from years of working with wood, metal, concrete and stone. Though his hair and eyes were almost black, his skin was unexpectedly fair–and colorful, swirling tattoos marked his forearms and peeked from the back of his collar.”

This is an intricately knit story of friendship, tragedy, love, forgiveness and art. You come to care about the characters, invested in what happens to each of them.

Although this book has its fair share of plot valleys and peaks, it’s somewhat placid in its storytelling. I sometimes wanted the plot to quicken and spike a little more, but I still very much enjoyed the book and wanted to know what happened to the characters I cared about. One thing is for sure, it was refreshingly unique!


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