Painted on my Heart by Kindle Alexander Review
Artist Kellus Hardin let love and loyalty cloud his past decisions, a mistake he definitely won’t make again. Now, lost and alone, he’s left to pick up the shattered pieces of his broken heart while facing the truth of his reality.
Arik Layne exudes power, confidence, and determination. But when an encounter with the guarded artist shakes him to the core and alters all his future goals, he finds more than just his heart on the line.
For Kellus, opening himself to love isn’t an option.
All Arik wants is to make the artist his.
Can love create a masterpiece when it’s painted on your heart?
I’m a big fan of the creative duo Kindle Alexander, and I’ve read and enjoyed several of their books. I’m a firm believer in celebrating love, regardless of where it is found, and in the pages of one of their books, that always happens. They consistently give their readers such richly told, well developed stories, and Painted On My Heart absolutely demanded that depth.
This was, at times, a very difficult story to get through. It wasn’t pretty but as anyone who deals with a loved one’s addiction can attest, addiction is never pretty. Kellus embodied the whole brooding, tormented, starving—literally—artist but his character was colored with so many other emotions. Chief among them was the crushing isolation and loneliness and the soul-deep sadness that he channeled into his work. His life had been completely upended by his former lover’s addiction and that man continued a reign of terror on Kellus’ life, seemingly hell bent on destroying him and all he had built. It was hard to watch this honorable man of integrity shoulder that burden. He was wracked with guilt—and exhaustion—from it. His was a dark and secluded existence until Arik walked into and showered him in light and love.
Arik was a commitment-phobe playboy, through-and-through. A string of one-night-stands, or boy toys whose names he hadn’t bothered to remember or even learn in some cases, littered his wake. An extremely successful, self-made hotel developer, Arik thought he had it all. It wasn’t until he met Kellus, the artist whose work touched him in a way no one and nothing ever had, that he realized how empty and lonely his life really was. At first driven by his attraction to the sexy artist, Arik quickly realized his feelings for the artist were much deeper, and he set about pursuing him relentlessly, single-mindedly, determinedly. Arik’s larger-than-life personality had the potential to overwhelm the much more introspective and guarded Kellus, but it wound up being his ex-lover’s story that was overshadowing everything here.
These two had an airplane cargo-hold’s worth of baggage to sort through to get to their hard won happily-ever-after. No doubt, it was very hard, in some sections, to read this story. There was just so much pain and torment here. Kellus’ heart was so battered and bruised, this man was gravely beaten down and fragile to the point of being on the cusp of an emotional breakdown. I honestly wondered several times throughout this story if he was even capable of getting there. I’ll admit, I kind of struggled with the pace of the story in the first third of the book. I readily admit this backstory and build-up was necessary to the overall flow and development of the entire story, it did drag a bit for me. There were other parts where I felt the story dragging, but then I’d get to a point where progress would be made, a step forward would be taken, and it was worth it. If anything, the main thing I took away from this story is that love truly is patient and kind.
Kindle Alexander always delivers a well-written story, and Painted On My Heart is definitely that. It was an incredibly emotional, sometimes exhaustingly so, heart-wrenching and anguished journey to love, but it was also sexy and beautiful and so very real. Painted On My Heart by Kindle Alexander gets four smooches from me!
~ Danielle Palumbo
BUY IT NOW