Photograph by Tanith Davenport

PHOTOGRAPH
Photograph by Tanith Davenport
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (198 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Spanking, masturbation
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

She wanted him. Her sister married him.

Tara Thornton hasn’t spoken to her sister in two years, ever since Azure married the man of Tara’s dreams. Tired of the rift, Azure invites her to take a Mediterranean cruise on a friend’s yacht and, bowing to family pressure, Tara accepts.

Forced to be in close proximity with the man she still desires, Tara is thrown into confusion. The presence of celebrity theme park owner Liam Wilder and the reality of his marriage to Azure send Tara into a tailspin and, in an attempt to regain control, she responds to the advances of hot fellow guest Ryan Hyde, while determined to feel no affection for him.

But Ryan has a way of getting under her skin, and Tara’s plan to get closer to Liam is rapidly losing its importance as Ryan begins to break down her defences. Can she let go of Liam, let Ryan into her heart…and tell Azure the real reason for her silence?

A hard won happy ever after is the reward for reading Photograph and it’s worth experiencing Tara’s growing pains. It’s not often a heroine is the one having to navigate territory that usually is a male’s purview.

Ms. Davenport had quite the challenge facing her when dealing with Tara. A reader is first introduced to the heroine when she is at her most uptight, obsessive, illogical, controlling and nasty as well as stubborn beyond belief. In short, she’s not likeable. Her internal dialogue gives a reader a clear indication of her obsession. It’s not healthy. Who can reach a person that mentally closed off?

Her sister, Azure. I loved the name Azure; it’s so pretty. Tara’s sister is the one who orchestrates an unusual scenario that forces their issues to break open. It’s clever, elaborate and effective. It’s not without its downside but I admit to being pleasantly surprised at one of the twists. In fact, once one of the dramatic and suspenseful incidents happened, the book exhibited a tighter handling of plot focus and intensity. It’s when this book started to shine and I found myself completely engaged and totally enjoying myself.

The style of writing in the first half of the novel is split between Tara’s point of view and Azure’s POV. A reader gets to understand why Azure pushes so hard and what demons plague Tara. In the early stages of the plot, the head hopping hurt my brain. The little snippets of going back in time to relive some moments that lead up the current situation between the two sisters, although commendable in their inclusion, made me want to facepalm – it broke up the flow of the story and it didn’t work for me.

One thing the head hopping and switches of POV accomplished was to help me understand that Tara’s imagination created a picture of a person that had no bearing on reality. The object of her obsession was revealed through Azure as being a person totally and completely unsuited to Tara’s personality, yet that person fits Azure like a glove. And that is also where I saw the slow change and dawning awareness in Tara that nothing was as she believed. She couldn’t handle it so she did what guys normally do which is another clue to her personality. After that moment, the crack in Tara’s shield started to spread and I got to see some amazing shifts as told through internal dialogue and the heroine’s own actions. And readers need to pay attention to her choice of words, they’re very telling. Once that started happening, I was able to see the evidence as to why Azure did not want to give up on Tara, why she pushed so hard and I started to see glimpses of what made their relationship so special before it all went to pot. Tara is redeemable and worth saving.

As for the sex, readers will get their fix. It doesn’t happen only for Tara, Azure gets some too. And believe it or not, sex is important in this tale which was a pleasant surprise. I’m serious too. Usually sex is about titillation or a celebration of a couple coming together in a romance. In Photograph sex is a barometer of emotion and discovery and a key component to Tara’s redemption and I truly got the biggest kick out of that. Way cool.

Initially, Photograph is a hard book to get into because of Tara’s personality and some of the issues I mentioned above. Stick with it because it’s so very worth it. The heroine’s character growth is significant and powerful, the drama and excitement that the author infused at certain key points in the story were well written and gripping and set fire to the plot movement. The growing attraction between Ryan and Tara was a complex love dance that ultimately culminated in a soon to be HEA. I won’t clarify that statement; a reader will have to find out for one’s self. The intimate encounters were varied and always well placed, not to mention delightfully hot. The happily ever after is intricate and substantial and it tied up some loose ends making it a wonderful way to end the story. It’s not a fairy tale ending; it’s the perfect ending for both Tara and Azure. If readers like character driven plots then this book fits the bill. If readers like challenging and strong female protagonists, then this is the novel to choose. Photograph has a lot to offer; pick up your own copy and see for yourself.

Comments

  1. Is this part of a series? There’s no HEA?

  2. Xeranthemum says:

    Hi, bn100!
    From reading the book, I don’t believe it’s a series; it might be but this book is a definite standalone. Then again, your question might explain the switches in POV a bit better – I can only guess. As far as the HEA – it’s like I said, it’s a “soon to be HEA” – I expect there to be one, it alludes to their being one and I can imagine there being one – it’s all in the writing. It makes perfect sense once a reader gets to know Tara and finds what she finds when she finds it. It worked for me because of the heroine.

    I hope my answer sort of helps. 🙂

  3. SHELLEY S says:

    THANKS FOR THE REVIEW AND THE GIVEAWAY!

  4. Thanks for the review, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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