Disclosure: I am not a book reviewer; however, I am a reader, and I have eclectic reading tastes. I usually read 3-4 books at a time, often all are in different genres. Actually, it’s easier for me to read that many different genres at the same time, because when I read two or more of the same genre, I have to keep reminding myself what the story is and who the key players are. Right now, since I’m trying to increase my blog entries I am limiting myself to three: a cozy mystery, a suspense, and a technical book, and I’m listening to YA and a women’s fiction when I’m in the car.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a friend of the author of the book I am going to review. I have received no compensation for this review. I have purchased this book (multiple times) through Amazon.com and from her directly at independent book signings. I will be honest and objective. However, the review will be a good one because I loved the novel—not because it was written by my friend, but because it really is a good story—so good in fact I have purchased, and had Traci autograph, about 10 copies to give as gifts to friends and family.
“Painting the Moon” (Chilton Crosse Book 1) by Traci Borum.“Painting the Moon” is a chaste love story about adult second chances at a seemingly unrequited love the protagonist experienced as a youth. It’s a very easy read set in a charming English village in the Cotswold. The pacing has forward movement even with all the flashbacks to the summers Noelle spent with her Aunt Joy and the childhood friendships she made during her summers abroad. The characters become friends you want to visit each night, curled up in a comfy chair with a cozy blankie, while drinking a hot cup of tea and nibbling a scone. There are no steamy sex scenes. The sexual tension present is somewhat timid and tentative. Refreshingly so. I grow weary of abuse masquerading as romance; of characters making poor choices and then being seen as “strong” when they “do the right thing.” Real strength comes from making the hard choice to do the right thing first—before mistakes are made and lives are changed. Having said that, I didn’t see Noelle as particularly strong. She wasn’t weak per se either. I think she was slightly above average, with leanings toward the strength modeled for her by her Aunt. For me, the strongest character was the dearly departed Aunt Joy. As I glimpsed her life through the contents of the locked room, the mysterious symbols she painted in her paintings, the finding and reading of her hidden diary, I saw Aunt Joy was ahead of her time, she was a free thinker, and a much stronger female character. I would have liked to have seen more of her meltdown—but of course, that was part of the mystery.
Some parts of the novel didn’t ring true for me: the timeline Noelle gave herself for traveling from California to England, wrapping up her Aunts estate (packing up a cottage with a life time of accumulated stuff, a failing art gallery, and a seaside rental) and readying them for sale all in under a week! Unrealistic in my world. And then she became one of the villagers without much kickback from the locals? Maybe English villages are less cliquish than small town America. And the emotional tension between Noelle, Adam, and his fiancée could have been explored more. I didn’t want it to be, because I wanted Adam and Noelle together, but I’ve been to writing conferences where they talk about ramping up the tension. So I was expecting a little more.Overall, I LOVED this story because I’m a romantic at heart. I love feel good stories and this one abounds in feel good. It was cozy and easy to read—so much so, I am still making purchases to give as Birthday gifts to friends who didn’t receive it as my Christmas gift.
BTW, Traci’s second book, “Finding the Rainbow” has just been released, and Book 3 in the Chilton Crosse series (a Christmas themed story) will be released later this year. And, during her off time from teaching, she is working on Book 4.
My gift giving has become much simpler…but I need to make a spreadsheet so I can remember who received what and when so I don’t duplicate gifts!