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The Art of Us

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Two years ago, his kiss left her reeling, but she pushed him away and they never spoke of it again.

Lena Andrews is bad at love, and has no intention of getting better at it.
Men are good for one thing, and love isn’t it.
She’s perfectly okay with finding happiness in her job as a comic book artist.
Yet, she can’t shake the memory of her coworker’s kiss.
Amos St. Clair has stayed the hell away from Lena Andrews for the last two years.
Work has filled his time and he’s on the cusp of making a name for himself. When an opportunity to complete a project that’s dear to Lena’s heart presents itself, Amos seizes the opportunity – even if it means being with the woman he's avoided all this time.
Through their mutual passion for art and each other, their love blooms like a lotus flower out of a dark, muddy pool. But, is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges posed by the most important job of their careers?


Published January 26, 2018

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About the author

Hilaria Alexander

16 books213 followers
Hilaria Alexander never thought she'd be a writer one day. Reader? Yes. Book hoarder? You betcha. Then, she started reading romance - that's when she felt the need to write a story. Unfortunately, she didn't listen to her gut, and talked herself out of it A MILLION TIMES. She finally gave up a few years ago, when the urge to write was stronger than self-doubt. She loves funny, sexy romances wrapped with a huge happily-ever-after bow at the end. Her inbox is always open if you want to chat about one of her books.

For upcoming teasers, samples, and all things new-release-related, sign-up for her newsletter at www.hilariaalexander.com

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5 stars
103 (50%)
4 stars
61 (29%)
3 stars
23 (11%)
2 stars
14 (6%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 122 reviews
Profile Image for ItaPixie.
1,058 reviews93 followers
January 22, 2018

This book is amazing,it brought back my excitement for manga and anime,Japan and the japanese culture.

Lena is a broken woman who lives in a bubble made up of her work and her drawings,she has given up the hope of finding love and happiness years before,fortunately she met Amos who will bring her out of her head and will make her understand she deserves to be happy and to live her life in the best way she can.

"You don't hold the reins of your life.Fate does."

Hilaria Alexander definitely know what she wrote. The accurate descriptions of the places and the habits of the japanese are so real that I easily thought I was there with the characters while I was reading.

Copy kindly provided by the Publisher/Author.

Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,320 reviews283 followers
May 22, 2018
Riddle me this, what are 30-somethings doing playing 7 minutes in heaven? Is this some kind of new wave sex party I'm not aware of? With...coworkers? ...shudder...

So you know what I mean when I say these characters, totally hung up on that kiss, are not reading true to their age. It almost felt like the author wanted to write a YA but make it super smutty and erotic at the end. It was hard to read. Especially with all their not-believing-in-love business.

All right, peace.
Profile Image for Anne Conley.
Author 54 books504 followers
January 15, 2018
This book took my breath away in so many ways I can’t even describe it. Even with circumstances I can’t imagine, I related to these characters and was rooting for their happy ending so hard. Exquisitely crafted details, superb characters, and a compelling writing style left me gasping by the time this story was finished. Seriously. Like, I feel a love for things I don’t even know about and have never had an interest in after reading this book. I suddenly feel like Manga is the most beautiful thing ever, and Tokyo needs to be on my bucket list.

This was a book I feel like is why authors write. It changed my perceptions about things. It made me want to learn more. And it did it all while entertaining me with a heroine who was feisty but not standoffish, and a hero who knew what he wanted and how to get it without being a douchebag about it. It was a sexy, refreshing romance novel from an author I will definitely read more of. Thank you, Ms. Alexander. Thank you.
Profile Image for Hot KU Romance-Dani.
88 reviews6 followers
January 18, 2018
This was the first book I’ve read by Hilaria Alexander and I’m impressed to say the least. I loved this book and learned so much reading it. From Japanese culture to the life of comics I was drawn in from the beginning. This story was a slow burn with the perfect amount of emotions and angst. Lena and Amos were a treat and I didn’t want it to end. This is a must read!!!

I look forward to reading more of Mrs. Alexander’s work from her backlist and her next releases.
Profile Image for Brittany Hartt.
262 reviews1 follower
January 26, 2018
Hilaria has done it again! I was up in the wee hours of the night soaking in as many words as I could, and if I wasn’t reading The Art of Us I was itching too. The chemistry between the characters is off the charts and perfect. The culture change that Hilaria describes is amazing and so intriguing you just soak everything in. I honestly can’t recommend this amazing book enough!
Profile Image for Hilaria Alexander.
Author 16 books213 followers
January 27, 2018
Two comic book artists embark on the impossible task to complete an unfinished Japanese comic book (bonus points if you guess the shojo manga I'm talking about). TAOU takes place between Portland and Tokyo, one of my favorite places in the world.
An angsty romance with a sizzling slow burn, The Art of Us is a story that will take you on a journey around the world.
Profile Image for Brandi.
1,153 reviews139 followers
March 11, 2018
I'm not saying this was a bad book. The book was okay. Based on the reviews, this works for a lot of people, it just didn't do it for me.

Lena is a 30-something woman who is terrified of commitment.
Amos is a 30-something man who has crushed on Lena for years.

They shared a kiss two years ago. After which, Lena ran. And then played an amazing game of avoidance.
For. Two. Years.

When they are thrown into a work situation where they must work together, they realize those feelings that swirled around them two years ago when they shared a kiss still existed.

But how do you go from not speaking to friends? How do you push past friends and into relationships?

Easy, you take a really really long time.

This is where I got bored. I thought that something fun was about to happen around the 20% mark. But then I was led into a sea of disappointment. And then I had to sit through more of the book just for our main characters to get their heads out of their asses.

I'll admit I'm in a book funk. Or maybe it's that the other books I've been enjoying are these massive, epic books that cover all range of emotion. I'm not sure. But this book was not for me. Don't let that deter you, you may love it. That's the beauty of books.
72 reviews
January 14, 2018
I have never been an Anime fan, but I absolutely loved this book, it now makes me wanna look into seeing what anime has to offer. Also this book needs to be made into an anime or comic.

When I was sent this book, I knew how amazing an author Hilaria is from reading her other books, so I did have high expectations, and this book surpassed them all.

I especially loved how the relationship between Lena and Amos took a good while to get to where they belonged together. Some books just rush into the relationship between two characters and that can make a book rather tedious. My favourite part has to be when Amira from both "Lost in Scotland" and "A Scottish Wedding" turns up and then brings in Sam and Hugh, I was happy with how both sets of characters were brought together in a different storyline of another brilliant book.

I couldn't put it down (only when I had to work or sleep lol). My fave book of 2018 so far.

Just wanna say thank you Hilaria for writing such an amazing story that hooked me from the beginning.
Profile Image for Lo.
Author 2 books420 followers
January 16, 2018
The Art of Us is my favorite novel of Hilaria Alexander’s to date. She weaves the perfect amount romance, heat, heartbreak, and culture into her words.

While reading TAOU, I truly felt immersed in the culture of Japan and manga. I had gone in with absolutely no knowledge, and her words prove her absolute adoration and respect for both.

Amos and Lena were full of slow-burn and angst, and I LOVE IT. ❤️🔥

Another 5 star from Ms. Alexander!
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,832 reviews58 followers
January 10, 2018
I will start by saying I'm not really a comic book or anime person, but I really LOVED this book.

Lena is the main female, a comic book artist and she carries some baggage. She is filled with angst and kinda angry. Doesn't want a relationship, but is the queen of a one night stand. Life has handed her some heavy things. She escapes through her drawing. She is close to few people (her boss, Marty and his finacee to name a few).

Amos is the male, and you will fall in love with him. He's also a comic book artist (Lena's co-worker), carriest some baggage, but is a sweetie.

A huge opportunity lands them in Japan, and we watch their professional and personal lives intermingle. They both deal with their demons and it is a lovely story, although sad at times. I really loved the way the author told the story and you could really feel the emotions of the characters throughout!

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book and am so glad to have had the opportunity to read it!
Profile Image for Kristin  Reads.
682 reviews14 followers
December 31, 2017
This is my favorite Hilaria Alexander book so far! I loved the story, the enemies to lovers type love , and I love how once again the author takes us to another country and now I am dying to travel there.
This book centers around Lena, this beautiful , smart, talented and guarded women. Her past is full of hurt that affects how she is today. Amos, I don't even know where to start with this man. He was so charming and I LOVED his characteristics. Despite his broken past and still broken relationship, this man is witty and kind and I loved every time the story flipped to his POV. I loved Lena too, but I think Amos was my favorite character of this book. HE WAS EVERYTHING. I loved watching these two kind of skate around each other, I loved the obvious chemistry that you felt every time they entered a room together. I LOVED when forced to work side by side Lena was so MAD, but when she stopped fighting it and everything worked out.. it was so beautiful watching this romance blossom. I loved loved Lena and Amos story. Watching them work side by side, and watching elements of what hurt them slip away was beautiful.

There are so many reason to what made this a great read. The story was fascinating. I have never read a Manga, but the way the author dove into this subject and the way she described what it was and how it is created and the culture behind it made me want to look into Manga more. I loved the small cast of side characters that you will get to know. Marty and Violet I love them! I can not forget the mention how going to Japan through this authors eyes and experiencing the culture in this book was AMAZING. I need to book a plane to Tokyo now! This book is an amazing story , with amazing characters and you will love it! This one is a #MustRead!

PS.. Well done with the cameo... That was a nice added surprise.. LOVED IT!

60 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2018
There are a few special books out there that take you on journeys, and this was one of them; not only with the characters as they navigated the bliss and sometimes turmoil of their relationships, but an actual journey across the world. This author did a fantastic job at familiarizing the reader with a foreign land without making her writing seem informative and educational. “Experiencing” Japan in this way was my favorite aspect of the book.

I related to the main character, Lena, in her reluctance to let anyone in due to a tragic incident in her past. She doesn’t want to experience the pain of losing anyone else, so she keeps them at arm’s length, only allowing casual encounters to slip by. It was incredibly sweet the way the hero, Amos, waited out her fears with so much patience, and I loved experiencing their relationship grow over their shared career and passion as comic-book artists.
Profile Image for Aaly.
1,356 reviews54 followers
January 26, 2018
*** ARC kindly provided by the author for an honest review. ***

I couldn’t put it down... I was transported, Lena and Amos took my breath away!

Review to come.


** ARC kindly provided by the author for an honest review. **

I wasn’t expecting that kind of deep connection I had with The Art Of Us. Once I started Lena and Amos’ story, I knew I was for the long haul. They won me over, I felt so much, holding my heart hostage (in a good way) until the end.

Everything I love to read about in a romance novel was on point. As a huge art lover myself and manga reader, I couldn’t help to be drawn, caught into the passion of two artists who made their stories from their imagination come to life. It definitely resonated with me.

I think the author kept perfectly the essence of that kind of art. I wanted to be transported. And I was; from the scenery places, to the constant turmoil of emotion the heroine was trapped into, a bit of lightness running through some heavy moments at times.

The slow burn romance, tension between the characters was intense, a bit angsty but I enjoyed to see them fight, driving each other crazy, but always reunited about their passion and love for art.

I fell in love with these characters, following into their journey, when love and art collided in the most beautiful way, a story where the main characters created their own ending, happiness, fighting and supporting each other no matter what, flaws and all.

I also discovered a country that was as much as fascinating as intriguing.

It was a magnificent journey that would stay on my mind for a long time. And Amos St. Clair... le freaking sigh. 


IMG_4407 (1)
146 reviews
December 31, 2017
I wish I could do this book justice with my review. But sadly, I'm a reader not a writer. The amazing story contained in the pages of this book is perfection. From the gorgeous scenery, the struggle against an initial attraction and the moments of heartbreak and healing. I enjoyed every last page. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a touching and emotional read that will make you want to travel or climb into the story.
Profile Image for Karen Ferry.
Author 15 books371 followers
January 21, 2018
I spent most of yesterday curled up with a great book: “The Art Of Us” by Hilaria Alexander is a funny, heartwarming and swoony enemies-to-lovers romance that was everything I could’ve hoped for in a book. I have a massive girl crush on Lena, the heroine, but Amos completely stole my heart from the beginning.

I am so impressed with the amount of research this author has done in order to bring not only Japan to life, but manga and comic books artists as well. So while this is a love story, it also educated me and brought awareness to an art form that I’ve, until now, not really been interested in.

I really can’t praise this book high enough, and I urge you to read it when it becomes available. It was SO good!!!
Profile Image for Diane (Books and Tequila Blog).
1,386 reviews62 followers
January 26, 2018
Lena Andrews is a comic book artist who lives for her work. She has sworn off any romantic dreams and when she finds herself attracted to Amos St. Clair she goes out of her way to push him away.

“Maybe I had to stop avoiding him. I had done it to protect myself, but now a voice inside me told me I had been silly and stubborn.”

Amos also feels the attraction but when Lena shoots him down at every turn he moves on.

“It was just a kiss. It was just a kiss, I kept repeating to myself…but it had been the best kiss ever. What if? What if we could be friends? What if we could be more?”

I felt like the story started out slow, too much was made of a single kiss and I really had a tough time connecting to or understanding Lena. Once the setting shifted to Japan and Lena and Amos had to work together, the story picked up. I loved reading about the Japanese people and culture.

“Sometimes I think you really don’t realize what you mean to me.”
I stared at him in confusion. I didn’t know what to say.
“Don’t you know that I haven’t been able to get you out of my head ever since the very first kiss we had?”

It was great to watch the relationship between Lena and Amos develop while they were away from their regular routines and working so closely together. I really started rooting for Amos to be able to help Lena move on from her difficult memories.
Profile Image for Bobbi Wagner.
4,099 reviews35 followers
February 24, 2018
The Art of Us by Hilaria Alexander is a culture romance that is engaging and heartfelt. I have enjoyed this author's other books and I enjoyed this one as well. I know what I am getting when I open one of her books. Her writing style is easy flowing and her characters are well developed. They make you feel as if you are right there with them. They took me on an emotional journey of romance mixed with culture. This book took a little bit to get into for me but once it did, it took off like a rocket into space. This is Lena and Amos's story. Lena believes that men are meant for one thing and it is not for love. She has one love in her life, art. She has a past of a broken heart so she has very little attachments. Amos is Lena's coworker and he has done his best to stay away from her for the past two years. But when an opportunity comes up to work right along side of her, he takes it. They both have feelings for each other that they have been hiding but they both share the love of art. Through friendship they grow into something more but are they strong enough to stand the test of life? These are two characters that I enjoyed watching their relationship grow throughout the book. They bring life to the story with heart. They are both strong, tough, independent characters. Lena is full of attitude, the sassy, opinionated kind that makes her interesting. Amos is full of patience and I enjoyed watching him waiting in the back ground until he was ready to make his move on Lena. They are sweet together and I found myself hoping that they would get their happy ever after. The secondary characters are just as enjoyable. They add to the story to keep it engaging. I highly recommend this book. Find out what happens to Lena and Amos and if fate will allow them to have a happy ending.
Profile Image for Wendy.
925 reviews11 followers
January 20, 2018
The Art of Us brought us into the world of comics and art/drawing, along with the romance. I learned so much about a different culture and the world of comic art. It was very fascinating and I devoured the information. It was just as significant to the story as the blooming romance between Lena and Amos. The romance was very slow-burning and had some angst to it. The progression of their relationship as the story went on was intriguing. I really enjoyed seeing it play out as I read. Lena and Amos were wonderful characters. There was depth to them and they were personable. I enjoyed reading about their persona as the story progressed. There were definite emotions to this story that made it more heartfelt. Hilaria always takes me on a journey whenever I read her books. The Art of Us did not disappoint and made for a great ride!
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,985 reviews23 followers
January 27, 2018
3.5-4 stars. Lena Andrews is pretty adamant about art being her one and only love in life. Having been devastated by love in the past more than once, she would rather keep attachments to a minimum. So even though she is undeniably attracted to her coworker Amos St. Clair, she refuses to do anything about it. As a matter of fact, she gives him the cold shoulder. At first, I had trouble connecting with Lena and Amos. The angst, animosity, bitterness and sexual tension was definitely there, but I wasn't feeling it with them. It seemed a bit long and drawn out during the first half of the book. I found Lena to be frustrating with her inner conflict and I was glad that Amos didn't sit around trying to wait for her. When they began to interact more through their comic book project and went to Japan, then the book really picked up from there. The cultural Japanese infusion was fascinating, too. Then I got more immersed into the story with Lena and Amos' assignment, the people around them, the customs and the language. It created this atmosphere of intrigue and intimacy where the previous barriers between Lena and Amos were lifted and they were now a unified team that had to lean on one another. I really liked Amos. He bided his time and didn't push Lena until it was finally time to make his move and then she couldn't back out at that point. I also loved the dynamics with the original Manga artist and how the whole experience was a stepping stone for everyone involved, reaching a career height that was unimaginable to all of them. And I could appreciate the growth in Lena's character such that I found her to be admirable by the end.

*I received an ARC*
Profile Image for Lizs.book.nook ||Elizabeth||.
1,179 reviews39 followers
January 29, 2018
I was graciously offered an ARC of The Art of Us by Hilaria Alexander. I can honestly say that this book was beyond fantastic. It could just be me having not found it, but I can truly say I have never read a book like this before. It was such a unique and intriguing story line. It was funny, witty, heartbreaking, loving, it elicited every emotion possible. I had trouble putting the book down for even a second. I didn’t want it to end, but I also was extremely pleased with how it did end. I also loved some of the intertwining with her characters from the Lost in Scotland series :).

The scenery that was described throughout the book was stunning! I had never been to Tokyo or Portland for that matter. But the way everything was describe was beautiful and it allowed you to picture the scene like you were there experiencing it for yourself.

The electricity and chemistry between Amos and Lena was off the charts. Not just in the bedroom but in every aspect. Taking in their stories, their moments, their ups and down and seeing how they came together and could never really be apart no matter how hard they tried after that was awe-inspiring. Even after the life that was dealt to them at times seemed imposing and impossible, both Lena and Amos found their soulmate, their other half.

This story was beautiful and raw. It let you escape but also feel this truth. This all-encompassing truth that even though this is just a story, that there are some very real moments that can apply to anyone.
This alluring story is something I truly believe, if given the time, all should read. It was a story I certainly won’t forget.

Most definitely 5 huge stars!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cassidy.
644 reviews61 followers
March 2, 2018
I adore this story. Lena is a tough, bad a$$ chick. She has had a rough life, but is a survivor. Amos is a hunk. They are both comic book writers. It’s was fun learning more about that world. The cover is gorgeous. Hilaria did a bang up job on this one.
Profile Image for Naroba.
148 reviews2 followers
January 12, 2018
As of right now I’m batting 1000 with Hilaria. The Art of Us was great from start to finish. A tale of angst, insecurity, sexual tension, and overcoming a crippling sadness. This book was hot, frustrating, funny, and well paced. I caught myself imagining the locations and now I want to visit Japan or at least go eat tons of Mochi.
Profile Image for Beverly Rousch.
105 reviews
January 4, 2018

That was...whew.. hot.

One of my favorite traits about Hilaria Alexander books is that they usually contain some travel. This time the main characters go to Japan. It is delightful!
The story is exciting. The main character is a strong female (hooray!). The emotions are strong, believable, and sweep you right in. And Amos. He was 5 stars all on his own! Roar!
Bravo, Hilaria! Hotto bukku!
Profile Image for Kathy Schofield.
86 reviews3 followers
February 1, 2018
Everyone wants to find their "Home"
This book was an amazing read. It wasn't just a "romance" novel, it was so much more. The way we deal with heartache, friendship, idols, other cultures, and our own demons were all covered in The Art of Us.
The two main characters have such a connection that has been building over the years, that whenever they come together there is such fireworks - good and bad!!
The world of Manga is an extraordinary place - the way the Author shows and describes the way of the Japanese art form is an absolute credit to her.
I had google maps opened as I read through the book, so I could envision the places in Japan where the majority of the book is set.
I could have read this book in one sitting - unfortunately adulting got in the way!
Profile Image for Nina Hatch.
Author 2 books19 followers
January 21, 2018
I feel like I just got back from a vacation I never wanted to end! The Art of Us is a heady, sweeping trip from Portland to Japan, and Hilaria Alexander is just the tour guide you want showing you the sights. The landscape she creates is so lush and textured that you really do feel transported to the neon-streaked streets of Tokyo, and being immersed there along with Lena and Amos gives you the rush of falling in love and seeing everything with new eyes.
Lena was such a great character—strong, ambitious and snarky. She knows what she wants and she’s a great friend. It was wonderful to see her growth and watch Amos break down her walls. The slow burn was just right for these two, keeping the story at a simmer until you can’t take it anymore, then delivering with heat!
I especially enjoyed learning more about manga, and I loved that Lena and Amos are artists. I loved how thoughtful they both were about their art, what it represented to them, and what it represented to their fans. I loved the message throughout the story about the power of art, how it can sometimes become painful, how it can heal, the strength it takes to create even in trying times, and the forgiveness to rest when you need to. This was a beautiful read that filled me up, I can’t wait to travel with Alexander again!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
901 reviews
January 19, 2018
Hilaria Alexander has done it again! The Art of Us is much more than an enemies (sort of) to lovers story line. This book is about finding one's self, learning what you really want/need and not just what you think is best or even just enough to get by, and finally realizing that your heart is big enough to be open to loving another. So much goodness in one book. Lena and Amos are the lucky ones that get to take this ride of discovery all the while working on a Japanese comic in Japan. So we are transported from the Pacific Northwest to Japan, a place that you will want to visit after reading this book. And Ms. Alexander has the ability to make us feel as if we are right there with Lena and Amos experiencing everything this foreign land has to offer. As well as experiencing the ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything in between that these two go through to get to their ending. I loved their story and only want more of them. And we get see some old friends as well. Well done.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Profile Image for Candyce Kirk.
1,179 reviews39 followers
January 26, 2018
This book was amazing and a lot different than I expected it to be. I could completely relate to Leah, being a complete geek and loving comics. The fact that different comics were mentioned throughtout the book, I definitely felt like a geek, haha. I can't imagine what it was like to go through what she went through in Japan. Leah having comic books I think really saved her along with her best friends. Not having the greatest parents growing up really influenced her way of how she felt about love. Amos I think scared her, because what she was feeling wasn't something she felt before. The drawing in the notebook was really cute and I loved how that brought them closer together. Going back to Japan to finish a story that wasn't started was a good way to heal and open up. I don't see that as a typical romance book, but so much more! Hilaria Alexander wrote a beautiful romantic book and I can't wait to read more of her stories.

Full review to follow on: thebookdutchesses.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Debbi.
268 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2018
“You don’t hold the reins of your life. Fate does”

Loved this story. Lena and Amos - the art they share together is a bond that just can’t be broken. It’s definitely an enemies to love story that makes you cheer them on and grab that happy ending.

I loved the art part of this story. It was fresh. It was unique and opened my eyes to a part of the art world that I never had any interest in.

This is an amazing story and I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Rach.
167 reviews5 followers
January 26, 2018
This is my favorite book of Hilaria's that I've read. "The Art of Us" is descriptive and immersive and gasp-inducing. There's a beautiful slow-burn to the romance, and even though the h is said to be less-than-pleasant, I found her to be someone I cared for and wanted to have the utmost happiness. I found Lena to be interesting and realistic, strong and confident. The H, Amos, is equally inspiring, and the two together are a match made from manga, although it takes some work to allow themselves such a HEA. I've actually visited Japan, and Hilaria's words brought me back there with a smile on my face and memories flooding my brain.
Profile Image for Lozzie.
659 reviews6 followers
January 26, 2018
This story is absolutely incredible! My heart went through a rollercoaster of emotions whilst following Lena and Amos’ story.

I loved how different the novel was to others that I have read, I loved the uniqueness of The Art of Us, and I loved it all.

I loved the destination of the novel. I felt like I was travelling around Japan with them both. It’s made me fall in love with Japan without having to go there!

This story is absolutely incredible. I loved it so much!
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