In The Nude by Margaret Sisu, when forty-something artist Adam Straker accidentally scalds twenty-something photographer Gwen Mason with hot coffee, they both not only feel the heat, but instant chemistry. Adam would prefer not to be attracted to a younger woman, especially while he is on the precipice of hitting it big. However, he finds himself unable to avoid his attraction to her.
Gwen’s mother is less than thrilled to hear that her daughter is interested in an artist. After having been put through hell by Gwen’s father, who was an artist, she has hopes that her daughter will not experience what she did. When she realizes that Adam was actually a student of her ex and present at the time of their breakup, horribly painful memories are dug up. Wanting to protect Gwen from the secrets of the past, both Adam and her mother do everything they can to avoid having her discover what really happened.
When Gwen discovers a hauntingly beautiful nude painting that Adam has hidden away, her interest is aroused. She is curious about the model who appears to have been adored by the artist who painted her. Adam refuses to talk about the painting and requests that she leave it alone. Gwen disagrees and secretly arranges for it to be a part of one of Adam’s big showings. Bringing The Nude out into the public will only invite scrutiny and risk drawing negative attention to people who would prefer that their pasts stay in the past. Gwen’s actions set off a string of events that create a great deal of drama, and eventually force the truth to be revealed. In spite of the good intentions of her actions, Gwen desperately hopes that her relationship will be able to survive the result of her choices.
The Nude is a perfect combination of romance and intrigue. The characters are multi-dimensional and very realistic. The attraction between Adam and Gwen is complex and exciting. As the story builds up to a huge climax, readers are sure to be surprised by what follows. Questions are answered with unexpected explanations. I enjoyed having the opportunity to be surprised by the truth. I think readers will really enjoy this novel.