Portrait of a Love by Joan Wolf

Portrait of a Love by Joan Wolf
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

“I swore I would never get involved with a man again….”

Gifted artist Isabel McCarthy vowed to keep every moment spent with Leo Sinclair strictly business. Painting a portrait of this popular young senator could give her reputation a tremendous boost, but did she dare spend long hours alone with such a devastatingly handsome man—especially one who had a reputation for charming and disarming women? In Leo Sinclair’s brilliant blue eyes, Isabel clearly saw what he wanted from her. But while she was supposed to be fighting his passionate overtures, reminding herself how badly she had been burned by love before, her twice-foolish heart told her it was too late…the banked fire within her was ignited….

I undoubtedly would have rated this Best Book if there had been an epilogue. I absolutely loved this romance story. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I knew I was nearing the end and I didn’t want it to end. I started to scroll slower hoping I wasn’t as near to the end as I feared. I wanted to keep reading, I wanted to know more, I was so happy and then…I scrolled and saw “About the Author”. I crashed and burned feeling bereft. I will never know what happened to my book boyfriend. I had a major book glow that dimmed when I realized I couldn’t be part of the hero and heroine’s life anymore. All the plot threads were tied up into a pretty bow, but I selfishly wanted more. The synopsis says “the banked fire within her (heroine) was ignited…” I really like that analogy. I think my love for romance books is like a “banked fire”. Either the book ignites me or it doesn’t. Portrait of a Love by Joan Wolf definitely ignited me.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this book was because there weren’t any mind games between the hero, Leo, and the heroine, Isabel. They were forward and honest with each other. Both characters were relatable and well-developed. The sincerity between all the characters was tangible and realistic. I really felt part of the book.

Leo was intelligent, respectful, patient and genuinely kind-hearted to everyone. Leo was also rich and famous. Isabel was just as wholesome and well-rounded as Leo, but she was close to poor and not famous. Together they made a formidable pair. Their romance was sensual and heartwarming. The banter between them made me smile and/or laugh. They were comfortable as individuals and as a couple. I love that kind of balance between a hero and heroine. True best friends.

I can’t find any constructive criticism to mention about Portrait of a Love other than I wanted to see into Leo and Isabel’s future. This book is definitely a keeper to re-read some day. This novel is a must read to be put on someone’s “to be read” list. I hope this book ignites other readers’ “banked fire” and they read the story too.

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