Paint by Number Book Cover Paint by Number
Andrew Grey
MM Romance
Dreamspinner Press
September 8, 2020

Can the Northern Lights and a second-chance romance return inspiration to a struggling artist?

When New York painter Devon Starr gives up his vices, his muses depart along with them. Devon needs a change, but when his father’s stroke brings him home to Alaska, the small town where he grew up isn’t what he remembers.

Enrique Salazar remembers Devon well, and he makes it his personal mission to open Devon’s eyes to the rugged beauty and possibilities all around them. The two men grow closer, and just as Devon begins to see what’s always been there for him, they’re called to stand against a mining company that threatens the very pristine nature that’s helping them fall in love. The fight only strengthens their bond, but as the desire to pick up a paintbrush returns, Devon also feels the pull of the city.

A man trapped between two worlds, Devon can only follow where his heart leads him.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team 

Devon Starr is a well known painter in New York and he is having his latest gallery showing leaving him feeling empty and confirmed by a reviewer who also felt that his painting didn’t have the heart and soul his previous paintings had. Even though most of his paintings sold it still left him feeling that they lacked soul and heart. For two years Devon has been sober and now he feels that it was drinking that gave him his inspiration and being sober he can’t produce the work he wants. Of course giving up two years of sobriety and a phone call that his father had a minor stroke kept him from the bottle.


Devon takes off for his hometown in Alaska, the place he ran away from and a place that will just bring back all the reasons he left in the first place. He always was in love with a boy he knew he could never have, a forbidden love that he blamed for his drinking only he has to face reality, he has to face what he truly ran away from and why he sought comfort in a bottle of booze.


Devon reunites with his past love Craig who was married and now has two sons and realizes that it never was love in the first place. He also reunites with another old friend Enrique Salazar who has always had feelings for Devon and never acknowledged them to anyone. Devon has returned home and suddenly sees the world differently, his father seen through the eyes of an adult seems to have gotten wiser or was he too young to see it. His feelings for Enrique grow and so does his passion for both the man and his art.


A mining company is determined to mine for gold and will inevitably bring total devastation to the town. Devon joins Enrique and the rest of the town in trying to put a stop to the mining because once they get a permit the town as they now know it will be lost forever. It is Enrique and the possible loss of the beauty he grew up with that inspires a painting that could put an end to the mining corporation but will it also mean that he finally realizes where his home really is. Can Enrique and his hometown and the people he grew up with helping him see where his heart really is.


A beautiful story as all of Mr. Grey’s stories are about going home. There is a saying that you can never go home again but will this story prove an exception to that. I loved the descriptions of the town and living in Alaska but when I got to the part where the temperature was way, way, way below 0 I figured that is definitely not a place I would ever consider living, I leave that to more daring people than me.