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  • awesome read & great intro to a new author for me

    Historicals are an absolute favorite of mine and personally I don't think there is enough set in the 1920s so when I find one I gobble it up. Strokes on a Canvas is a wonderful little tale of post-war existence. H Lewis-Foster's attention to detail shows respect for the past but don't think this novella reads as a history lesson because even with the little detail accuracies this is still a romance that made me smile and warmed my heart. Milo and Evan meet by chance and then find themselves in each other's company once again, but it is not insta-love however it is pretty immediate friendship that quickly turns to love. They really are made for each other and because of friends and family they may have it a bit easier than others of the time but that doesn't mean the danger isn't lurking around every corner. You want them to find happiness, a place where they can just be who they are without fear but then you remember its 1924 and that place probably doesn't exist with any kind of 100% certainty. Society from an LGBT standpoint has a ways to go to achieve complete acceptance and equality however if you want to appreciate just how far the world has come than look at history. Historical fiction may not be an exact and perfect representation of their reality but it is generally a good place to start to get a feel on how far society has come. H Lewis-Foster's Strokes on a Canvas shows that even with the law and moral stance on gay relationships there were safe places love could exist and that not everyone saw it as a wrong to be punished. It's this representation of Milo and Evan's love from the author that makes Strokes an easy read and by that I don't mean there isn't much substance to it but that it sucks you in and pretty soon you find yourself turning(or swiping😉) the last page, its easy to get lost in and you'll be sad to see it end. Its that feeling of sadness I feel at a story having ended that tells me I found a winner and when its a new author to me that gave me that feeling then I also know I just found another author to add to my keep-an-eye-out-for list.

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  • Charming!

    ** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE ** Reviewed for Divine Magazine ~ Strokes on a Canvas, by H. Lewis-Foster ★★★★★ 103 Pages POV: 3rd, one character Content Warning: deals with past wartime trauma, recovery from loss of lover Strokes on a Canvas is a short but delightful historical romance set in the 1920's. With incredible attention to the historical period, engaging characters and a clearly established chemistry between the two MC's, there was nothing about this book I didn't like...except that it ended far too soon. Right from the start, Evan was a sweet, uncertain, shy man who was terrified that his interest in men would see him beaten or arrested. From a poor, working class family, living far from home, alone, and with only one friend know knows about his true interests, it was clear from the start that Evan was a man out of his depths when it came to romance or illicit relations. In contrast, Milo is an ex-army man with wealthy parents and a boarding-school upbringing. As a budding artist with a circle of friends who span the creative and distinguished aspect of society, he has the life and freedoms that Evan never even knew existed. They also happen to be mostly gay, or accepting, and gather together in safe places. When Evan meets Milo, it's a revelation in more ways than one. It was wonderful to see the tentative progression from strangers to more, and to see the slow-budding romance. But it was especially nice to see Evan being introduced to a safer and happier world, where he could be himself openly. Every time they were together on page, my heart just swelled with joy. They were such a nice fit of complete opposites, and I rooted for their relationship the whole way through. The story didn't linger over unnecessary plot points, but it didn't rush, either. It explored the relationship and shared snippets of each other Evan and Milo's lives outside of the relationship. Sandy, Jeremy and Milo's friends were wonderful characters in their own right. The era was authentic the entire way through, from language, location, to the attitudes about homosexuals, to the small details of food and appearance. Nothing was missed, but it didn't try to lecture either. Any negatives? It ends at 88%, which was disappointing. I had hoped for a bit more. I found the end to be a little more abrupt than I expected, though it was a nice little Epilogue-style catch-up chapter that rounded off everyone's stories. And...though I know I'm being picky...I just don't feel like the cover expresses the story or the era quite right. Probably because it implies a different sort of 'muse' or painting 'model' than Evan actually ever was. But, because they're both just my opinion and nothing to do with the overall story or how it was presented, I didn't let them affect my rating. Because I really did love the story. I cried. I laughed. I fell in love with this beautiful story of two hearts that were clearly meant for each other, finally find a home together. * And I'd absolutely love to see Jeremy and Timmy cross paths. ~ Favourite Quotes “He tried to stay awake, to enjoy the touch of Milo’s skin, the sweet scent of his hair and the sound of his breathing, but Evan soon joined him in his slumber, where he dreamed of long summer days with Milo on the sun-warmed sands that Homer and Plato once knew.” “Evan would stay with Milo and he would stand by his promise. He knew it would be agony not to touch him and kiss him, to feel his body around and within him, but Evan would be Milo’s friend, for better or worse, perhaps as long as they both lived.”

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