Update – Congratulations to Edie, the winner of Jeffe’s giveaway! Thank you to all who participated!
I have a treat for you all today! Release day for Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy is February 25, 2013. To celebrate, Jeffe is not only giving away a digital copy of Platinum to one lucky commenter, but she also let me interview Steel, the hero of the story!
Althea Grant is doing fine. Sure, her Charleston gallery is suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere. But she’s happy enough. When rugged metal sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual-and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes. Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr that can be used for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the coolly polite lady into modeling for him is the second. As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all-it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?
So Many Reads Review:
Althea’s gallery is in financial trouble. Even as an adult she feels the need to live up to her parent’s expectations. They don’t necessarily agree with the choices she has made with her art gallery, especially since they had loaned her money. They do approve of her current boyfriend, though, who is as polished and fancy as them. Althea isn’t happy with her personal life or her career, but she just continues to plow through the “safe” world in which she lives. No big splashes for Althea. She couldn’t possibly let the inner Althea out. What would people think? Enter Steel.
Steel is the polar opposite of Althea. He doesn’t care what people think of him. He was an underprivileged kid who is lucky he isn’t currently in jail, considering the people he hung out with. Art was his outlet for all his “mad” growing up. As an adult, he specializes in metal sculpting and was sent to Althea’s gallery by Althea’s assistant. Both Steel and Althea quickly realize that his art would not belong in her gallery. She dismisses him and expects him to walk out as quickly as he walked in. Steel, however, is intrigued by Althea and talks her into letting him rent out the basement for six months.
When I first saw the interaction between the two of them I thought there was no way the author could pull off getting them together and making it believable. I didn’t feel an instant spark or any chemistry between them at the beginning (aside from Althea looking him up and down in his motorcycle riding chaps). Althea was just too upper class and a little snooty for him. Boy was I proven wrong.
Steel knows just how to get under Althea’s skin and make her want things she wouldn’t admit at first. Little by little, Steel is able to peel away the exterior of Althea and show her that she can act on her inner most desires. After ending the relationship with her current boyfriend, Althea agrees to an affair with Steel. She expects it to be just a temporary thing that allows her to play on the side. She couldn’t really consider having a relationship with him. What would the people she knows think if they saw her dating a guy like him? Steel takes things slowly with Althea knowing it would take her some time to be comfortable letting go of the control and image she feels she had to keep and let the real Althea out.
This story was full of so many emotions. Steel really understands Althea and what she needs. He is always building her up and encouraging her to be the person he can see under the fancy clothes and appearances she puts up. He believes and tries to convince her that she can be brilliant. Steel can be a very intense guy and at one point actually looses his typical cool, which is a pivotal point in the book because you got to see how much he loves Althea and wasn’t sure what to do with all the unexpected and unfamiliar emotions.
There are some really awesome “aww” moments in this story. I love the scene where Steel gives Althea the opportunity to paint what she really wants and not just what was “safe.” I also enjoy the part in the story when Althea invites Steel up to her apartment and turns the tables on him. The sweetest part of the story for me was when they are getting ready for a formal fundraising event. Steel buys Althea a bold dress she normally wouldn’t buy herself and actually applies Althea’s make-up for her giving her a little more color. This is the real Althea.
Jeffe Kennedy does a fantastic job with this book. If you are looking to venture out and read something in the erotic category that includes a little bondage, I recommend you try Platinum. Jeffe’s writing is wonderful and you can always count on a story from her that is meaningful, hard to put down, and still has you thinking about it weeks after you finish it.
Interview with Steel:
Amy with So Many Reads (SMR): Thank you for joining us, Steel. To start off, why do you go by “Steel”?
Steel: I hit a point in my life where I had to step away from my family, you know? I didn’t want to carry my worthless father’s name anymore. All that mattered to me was the art—that was my real family. So I chose name to match that.
SMR: How did you get started with metal sculpting?
Steel: In metal shop at the boy’s school they stuck me in. Something about all that fire and melting something so strong to make it something else… yeah.
SMR: In Platinum, you were living in Althea’s basement. Have you guys gone further and moved in together?
Steel: Althea asked me not to comment on that. But what you’re guessing is probably true.
SMR: Understood. What was it about Althea that intrigued you most?
Steel: First it was her looks—have you seen her? It’s like she’s made of glass. And then she has that frosty lady-of-the-manor thing she does. Makes me want to do all kinds of things to her. After all that, though, she’s this amazing person. She’s smart, funny, has an eye for art like you wouldn’t believe. What doesn’t intrigue me about her?
SMR: Aww. How is the art gallery going?
Steel: There are bumps, of course, but we’re getting lots of buzz. I think it’s going to play out great in the long run.
SMR: What is your idea of the perfect date?
Steel: Anywhere Althea is.
SMR: Again, aww. Okay, boxers or briefs?
Steel: Commando, darlin’.
SMR: Well, then. Hmm. Um. Where was I? Oh yeah, do you cook? If so, what is your specialty?
Steel: No, I cook for shit. I can heat up some beans and dogs, but don’t ask me for more than that.
SMR: What gets you excited – meaning what are you passionate about besides art and Althea?
Steel: Anything other people are passionate about, you know? Life’s too short to go through it without getting excited about things like art and sex and beauty. I’ve seen the ugly side, believe me. Stay away.
SMR: What is your biggest secret?
Steel: Well, now—it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you.
SMR: I have been dying to know – how many pairs of chaps have you gone through since you have met Althea?
Steel: Heh, the one pair is working just fine. She’s been making noises about some other outfit she wants to see me in—something about the coveralls. I’ll leave that up to her.
SMR: How did you and Althea celebrate Valentine’s Day? What did you get each other?
Steel: I rented one of those beach cabanas so she could stay in the shade. But since it’s early in the season, the sun wasn’t too strong anyway. She brought champagne and I got us some fried chicken. Then we read our favorite sexy stories to each other—those cabanas are nice and private—and went home and acted out a few. Nice.
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Jeffe is giving away a digital copy of Platinum to one lucky reader. To enter, comment below and tell us what type of art you enjoy most. Contest is open until 11:59 pm central time on Thursday, February 21, 2013. Winner will be notified via email first and then announced on website after confirmation.