Title: The Masterpiece
Author: Rivers, Francine
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Genre: Religious and Inspirational Romance
Format: Hardback, EBook, and Audio
Rating: 4 Lattes*
Heat Level: Light Roast*
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.
A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.
Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.
It is no secret that Francine Rivers tops the list of my favorite authors, so when it was announced she was releasing a new romance, I immediately pre-ordered it.
The book opens with Roman Velasco in the midst of his dangerous graffiti habit. He climbs a building, completes his art, and runs from the cops. It feels gritty and exciting. A super rich, high profile artist hiding a shady habit.
Then we meet Grace Moore, a single Christian mom in a tough situation who is looking for a job that will enable her and her young son to finally make it on their own.
When the temp agency sends her to Roman’s estate to work as his personal assistant, the stakes of the story are set almost immediately.
What kept me reading (or didn’t).
Honestly, the main thread of the story fell very flat for me. The danger introduced in the first chapter never really materialized, though it was (weaky) hinted at several times.
What kept me reading were the back stories. Mrs. Rivers did an amazing job of painting the layers of trials from Roman and Grace’s early lives and showing how those experiences shaped both of them. The flashbacks were woven into the present time story at moments when I probably would have stopped reading otherwise. I just never really connected emotionally with either of their adult selves.
The book has an exciting beginning, a dramatic mid-point turn for both Roman and Grace, and the ending was satisfying, but, for me at least, it lacked the emotional punch I was hoping for.
The Masterpiece is a great read, and definitely showcases Ms. Rivers’ ability to wind the redemptive story of the gospel into a contemporary romance. It was a satisfying read with a storybook romance. My only wish is that I had closed the book feeling more of a connection to at least one of the characters.
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit Francine online at www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers)
*For definitions of my ratings and heat levels, please read my ABOUT THIS BLOG page.