Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
I must say, Andrew Grey has such a gentle ‘voice’ when he tells a story. I have read and reviewed two of his books, and I am definitely happy to not only have been chosen to read and review another book of his, his voice never lets me tire of his leading me into his worlds. Legal Artistry is exactly what I have described. It is a love story, and the gentleness of how we read about it gives me goose bumps for its simplicity.
We meet Dieter Krumpf as a young boy, losing his parents at a very young age, and being raised by his ‘aunt’ and grandmother. His gram has been the instrument of everything he is, everything he knows, and she has passed away, leaving all she has to Dieter. He has led a very sheltered life, has ‘come out’ to only his aunt, who soundly advised him it would not be a great idea to tell Gram.
Dieter wants to fix up the home that is now his, and put his footprint on it and not Grams. Funds are scarce, and there are things in the attic that might garner him some cash if he were to sell them. A friend of a friend owns an antique store and has promised to come check these things out, to possibly buy. While they are looking, they discover photo albums that were his families, photos of his grandmother as a child in Austria, before they fled the Nazis. Some of the pictures in the background are of an art collection that was left behind. Through some detective work of his friends, they find they are held in a Museum in Austria owned now by the government. Now Deiter needs a lawyer.
Gerald Young is on the bottom rung as a junior partner in a law firm. He is the youngest of five children, his father has his own law practice and his brother Angus works with his Dad. Gerald has always walked to the beat of a different drummer. He did not take the easy way and join his father’s company, but decided to start at the bottom of another firm and do it on his own. The Senior Partner asked for help with a pro-bono case (Dieter’s) and this is simply how these two young men meet.
Dieter has never even shared a kiss, and while Gerald works with him on the case, he watches this simply blank canvas of Dieter come alive in the relationship that evolves ever so slowly between the two. This is such a love story, that you hold your breath, as Dieter learns about feeling and loving, and sometimes having to forget Gram’s strict teachings as he reaches for the life he was meant to have, with no shame.
The plot of the paintings is magically woven as the two work together through the legal red tape, working on the common cause of possibly having these paintings returned to their rightful owner. The Nazi’s had confiscated vast amounts of treasures, and many of the owners have never gotten their rightful heirlooms back. It is a tedious task of following the paperwork to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the paintings belong to Deiter as a family legacy, and not to the Austrian Government.
Gerald has doubts about his worth as a lawyer, and has another more senior partner, Brian, to help him if needed. Brian too sees the magic of love and respect these two men are creating, as all around them are drawn to these two; all except Gerald’s very dysfunctional family who we meet en masse. I must say, every time I read Mr Grey, there is one thing that plays on a personal heartstring of mine and this one is no different. I guess I was a bit like Gerald, I always walked to a different drummer. It was very poignant to me to have Gerald’s father come forward and shake his hand, and tell him he loved him and was proud of him. I lost my father when I was in my forties, raising two children alone, and never got that closure. I tearfully was glad Gerald did!
As I said originally, the gentle voice of Andrew Grey has made this a very appealing love story. I am so excited, as I was just told that this is the beginning of a 4 book series. So I ask your indulgence, as I ask you to follow me in my newest OCD read… I will be reading Artistic Appeal, Artistic Pursuits and Legal Tender…in that order. Take the walk with me.