Joy Hightower is helping her uncle and fellow artist out on the set of his latest movie when she gets the chance to work with THE Everett Hughes (think Brad Pitt, but younger). Little does she know that when she is assigned to do his body art, her swiftly changing world will tilt on its axis. From the get go, these two have off the charts sexual tension. When Joy starts to work on Everett’s lower body, she leans forward and finishes him off in a way that is completely out of character for her. She can’t stop, because not only does she love it, but she feels vibrant and alive – unlike how her doctor telling her she has lymphoma made her feel earlier that week. She revels in the feeling, but feels embarrassed… needless to say, Everett didn’t mind. He asks her to meet him at the statue that evening but what neither party realizes is that there are two statues in the studio.
Fast forward fourteen months and Joy has completed her chemotherapy, left LA, moved to Chicago, and is in remission. She’s an art teacher and loves what she teaches, but admits that her social life is definitely lacking. As she eats lunch with a couple of coworkers, in walks in no one but Everett Hughes himself. He’s in town for his Chicago Maritime launch and recognizes Joy immediately, much to her friends’ surprise! After chatting with him and his sister Katie, Joy is invited to the premiere (with the help of one of his sister Katie’s dresses) with Everett. She has trouble accepting, but in the end agrees, which begins their relationship and sets the stage for one of the sexiest yet emotionally sensitive tales I’ve read in long time.
Ms. Kery is a magnificent writer, I truly enjoyed reading her descriptions of the characters’ lives and emotions. She really lets you live the story. The story is told in third person and while Joy is the main narrator, it was nice to have Everett’s point of view sprinkled in enough to get a more robust understanding of them as a couple. She did a very good job of capturing the mentality of someone who has brushed death and doesn’t want to burden their family or friends. It was hard to understand why she didn’t just TELL people about her struggle since that is something no one should ever have to go through alone, but I think it’s one of those situations where you can’t know what you’d do until you’re in it.
I highly recommend this book (though, I’ll warn you it’s the second in a series) because it’s well written, well thought out, STEAMY as all get out, and emotionally satisfying.
Exposed to Youby Beth KeryRelease Date: November 6, 2012Publisher: Berkley