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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
All Things Beautiful is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, contemporary romance, and LGBTQ+ fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and contains some scenes of and references to domestic violence. Penned by author Alaina Erdell, the story revolves around Leighton Vaughn, a renowned artist and teacher, and Casey Norford, a talented but struggling artist seeking refuge at Vaughn's prestigious atelier. The story delves into their complex teacher-student relationship, addressing the challenges they face, from the threat to the atelier's future to personal conflicts, children, and a persistent ex.
Author Alaina Erdell has crafted an intense, romantic, and highly enjoyable journey into the intricacies of art, relationships, and personal growth. The characters are a particular strength of the work because their emotions, responses, and attitudes are so well-developed, and their struggles feel authentic as the author captures their various tensions between passion, responsibility, love, and duty. This balances out well against the dynamics of the plot, where Leighton’s precarious position offers a lot of complication but also some very enjoyable suspense. The exploration of love and sacrifice gives the plot its romantic feel, but for me, the theming around the pursuit of artistic and emotional fulfillment is what was really special. It creates a literary feel and a poignancy that lingers in the reader's mind long after setting the work down. Overall, I would certainly recommend All Things Beautiful for fans of romance who want to dig deeper and delve into the complexities of human connections, making for a compelling and emotionally resonant read.