Title: Tailor Made
Author: Josephine Myles
Cover Art: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Buy Link: n/a
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy
Length: Novella / 28k words
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Satirical and funny observations about art college with a hot opposites attract romance.
Blurb: When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!
College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. If he’s going to do this right, however, he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.
First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only—and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr. Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body—a model for his end-of-year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand…
When I first met Felix, in this distinctly British opposites attract romantic comedy, I thought he was rather too coarse in his every attitude, sexual or artistic for me to warm to. However once he came under Andrew’s influence I really began to like him. His outrageously over the top manipulations calmed down into cheeky mischief and I could enjoy his humour without reservation. His matter of fact kindness in his dealings with Andrew was particularly appealing. I really enjoyed the way he changed how he thought about both sex and art.
Andrew’s thoughtful strength was built into a great character. I liked his serious introspection and the real passion he had for his work. The crash of his innocence and Felix’s experience coming together made both guy’s more interesting. Andrew’s quickly discovered sexual quirk was appropriate- adding a sweet individuality and some real heat to the sexual relationship.
The background setting of lovely Bath, and in particular the College of Art and Design was very well developed. The underlying discussions about conceptual and representational art were very funny. One of Felix’s sculpture’s being supposedly carved out of his own frozen urine and left to melt over the gallery was a creative way of taking the piss. Seduced by the beauty of Bath, but not by the Art department’s philosophy, Felix’s designing manipulations of the system, with his shrewd eye on his tutor’s preferences for conceptual art, felt horribly real. His interest in the facile, unpleasant, not to say unethical Saul seemed less likely. I just didn’t believe in this fascination at all- especially as it was meant to be his motive for actions in the story. Felix’s sudden ‘seeing of the light’ translating into his impulsive if rather satisfying final artistic statement, seemed well in character while the Art staff’s reactions were less credible.
However I enjoyed this well observed college romance and thought both characters – once Felix settled down- were displayed with originality and humour.