One of the best things about being a critique partner with Andrew Richardson is that I get to read all his stories way before they come out. And he has been busy, with a horror short just out and "Art Class" due out soon with Wicked Ink Publishing.
Isn't the cover gorgeous?
The idea of posing naked in front of a class isn't something I'd relish, but perhaps if I looked like Kerry-Jane, I'd give it a go. She decides to indulge in one of her fantasies as a birthday gift to herself, with a little help from her best friend.
My favorite part of this quick, enjoyable read was when Kay-Jay gets to see the varied images of herself the students have created while she knelt naked on a red velvet sofa. Things heat up considerably after Kay-Jay pecks a reassuring kiss on the cheek a gentleman who's insecure about his artistic talents. But not everyone in the class feels the same about their work.
I’m the teacher.” His handshake was firm, but soft at the same time. “You’re shaking. I do hope you’re not too nervous.”
“Is this your first time?”
Paul closed both hands around her fingers. “I think you’re very brave, and I promise you, we’ll be understanding. I hope that by the end of the lesson we’ll have eased you back within your comfort zone.”
He paused, as if unsure whether to continue. “You’re really pretty, Kerry-Jane. I’m sure the gang will enjoy painting you.”
“Thank you.” Some of the fluttering returned to Kerry-Jane’s stomach as Paul released her fingers and the rest of the class introduced themselves and shook hands: Joel, tall and slim, but shy and staring over Kerry-Jane’s shoulder rather than look at her; Frank, middle aged with a formal blazer and friendly smile above a greying goatee; and Laura, who was the stereotypical housewife Kerry-Jane and Amy had discussed, but enthusiastic rather than disapproving.
Kerry-Jane was certain she wouldn’t remember any names (not while I’m kneeling here stark naked with everyone looking at me).
The last student stepped toward her, and she swallowed as a Latin Adonis gazed down on her with deep, dark eyes. He shifted a bottle of red wine from his right hand to his left to shake hands.