willaful's Reviews > The Reluctant Nude

The Reluctant Nude by Meg  Maguire
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it was amazing
bookshelves: hero-makes-me-swoon, made-me-laugh, o-performer-artist-creative, damsel-in-distress-knight-in-armor, sexy-beta
Recommended for: anyone who loves character driven romance

4.5 stars. The summary for this book sounds like a generic flip contemporary romance, and pretty much every scene that doesn’t involve the hero reads like a generic flip contemporary romance. Fortunately those scenes are very rare. This is one of those lovely romances where the main characters spend almost all of the book together, discovering each other.

Fallon and Max come together through some sort of unconvincing, convoluted scheme by Fallon’s enemy/frenemy Donald. For some neurotic reason of his own, Donald is willing to pay Max $700,000 to sculpt Fallon naked; the reward for her willingness is he won’t destroy property that she cares deeply about. Never mind how dumb this is, it gets them together and that’s the important thing.

Max is a beautifully drawn depiction of a passionate artist. His eccentricities are both charming and believable; I found his backstory and present story completely convincing. I also utterly adored him. Some of my favorite Max moments:

“‘Are you going to make me get naked in public? There’s a lot of boats out there.’

He laughed, the sadness seeming to leave him. ‘Of course not. I’m difficult, not cruel, you know.’”


(A note) Running. See you at 9:45 for coffee and awkward, post-coital niceities.


“‘That sounds…’ She trailed off, thinking. ‘That sounds very normal.;

Max shrugged. ‘I am willing to be normal, if it will have me.’”

He’s also hot and French and brilliant and a great cook. Love him.

Fallon was iffier. I never understood why she was felt so messed up, and since in some ways she’s such a cliched romance heroine (frigid til she meets the hero), it seem like her issues were more plot shorthand than anything real. But the interactions between Max and Fallon are so electric, poignant and powerful, it never seemed like a mismatch.

At the beginning of the story, Fallon gives Max a magazine clipping showing the risque pose Donald has requested. Max refuses, saying “I’m not a pornographer... if he has seen my work, he knows what I do. Sensual. Not obscene.” That’s a fitting quote for this story, which is all about sensuality that comes from true intimacy. I couldn’t begin to categorize how “graphic” the love scenes are or aren’t, because I didn’t notice; they were just right.

It's not a perfect book, but it comes damn close.
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Reading Progress

April 24, 2011 – Shelved
June 28, 2011 – Started Reading
June 28, 2011 –
page 17
10.0% "Captivating so far."
June 29, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Katrina Y Nice review Willa, I can't wait to read this one! You make Max sound so sexyyy~

willaful I think he is, and I did NOT go in with a thing about French guys, either.

message 3: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Great review Willa! Doesn't sound like this is available in dtb.

message 4: by seton (new) - added it

seton great review. I am looking forward to reading this one day.

message 5: by Ridley (last edited Jun 30, 2011 08:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

"I couldn’t begin to categorize how “graphic” the love scenes are or aren’t, because I didn’t notice; they were just right."
I thought this had some of the best sex scenes I had read in a long time. I'm totally over the recent trend of stereo manual descriptions of what went where, so the sensual, romantic nature of the sex writing in this book was a real relief. I also liked how unique it was. What they did just suited them and only them, somehow.

willaful AgentScully wrote: "Great review Willa! Doesn't sound like this is available in dtb."

Scully, I think this is now available in pb...

message 7: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Muses This review is just right!

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