Nature of Desire: Rough Canvas
By Chrissy Dionne
Oct 8, 2007 - 2:14:17 PM

After his father’s unexpected death Thomas put aside the life he’s built for himself in New York and returns to North Carolina to take over the running of the family hardware store.  Thomas had a brilliant future as an artist and had found happiness with his lover and Master Marcus but now he’s sacrificing all that to satisfy his family – and making himself ill in the process. 

Marcus is more than Thomas’s lover and Master; he also owns the gallery where Thomas’s artwork was supposed to be included in a showing.  Thomas’s return to North Carolina changed all that but Marcus found a way to include the pieces Thomas had left behind in a recent showing and then pays a visit to his small town to bring him a check for his portion of the sales.  The check isn’t his sole reason for visiting Thomas.  There are issues unresolved and Marcus intends to use whatever means necessary to save Thomas from his ‘good intentions.’


Being raised in a small community with an extremely religious mother makes it difficult for Thomas to show who he truly is; only in New York was he able to embrace his preference for men and discover his submissive side.  Cutting all ties with New York, Marcus and his art has been one of the hardest things Thomas has ever done but the sacrifice is worth it, or so he thinks.  Having Marcus unexpectedly show up sends shockwaves through his system and he’s torn between wanting to stay with Marcus and fulfilling his duty to his family.


Marcus is still every inch the Master that Thomas remembers.  He’s calm, collected and always immaculate.  Marcus offers Thomas the opportunity to remain in North Carolina and still continue his art career but Thomas’s muse has fled and he doesn’t know where to begin to find the inspiration or the joy he once found in his artwork.  Marcus asks Thomas to give him just one week, to take some time for himself and spend some time with him at a house up in the Berkshires.  He has no doubt that if Thomas keeps going like he is his health is only going to deteriorate; he’s already showing signs of a developing ulcer.  Thomas makes the decision to go to Marcus for a week despite the feeling that he’s only making things harder for himself.  He quickly realizes that his art and Marcus’s mastery are a part of him that he has no desire to live without.  What will happen after their week is up and Thomas has to return to his life in small town America?  What about Marcus, he seems so controlled and perfect but is there   more to him than meets the eye?  Will Thomas be able to get to the man behind the façade?

Joey W. Hill’s ROUGH CANVAS is the sixth book in her NATURE OF DESIRE series and I’ve got to tell you this book is just as intense and powerful as the predecessors.  Marcus and Thomas are larger than life characters whose relationship presents a myriad of emotions and quandaries that will have readers eagerly reading through the pages wondering just how their relationship will turn out.  At first Thomas’s issues appear to be the main problem between them but as you read you realize that Marcus is just as vulnerable – if not more so, but he’s had far more practice in covering up his insecurities than Thomas has.  I especially loved revisiting some of the characters from previous books in this series and enjoyed meeting new ones who are so vital in these men’s lives.  This is a wonderful addition to the NATURE OF DESIRE series and does contain strong BDSM elements (as do all the books of this series).  If you loved the rest of the books in this series, I’d highly recommend this one – though it really isn’t necessary to have read the others in order to enjoy ROUGH CANVAS.

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