Book Reviews

Designs of Desire by Tempeste O'Riley at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / BDSM / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Sandra on 17-September-2013

Book Blurb

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?


Book Review

I have read a few novels that feature artists and their muses, and I have found that this theme works well enough for me to want to read it as soon as it came up for review. It must be my mothering instinct kicking in as I liked it from the book blurb I got sent; the mere thought of a man injured by another’s misuse of his emotions just made me want to give him a great big hug. Even if it doesn’t always happen in real life, but in this novel two unlikely men get together in a deep and loving relationship that can only happen if one lets the other into his private world.

James is one of those damaged men I have read about in several novels who needs someone to look after him. Seth, without knowing it, steps up for that role and at first James pushes him away as he’s already had a former lover who didn’t treat him the way a lover should. Unfortunately this has marked him, and made him think all men are the same. His other problem is that he needs to use crutches to move around, and everyone seems to see him as disabled rather than a man who has a personality and a good sense of humor. There is an instant attraction between the two of them, but he thinks it unlikely that someone of Seth’s looks would want someone like him.

Seth wants James as his designer as this new job requires someone experienced. He sees that in him, and also after seeing the rough designs knows he is an artist in the true sense of the word, but asking him to do a private show of his work doesn’t go down too well, nor does the fact a certain someone from James’s past is involved with Seth’s project. Seth might seem to be a man who has it all, money, power, and position, but he doesn’t have a man in his life and that’s where James comes in.

Tempest O’Riley’s words seem to reach in and tease at times. I liked the affection Seth shows James right at the start as he sees a man who needs some love in his life, and isn’t about to let him think that a man of his artistic calibre will go to waste. This novel is great for those who like to read about damaged men finding a real lover in their life. I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 200 pages/60778 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-July-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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