Let me begin this with a disclaimer: this is a G&L (gay & lesbian) erotic romance containing BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) elements. I'm not discussing anything graphic here, but felt like I should warn ya'll anyway. And in case you read no further, this book is part of a series called The Nature of Desire, but Hill has other series and books that seem to be straight and less erotic (I think I saw vampires and mermaids in my perusing), so I encourage you to find one and read it. This is a remarkable author well worth the effort.
I have been reading a ton of romance in a variety of genres for months now. I am always a reader of romance, but now that I am writing romance, I am reading even more. Historical, contemporary, paranormal, short, long, all levels of heat - you name it - I'm reading it. That combined with a life long history of romances read and it makes for a serious number of books in this genre. With that in mind, I want to say, I have never read anything as romantically powerful as Rough Canvas by Jody W. Hill.
The characters of Marcus and Thomas are honest, complex, fully fleshed out people in a romance that is heart breaking, healing, confusing, and true. They have families, friends, careers, and emotional baggage - like everyone. Their romance has ups and downs, highs and lows - like everyone. And, as in all romances, a happy ending.
Jody W. Hill's writing not only propelled me through the story (all I could do was read this until I finished it), but pulled me right into this world where I felt their joys and pains in a physical way. Hill captures emotion in even the most simple moments and in such a way I am left green with envy. I now have about ten or more of her books on my wish list and can't wait to read the next one.