Review: Muse by Clare London

Gavin McGrath’s art career is in ruins, his health is failing, his wife’s left him because of his promiscuity, and he’s alienated people in the industry with his aggressive and arrogant behavior.
But when a full pot of red paint falls on his current canvas, apparently ruining it, it brings a change in his life he never expected. A strange, beautiful young man appears in his studio as his companion and Muse. Matteo is from another time but he understands artists all too well—and now his place is with Gavin.

Matteo brings devotion and inspiration across the centuries, forcing Gavin to take stock of his life and his behavior in the months he has left to him. Eventually Gavin realizes he must reconsider the capacity for love he’s always scorned—before it’s too late for both him and Matteo...

Genres: Gay / Paranormal / Ghosts / Hauntings / Time Travel

This story was surprising. Very well written, and different, it’s going to be difficult to write this review without spoilers, but I am going to try my best.

Gavin McGrath is in a deep artistic rut. His wife has left, and he doesn’t really care. He just wants to find that spark that will drive his creativity, and allow him to produce some great work again.

Enter Matteo. Arriving as if out of nowhere, Matteo is not wanted, and mistaken for all the other paid models that come to the studio. Not wanting to be interrupted, Gavin tries to get rid of Matteo, but it appears the man has no sense of self preservation, and will not budge, smiling and eating fruit while ignoring the angry artist.

As the story progresses, so does their relationship. Gavin comes to rely on Matteo to be around for him as a companion, advisor, and model, even as he grunts and snarls at him. He has driven everyone away, and he needs the young man more than he realised, secretly thankful that the soft warm nature of Matteo means that he is immune to Gavin’s outbursts.

The development of this story was strong. I was riveted and couldn’t put my reader down. There was something mysterious, but enchanting about the way this story progressed. Beyond the art, and the main character, there was an otherness to this story that kept me on my toes.

It was short but very satisfying. It unfolded slowly, but brought about a natural conclusion. There was only some minor details that I would have preferred more of. Otherwise this was a completely fleshed out novella from a skilled writer.

The characters were well developed and easy to understand. The plot was surprising, and went in an odd direction that I found fascinating. There was a leading by the author, where seeds were dropped for the reader to collect and fill in the picture, but it wasn’t obvious, and that ambiguity made for a really delightful experience.

This story is a little darker than grey, with the subject matter, and the undertone of depression. There was a heaviness to it, but it didn’t hurt too much.

I would recommend this to everyone who wants something a little different. Who enjoys the eccentricity of a dedicated artist, and the stranger who appears out of nowhere, to bring the artist back to his true glory.

Check out on Goodreads!

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