Published by Rita Branches on April 25, 2016
Genres: New Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Author
Nobody ever said life was easy...
People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.
But things don't always go as planned...
Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate - another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend's older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane's life becomes more complicated than ever before.
When Keith's past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants--even if it hurts everyone she loves.
Painting Sky is a new adult contemporary romance standalone from Rita Branches. It is hard to believe that this is Rita’s debut novel because she really captured the essence of the characters so vividly. I didn’t initially know what to think of the story. On one hand, I was immediately drawn into the little bubble that seemed to be created around Keith and Jane every time they came in contact with each other. But on the other hand, I was hoping for something a little more drastic from his brother. I mean yes he was a jerk, but it didn’t seem so clear cut to me. In the end, it didn’t matter because I was completely, head-over-heels in love with Keith and Jane, who seems so much more like a Sky to me.
Painting Sky is told entirely from Sky’s point of view, and while I loved watching her sort out her feelings for Keith and come into her own, I really really wanted to hear some snippets from Keith. He is such a deep individual, that I wanted to peak inside of his head so very badly. This book wrapped me up tight in their little bubble and whisked me away from the world. I very nearly was late coming back from lunch because I forgot all about the time. I had withdrawal symptoms when I had to tear myself away from the story. And even when I doing other things, my thoughts kept straying back to Keith and Sky. That is the mark of a great book. I love it when characters and their story can affect me like that.
The only gripe I had with the story was with the other character’s opinion of Keith. I hated how everyone other than Sky seemed to think he was the worst person on the planet. Even Sky’s brother, Ryan, who is supposed to be his best friend, thought he was no good. That really bothered me, because no one seemed actually interested in getting to know who he was as a person. I didn’t see anything to justify the kind of treatment he was receiving from everyone. It was disappointing, and unsupported with facts from the story, that Keith was portrayed that way to everyone. Obviously, you can tell that I am a huge Keith fan. I loved the way he was always looking out for Sky. It was very sweet.
Bottom line: if you love tortured character driven romances that will rock your world to its’ very core, read Painting Sky. This is a book that will deeply affect you. I want more from Keith. I loved Painting Sky so much. This is another one of my top picks for 2016.
P.S. I just found out that this is not a standalone and the next book will be about Sky’s brother Ryan. I hope we get to see more of Keith in that story.
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