When thinking how I was going to end the Senses series, I really wanted to return to the work of Patrick and Ken.
Their story started the series and I wanted to end it to end in their world. So the idea came to me to bring a young artist to work with Ken. He had to have real talent and I wanted him to think he’d lost it somehow. From there Arik was born. A young man who’s lived a hard life and is trying to recover from an injury that he thinks stole both his gift and part of his life.
Once Arik began to speak to me I needed someone for him to fall in love with and Reg seemed like the least likely person, so of course he was perfect. Reg is everything Arik fear, strong and intimidating. That meant he was exactly what Arik didn’t know he needed. Red is strong and gruff, but he also has a big heart and that allowed him to touch the part of Arik that he held under guard. Arik and Reg turned out to be amazing characters that I fell in love with. The perfect way to end the series.
Title: Love Comes to Light
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Senses Series
Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Mar 18, 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Artist Arik Bosler is terrified he might have lost his creative gift in the accident that left his hand badly burned. When he’s offered the chance to work with renowned artist Ken Brighton after winning a contest, Arik fears his injury will be too much to overcome.
He reluctantly travels to Pleasanton to meet Ken, where he runs into the intimidating Reg Thompson. Reg, a biker who customizes motorcycles, is a big man with a heart of gold who was rejected by most of his family. Arik is initially afraid of Reg because of his size, however it’s his heart that warms Arik’s interest and gets him to look past the exterior to let down his guard.
But Arik soon realizes that certain members of Reg’s motorcycle club are into things he can’t have any part of. Reg can’t understand why Arik disappears until he learns Arik’s injury was the result of his father’s drug activity. Though neither Reg nor Arik wants anything to do with drugs, the new leadership of Reg’s club might have other ideas.
“Arik, I’m glad you made it.” He set his palette aside and walked toward Arik, extending his hand. Arik hesitated, then pulled his right hand out of his pocket. He could tell instantly when Mr. Brighton noticed. He looked into Arik’s eyes, meeting his gaze straight on. That alone was different. So was the gentle, yet firm, way Ken gripped his damaged hand. “It’s good to meet you.”
Arik looked away. “I should explain. I really wanted to meet you, but I thought about calling to cancel because—” He looked down at his hand. “Well, I’m not an artist any longer. I was so thrilled when you called, and I wanted to meet you so badly, but… I probably shouldn’t waste your time.”
“Slow down. And please call me Ken.” He reached over, grabbed a stool, and moved it closer, motioning for him to sit. “Let’s take things one at a time. This is my partner, Patrick,” Ken said, and Arik extended his hand. Patrick nodded and shook it. “He isn’t able to speak because of an accident, but he’s very adept at other forms of communication.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Arik said, and Patrick smiled, his eyes warming even more. Patrick lightly patted Arik’s hand and then released it. Patrick then left the room, closing the studio door. “Like I said, I shouldn’t have come and wasted your time.”
Ken didn’t say anything, just walked to the corner of his studio and returned with a painting that Arik instantly recognized as his contest entry. “All of the entries were sold at a charity auction, and yours was the only one I bought. It spoke to me in a way that went right to my heart. I had to have it.”
“I did that a year ago….” He looked down at his hand and slid it back into his pocket. He hated seeing it.
“Your work is gorgeous and shows great talent,” Ken said.
“Well, it shows what I once had.”
Ken continued looking at the painting.
“That was my grandmother’s home,” Arik said. “The contest guidelines were for us to paint a memory. I chose a time when I was happiest. My grandmother had a house on the lake in Muskegon. There was a swing in the backyard under a tree, and she and I used to sit in it and she read me stories.”
“She must have been a gardener.”
Arik nodded. “She loved flowers and even bred roses. The purple ones and the orange ones in the picture are ones she bred herself. She loved the color, but I think she was after scent more than anything. I remember her always smelling like roses. They were her passion.”
“You didn’t put her in the picture,” Ken remarked.
Arik smiled. “She’s there.” He pointed to the row of color that disappeared along the side of the house. “She’s in those flowers. She told me once that after she was gone, she’d live on as long as someone grew her flowers.”
Review by Cat Clontz
Arik feels that his days as an artist on the rise are over now that he’s suffered horrible burns to his dominant left hand. Unaware of the damage to his hand culminating in the apparent end of his burgeoning career, one of his idols, Ken Brighton, extends an invitation to collaborate on a project, an offer which Arik simply cannot turn down before meeting the man. Arik also has an innate fear of large men, so when he meets biker and repair shop owner Reg when Arik stops for fuel while driving to Ken’s home for a two-week stay, he’s immediately beset with an intimidation factor that leaves him cowering inside his own vehicle.
Reg creates custom designs on motorcycles in addition to repairing vehicles at his station, and he and his primary staffer, Slash, are part of the local motorcycle club. At first glance, Reg seems an intimidating hulk of a man, but in reality, he has a generous heart and a gentle soul, and he is immediately drawn to Arik. He must use all of his considerable skills if he is to capture Arik’s heart for his own and help the other man believe he’s worth loving. Unfortunately, a situation within the MC could be the very thing that keeps the two men from achieving their happily ever after.
This is the last story in the Senses series, and it brings together past characters along with Arik and Reg’s new beginnings. Arik’s struggles to develop different ways of using his scarred hand to create the art that lives inside him are tempered by the difficulties faced by Jerry, a young man with a severe disability we met in a previous book, who serves as an inspiration as well as a reality check for Arik. Adjusting to life with a permanent disability is an emotional battlefield, and the psychological damage is as compelling as the physical. Mr. Grey presented both with authenticity and compassion.
Every twist and turn of this story broke and rebuilt my heart a little. Reg’s emotional struggles as defined by his reality and his willingness to reach out for love despite his fears, Arik’s devastating background explained in such a way that I couldn’t help but want to pull him in for a hug and a reassuring pat on the back. Mr. Grey has an amazing ability to fully immerse you in a story, creating emotional bonds between the reader and his characters. I’ve come to expect very high quality from this author, and this story does not disappoint.
Main characters not overloaded with angst, peripheral characters helping to fill out the world in the story, and the chemistry between the pair serving as a slow burn buildup offer another wonderful foray into Mr. Grey’s incredible talent!
Rating: 5 Stars
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7544
Andrew Grey grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
For Other Works by Andrew Grey
(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)
The ones listed below is for this Series Only
Love Comes Silently Book 1
Love Comes in Darkness Book 2
Love Comes Home Book 3
Love Comes Around Book 4
Love Comes Unheard Book 5
Love Comes to Light Book 6
Publisher and Distributor of Gay Romance Novels, Short Stories, and eBooks Publisher and Distributor of Gay Romance Novels, Short Stories, and eBooks.