Delicate Brushstrokes

An Italian Renaissance Love Story (The Master's Protégé Trilogy Book 2)

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
430 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2022
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Author Biography

Eleanor Chance is an award-winning suspense, thriller, and historical women's fiction writer who thrives on crafting tales of everyday superheroes. Her debut novel, Arms of Grace, is a finalist in consideration for production by Wind Dancer Films, a silver medalist in the Readers' Favorite Awards, and a recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion.

Eleanor has traveled the world and lived in five different countries. She currently lives in the Williamsburg, Virginia area with her husband, is the proud mother of four grown sons, and Nana to one amazing grand-darling.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Hayley Haun for Readers' Favorite

The story of Celeste Gabriele continues in this sweeping renaissance saga. Delicate Brushstrokes is the second novel of The Master's Protégé Trilogy and begins with Celeste in her own happy little married world. She has three beautiful children with Luciano, and because of her good husband, her paintings are promising. But just as things in her life seem to get no better, jealousy strikes. Luciano has lost his position in the Florentine Guild. All his apprentices begin to run off to learn from other maestros. Trouble arises and tension builds in the Gabriele household. Husband and wife are doomed to be at odds with one another. Can they rebuild all that is lost? Will Celeste be able to choose family over her career, or is it possible to have both?

Eleanor Chance writes a flawless tale of what it takes to be a Renaissance woman. Although Celeste is held accountable under the laws of men, she breaks free in her own way. But, she also has a loving husband and children to look after. Even in the modern world, balancing a career and family can be difficult. I believe a lot of women can relate to her character. Sometimes what we want for ourselves isn’t right for our families. But it is important to try to be on the same page. Other times that means sacrificing for the sake of keeping the balance. Both Luciano and Celeste learn how to deal with the punches as they come along. In the end, we all want to be loved and encouraged. We want a companion who will stay by our side through it all.

K.C. Finn

Delicate Brushstrokes: An Italian Renaissance Love Story is a work of fiction in the historical romance and interpersonal drama subgenres. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and forms the second novel of The Master's Protégé Trilogy series by author Eleanor Chance. As the story of our central protagonist Celeste Gabriele continues, it seems at first that there is little more to tell as Celeste has found a prosperous marriage and given birth to three beautiful children. But as the veneer of life begins to wear off and trouble rears its head once more, Celeste must fall back on the strength of her inner passions and emotional core to brave it all and overcome strife.

Author Eleanor Chance has lovingly penned an immersive and accurate work of historical fiction which also hits all the emotional buttons that fans of women’s fiction, romantic dramas, and family sagas will adore. I for one was most impressed by Celeste as a central protagonist, who manages to be culturally in keeping with the period of the Italian Renaissance, but has a deep internal drive and passions beyond her marriage and family which will be highly relatable and inspiring to modern audiences. I also really enjoyed the dialogue, which trod that same line between being accessible for contemporary readers but included wonderfully atmospheric references to the historical period, way of life, and of course the artistic expression and spirit of the Renaissance itself. Overall, I would highly recommend Delicate Brushstrokes to readers of heart-warming but emotionally resonant dramas, and historical fiction fans everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

Delicate Brushstrokes: An Italian Renaissance Love Story is the second book in The Master's Protégé Trilogy by Eleanor Chance. Celeste’s life has changed. She married her beloved Luciano and became a mother of three. Above all, she became an artist and was known for her craft. While she loved her family dearly, she lived for her passion and her art. With Luciano supporting her, Celeste felt nothing could bring her down or stop her from achieving her dreams. However, nothing is perfect in the world, and before she knew it, Celeste had to make some very difficult decisions. When the time came, Celeste had to decide would she keep her family or would she keep her passion. The choice was tough, but Celeste had to decide. What would she choose? Her art or her love and her family?

I had read the first novel in the series almost two years ago now, so I decided to reread it before reading Delicate Brushstrokes. I am so glad that I did because this made me realize and appreciate Celeste’s growth that much more. She was a lot more confident, happier, and calmer than before. Luciano has had a positive impact on her growth and his love for her showed, even when the couple was at odds with each other. Author Eleanor Chance did a phenomenal job of creating drama and mixing it well with romance and emotions. The pace was perfect, the narrative was well-thought-out, and the overall feel of the story was exciting (and I wouldn’t call the feel of many historical fiction novels exciting if I am being honest). Celeste was stronger than before; she was more well-rounded, and she understood her limitations. I loved how she tackled situations, even if I didn’t understand her some of the time. But I loved her just the same. I cannot wait for the third novel in the series!