A stroke of beauty
a palette of pain
a rendering of passion
…creating a work of art
In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?
Ava Jacobs is diligently working toward an art career of her own when she’s swept off her feet by the self-destructive artist — creating a world of sensuality and all-consuming love. But will the pain of the past and turmoil of the present make their future uncertain? From desire and mystery to a muse that almost slips away, The Work of Art Collection will be the inspiration that has you breathless for the unveiling of their final masterpiece.
This beautifully written love story is finally being released as a collection (complete box set) for the first time and includes new material and extras.
On the way to my car, he stops me. “Ava, I need to say something.”
He pauses on the walkway, looks down and kicks a pebble toward the lawn.
“I know that as much I’d like to…I can’t ask you not to see Jonathan…”
What? I glance up at him with my head tipped to the side.
He’s twisting his hands together as I wait for him to continue. He finally looks me square in the eyes.
“…But, will you do me a favor? Don’t fall in love with him.”
I arch my brow. “Did you really just ask me that?” Should I tell him there’s little to no chance of my falling in love with Jonathan now?
He gets a devilish look in his eyes as he holds up his hands in surrender.
“I know, I know…I just don’t want you to get involved with him on the rebound.”
I put my hands on my hips and arch my brow. “Max, to be on the rebound you have to have been in a relationship to rebound from.”
He seems to ignore my logic. “Besides, Ava, you could still be really attracted to me and not know it.”
“Really? I don’t think my attraction to you is in question.”
“Yeah, what if you’re secretly falling in love with me?”
I playfully push him on the shoulder. “You wish!” I tease.
“There’s only one way to know for sure. Don’t you think you should know before you go out with Jonathan again?”
“One way to know for sure?”
“Yes. Kiss me. I promise I won’t touch you—look, hands free!” He tucks his hands into his back pockets.
My mouth falls open as I press my thighs together. Just the idea of being kissed again by Max makes me instantly hot and bothered.
“Just one little kiss,” he says in a low voice.
I can’t believe he’s playing this game with me. But the fire in his eyes and the sweet smile on his face are more than I can bear. I take a step toward him. Two can play this game.
“So, if I feel nothing, we’ll agree to be friends—that’s it—no complications. And I can friggin’ marry Jonathan if I so choose.”
He makes a sour face, but nods anyway.
I bite my lip as I look into his eyes. One kiss, one kiss…I close my eyes as I edge closer until I can feel the heat shimmering from his skin.
“Oh, Ava,” he whispers, a deep longing in his voice.
His breath on my cheek undoes me, and when our lips meet, they meld together as if they’d just kissed a moment earlier. We kiss languidly,
sensuously, our tongues meeting in an erotic dance. He gently bites my bottom lip before I press my lips even harder against his. An overwhelming current suddenly
surges through me, practically knocking me over.
Oh my God! I’m on fire. I run one of my hands along his shoulder and behind his neck, pulling him closer, while winding my other hand into his hair and tugging it passionately.
Our bodies are pressed together so tightly I feel as if I’m one with him.
He moans my name over and over as the kiss intensifies. I’m lost in his sweet mouth, his lips turning me into a traitor to logic and reason.
When I finally pull away to gasp for air, he grins widely, and the bright-eyed expression on his face is victorious. He gambled big and won.
Like there was ever a question—he owns me. He probably has all along; it’s just taken me all this time to figure it out.
He studies me with a spark in his eyes, and he takes a sharp breath.
He takes his hands out of his pockets as if to grab me and never let me go. My heart’s so full I can’t help but shine with a smile.
I remember we’re taking things slow, so without a word, I hurry to my car before he can say something to draw me back into his arms. But even as I flee the charged atmosphere and speed down PCH, I can feel his joy follow me all the way home.
Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.
The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom.