Book Review: Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey

Title: Artistic Pursuits Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey
Series: Bottled Up, Book 7
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: Romantic Suspense, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: February 2012 by Dreamspinner Press

Frank Jennings is an FBI agent looking for redemption. Leslie Carlton is an Interpol agent looking for a thief. Attraction flares from the moment they meet on a case searching for a stolen triptych of unique Tiffany windows, but after a single night of stunning passion, Leslie is called back to London to continue his search there. When the case heats up again, Leslie returns to the States-and to Frank-but their investigation is complicated by their tumultuous feelings. Is it possible for two dedicated detectives to pursue each other while they're tracking down stolen art and the unscrupulous man who steals it?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Solid MM romance with a decent mystery plot but I had issues with the shoddy character development.

The Set Up: Frank is an FBI agent who gets a call about stolen Tiffany windows. Interpol agent Leslie thinks Frank’s case and his could be the same thief so the men pool their talents to search. The men give in to one night of passion but when the case stalls the men may never see each other again.

Why I Read this Book: I’ve enjoyed this author’s books and am working my way through his backlist.

What I Liked: Frank and Les have a solid romance. They have sex early and then spend the rest of the novel figuring out what that means for them since they claim their emotions are involved. The attraction between the men is palpable and I like that sexual tension in my erotic romance.

What I Also Liked: I like the mystery of the art thief. It’s got good twists and turns as Frank and Les slowly reel the criminal in.

I also really like Frank’s metamorphosis with his coworkers at the FBI. Frank starts the novel alienated from everyone at work and this slowly changes. I like his protégé, Karl, an FBI agent who was the tech agent but wants to work in the field. To be fair, most the other relationship changes come as a result of Les forcing Frank’s change with his coworkers but I liked that so won’t quibble.

What I Didn’t Like: I wanted to really like this romance since I love the agents falling in love trope (ahem, Cut & Run lover here!) but I had issues. First, Frank has a character change. He starts out as the young agent who made a mistake and everyone is ribbing him but then suddenly becomes the agent his coworkers are intimidated by because this leads into his emotional constipation with Les. I thought that was sloppy character development: either have the character be that way at novel’s beginning or don’t have it at all.

Second, Les is a blank slate for Frank. Frank has all these issues and Les is put in his path to fix Frank. Les’ character didn’t have any development and that’s a must in romance for me. Even the ending showcases this lopsided romance where Les gives everything to Frank while Frank just takes it all. I will admit that the one time Les stands up to Frank is a stellar sequence, but it wasn’t sustained enough for my taste.

IMO: I’d recommend this as a library read because I liked the mystery and eroticism but thought the character development was lacking.

J9’s Rating:
2 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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