Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blog Tour: Piece of Work by Staci Hart


Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.
His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.
You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.
But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.
And maybe my heart.

cover-wrap-380.jpg4 stars
Review by Lisa Kane

Hyo-rin Van De Meer is beginning her internship at The Met. Her first day is a disaster. Those who work in the art department are sleek and sophisticated and well groomed. Rin prefers the worn out jeans and beat up canvas sneaker look. 

It was a look I’d seen a thousand times, one as cold as it was scathing, one that told me she was not only unimpressed, but disappointed. 

Rin is to work under Dr. Court Lyons, the curator of the department. He is gorgeous, pretentious and aloof. Since we can read his POV we find out although he thinks Rin is attractive, he’s written her off as someone not being able to survive in the museaum climate.She is too shy, too scared to stand up for herself. Hmmm, all that from an introduction. 

Rin hates attention of any kind. At 6 feet, she feels like an uncoordinated giraffe. She fails to see the elegance that is just under the surface. But her roommates see the potential and do an Eliza Doolittle transformation on her.  

I didn't think I wanted to hide anymore. 

I wanted to be seen.  

The change in Rin’s appearance changes how she sees herself and her new found confidence changes the way other people (namely Court) see her. Research has always been Rin’s strong point-there’s little human interaction. So researching for Court and his upcoming ground breaking project is just where she excels. This is not lost on Court.

I’d never subscribed to the belief that clothes made the man, but I’d be damned if the clothes hadn’t turned Rin into a version of herself I wouldn’t have believed it I hadn’t seen it for myself. 

Just being around Rin is all it seems to take for Court to want her. It’s a struggle not to cross the professional boundaries and Court’s temptations are getting the best of him. 

There wasn’t a universe that existed wherein I was allowed to be attracted to the intern. Not only for my career, but for myself.

Rin doesn’t think someone like Court would have any interest in her. There is lots of intrigue going on at The Met. Court’s father is the President and he seems to have some kind of agenda when it comes to Rin. Court is antagonistic with him, and he keeps referring (in his POV thoughts) to not making the same mistake twice. He blows hot and cold with Rin. Quite the mystery at the museum. 

“Why did you start dressing like this, Rin? Because if you think seducing me will get you anywhere, you’re wrong.”

Piece of Work has some shining moments of dialogue and those moments kept me interested enough to finish the story. It did seem to get dragged down with all the inner dialogue and Rin’s insecurities. Court is a very complicated character who vacillates between an overbearing alpha and a groveling contrite love interest. But I have to admit, that by the end of the story, these characters had grown on me.
I wanted to soothe his pain, reassure him, show him that it didn’t matter to me. To be that safe place for him. To protect him, even when he wouldn’t do the same for me.

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He smirked and flipped up his sunglasses.


“You’re early,” I clipped.

“I would have had my assistant text you, but she’s currently bedridden.”

You could have texted me.”

“I didn’t have your number,” he said simply.


His eyes shifted to look behind me, and I turned to find my friends standing me in a row with my suitcase in front of them, my messenger bag on top, and fake smiles on all their faces, lips together, their judgment about as quiet as a foghorn.

“These your roommates?”

“Yup,” was all I said as I turned and took my suitcase, hugging each of them down the line with promises to text when we landed. And then I turned to Court, rolling my suitcase in front of me like like a riot shield.

I tried to pick it up to carry it over the threshold, but it was heavy, and before I could get far, he’d swept it out of my hands like it was a loaf of bread and not fifty pounds of mascara and shoes.

I waved at my friends, who offered encouraging smiles and hand gestures, and I closed that door, immediately regretting every decision I’d made to bring me to the moment I turned around.

He stood at the door to the backseat, holding it open for me like a gentleman, which I knew he was not. But the look on his face of regret and deference, under the hard shell of his brooding, was almost too much to bear.

So I did the only thing I could.

I ignored him.

I ignored his gorgeous lips as they tilted and the sleek cut of his jaw as I walked past him. I ignored the sight of his long legs as he climbed in next to me and the smell of him that made me want to grab him by the lapels of his jacket and bury my nose in his chest.

The driver took off, and I busied myself in my bag, looking for my headphones and book.

His eyes were on me. I pretended like I didn’t notice.

“You’re not wearing lipstick,” he stated.

Headphones, headphones, headphones. “It’s an international flight, Court. Of course I’m not wearing red lipstick for a ten hour flight.”

A pause. “Rin, I—”

Aha! I popped in my earbuds the second they were in hand.

His lips flattened, his face unamused. Rin, his lips said, but I smiled and shrugged, pointing to my ears.

“Noise canceling,” I said way too loud.

His chest rose and fell with a sigh I couldn’t hear—I’d already turned on music, a playlist we’d built the night before geared toward resisting douchery and unwanted-slash-totally-wanted advances—and he reached into his own bag, a leather affair at his feet, his hand disappearing into the bag and reappearing with a book, which he handed to me.

He watched me with his expression shrouded as I paused, my eyes on the offered book. An image of Penitent Magdalene by Tintoretto filled the cover, and I met his eyes, pulling my earbuds out by the cord.

“I thought you could use this. For your proposal,” he said, giving nothing away. “I…A colleague of mine wrote it, so if you have any questions, I can connect you. If you want.”

I took it from his hand, surprised and disarmed. “Thank you,” was all I said. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but closed it, and with a nod, he reached back into his bag for his own book. Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

I put my earbuds back in place, trying not to bite my lip, but it found its way between my teeth despite the effort at the sight of him sitting there, dressed like that, reading Margaret Atwood. After giving me a thoughtful gift, a book he knew I would want, one I would need for my dissertation.

Court Lyons made about as much sense to me as a scrambled up Rubik’s Cube.

I leaned against the door as I flipped through his gift, doing my best to sort through the rush of questions and confusion as Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s sang about being cheated by the opposite of love. And I found I knew exactly the feeling.

StaciHart.jpgAbout the Author
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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