Type: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense
My Copy: Sent
Three lives intertwine—a former Green Beret, now a painter of nude portraits tormented by the death of his comrade, an earl’s daughter, and a crazed stalker. Will the acts of the stalker force the soldier back into the life of violence which he sought to avoid?
Sebastian Hughes, wounded on a mission in Afghanistan, discovers a talent for painting nude portraits while in a rehabilitation center learning to walk again after losing part of his leg. He becomes the toast of London society and women clamor to be painted by him.
Lady Joanna Gresham, nursing a broken heart and used to getting what she wants, sets her sights on having her portrait painted by Sebastian. Once she meets him, she wants him for herself. She pursues him, intent on winning him. What she didn’t count on was a stalker who wants to harm everyone Sebastian holds dear.
Joanna doesn’t want much, just the enigmatic artist Sebastian for herself once and for all. She has pursued him long enough and she will have him paint her portrait and in her bed. Not used to not getting what she wants and trying to get over her own broken heart, Joanna won’t stop till he is hers.
Trying to get over the injuries he sustained in war, both mental and physical, Sebastian is trying to move on with his life. The last thing he needs is a spoiled Earl’s daughter hanging around all the time. Her reaction to his leg humbles him and cracks the wall he’s erected around himself since his discharge. Maybe he’s been wrong about her all along.
My first book by Jillian Chantal and I have to say all went pretty well! I felt that from the beginning, Sebastian was an engaging character that was well written with lots of depth. As an injured and discharged war veteran speculation always seemed to swirl around him as to his past. A vicious looking facial scar brought all the ladies panting and the mens jealousy. Now living in England earning a living as an impressive artist with an interest in painting nudes in a respectable light has every woman clamoring for his work. With the exception of Lady Joanna. I was a bit confused by her character at the beginning. She makes it known that she wants nothing to do with him. Goes out of her way to be snotty about his work and then in an instant she is wanting him to paint her. Seems affronted that he tells her no and then gets it set in her mind that she wants him…all of him. I wasn’t sure if she wanted him at the beginning simply because she couldn’t have him or what. Her emotions and reactions were all over the place and it made it hard to follow her character a bit. I did enjoy her reaction to his physical limitation of only having one leg. Or maybe I should say her un-reaction since she accepted him instantly for who and what he was. I enjoyed the connection once they got past all the bickering back and forth and the fighting of their mutual attraction. Though it was obvious that Sebastian really didn’t accept his own limitations well and that Joanna desperately needed to feel like she mattered and belonged.
I liked the artistry angle and the thought process of everyone around Sebastian that if he painted nudes he must be sleeping with all the women he works with. I liked how he seemed unaffected by his amorous fans and thought he was very well grounded. Even thinking to himself that he didn’t understand all the publicity. I loved that he wasn’t showy with his talent. He was quite content to just make enough to pay his bills. Joanna had plenty of money as the daughter of an Earl but what she needed was the emotional connection. Together these two completed each other and while the realization of that took them a long time to come to terms with, I enjoyed the ride to them getting there.
I also liked the fact that they were an interracial couple and instead of sweeping that fact under the rug, Chantal chose to highlight it and the typical reactions a interracial couple might face. The stereotypes that people choose to believe in and how the characters behaved because of it. I thought Sebastian threw out a lot of stereotypes himself about Joanna and I liked that too.
While this is listed as a romantic suspense I found that it fell trap to not being very suspenseful throughout the novel. Sebastian had a few things happen but some blood on the walls and a dead rat in a box, while gross, isn’t really enough to keep me thinking about a sadistic killer. Also not enough of a continuous threat in my eyes to be called a suspense. There was suspense in spades towards the end, I would have just liked to see more throughout the novel. When you can take all the suspense out and still be left with a workable novel, there isn’t enough in there for me.
I found the characters in Sebastian’s Salvation to be wonderfully written and heartfelt in a deeply connecting way. Correctly depicting the anguish an injured soldier might feel when trying to move past his limitations and begin to live again.
I give Sebastian’s Salvation by Jillian Chantal 3.75 stars!