Review – Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

This review of Designs of Desire is part of Tempeste’s ‘Remember Me’ blog tour with Creative Minds Promotions.

Desires Entwined: Book 1

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

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This is the first story I’ve read by Tempeste O’Riley but I have more in my TBR list and looking forward to them.

Characters often make or break a good read for me, and I loved the characters in this story. It’s not just James and Seth who are well drawn—excuse the pun—but the supporting cast come across as very real. I’m hoping they are in the other books I have to read in the series.

James has EDS—Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome—which means “the stuff that holds joints together doesn’t work as well so when damaged don’t bounce back like normal people ‘s does.” I thought the author explained the repercussions of James’s EDS very well, but without bogging down the text. James doesn’t allow his condition to stop him from being a strong character, and I loved that about him.

Although Seth and James get together very quickly, I found that didn’t detract from the story. After all, this is romance, and showing a slow burn doesn’t always work, unless the author wants the story to take place over a long period of time. I thought she juggled that side of it very well.

I also enjoyed the fact James is an artist. The descriptions sucked me in, and I felt as though I wasn’t just told about his talent, but shown as well. The family scenes were adorable, and I loved the banter with Chase. He’s a great character.

I’d recommend this story for readers who enjoy several sex scenes, mild BDSM, and a good read about characters who, despite what life throws at them, embrace their future with the help of love and those who care about them. 4 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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