Review: Transparent by Joy Eileen


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore Joy Eileen’s Jackholes series; I was lucky enough to stumble upon it shortly after the publication of the first book, and can’t wait for more of those boys, especially D. Then again, anyone who has read my reviews knows what an obsession I have with rockstars. I have had Transparent on my kindle for some time, but admittedly, I was a bit torn because paranormal just really isn’t my thing. But the basic premise had me intrigued from the moment I read the blurb.

Morley (what a lovely, unique name – well suited to this lovely, unique heroine) is a self admitted bit of a hermit, who loves her job at Art – an art gallery she was blessed to have been offered a job at shortly before she graduated with a degree in art history. She has a wonderful relationship with the gallery owner, who is a bit of a father figure perhaps to this girl who was orphaned at 18 and had her heart shredded by a most unworthy man shortly thereafter. She thinks she is satisfied with her lonely existence, she has a career and a home she loves, even if she despises the busy body HOA queen who lives next door (and gives her endless grief over her choice of painting her front door red – a nod to the past when a red door had nothing to do with prostitution and everything to do with welcoming weary travelers.)

In unloading a high dollar shipment at Art, she finds herself unexplainedly drawn to a portrait of an 19th century Lord. The owner notices her interest and convinces her you take it as a gift, as he claims it has no real value in comparison to the rest of the shipment and will wind up in storage if she doesn’t take it to her meticulously decorated sanctuary. The fact that the man in the portrait looks like everything she has ever wanted in a man, she gives in. Through a series of typically hysterical events and mishaps and such (Ms. Eileen’s humor always makes me laugh- “I didn’t remember turning the TV on. Maybe the cat accidentally stepped on the remote. That would have been a very plausible explanation, if I owned a cat.” is just one of many literal laugh out loud moments for me….too bad the others stuck in the emergency room waiting room as I read were not as amused.) Morley eventually has to admit the man of her dreams, that gorgeous hunk in the painting, really is talking to her…is responsible for the sudden chills following her.

As I said, paranormal is not my thing, but Joy Eileen’s writing style certainly is. There are parts of this story that are almost too relatable for me…at 25, I was that recluse that spent all my energy on my career, and had that bff, much like Morley’s Heather, who would almost literally drag me out once in a while. Luckily my neighbors were quite the opposite of the aptly named Mrs. Crabington, in the form of my nearly life long male best friend and his roommate who quickly became another friend. If nothing else, I could count on them to raid my refrigerator and make sure my leftovers never went to waste (and I just had to cross the sidewalk if I needed company, or anything else – the roommate was a nurse who may have saved my life one night by rushing me to the hospital he worked at. But I have gone well beyond a slight digression here…) I also had picked up a print of a long haired warrior at a Renaissance Festival in college, who starred in more of my fantasies and dreams than I care to admit to – maybe that explains my draw to the storyline despite my distaste of paranormal. Whatever the reasons may be, I am certainly glad I was willing to put my narrow-minded genre snob tendencies aside and delve into this one.

Without spoilers, the ending was perhaps a bit much to wrap my head around fully, but isn’t that a hallmark of fantasy? And how much more hypocritical could I be to embrace all the rockstar story
lines I don’t discredit, no matter how unrealistic they are, but criticize a paranormal book – a genre that never claims realism – for being over the top? I can’t do it. I pride myself on not meandering into spoiler territory in my reviews, so I am not comfortable sharing much about the story line itself, but real or just an old painting, Lord Alexander has an undeniable magnetism. Morley does too.

I surprised myself greatly as I searched the waiting room for tissues. As much as I would like to blame it on the nasty summer allergy weather (and these jaded eyes rarely leak) but I did discretely work my way through quite a number of tissues. At least as many as my equally embarrassing inappropriate outbursts of laughter. Some incredibly executed sexy scenes keep this squarely in 18 + age categories, but beyond that, it gets my highest recommendations, even for those like me who aren’t PNR fans. I fins myself hoping for a bit more of their story sometime down the road.

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