Rough Canvas - Joey W. Hill A man looks at the person he loves, he sees his compass. A man can command all the physical aspects of his world but if his soul is lot, well…it doesn’t mean much. Wow. Simply wow. This was my first Joey Hill book and I am blown away by the sheer talent on the page. This woman can write her ass off. There is no other way to say it. She had my heart in a vice through each page. Had me highlighting passage after passage wanting to absorb every word into my soul to hold onto the emotion it was causing in me. Each smile that came forth, each gasp as my hand clutched at my chest trying to keep it together and failing each time. Each moment where I dropped my Nook unable to keep a firm grasp on it due to the intensity of the scene I was reading; the unbelievable intensity of love, heartbreak, loyalty and passion between these two men. To say this story was beautiful is not doing it justice. It was stellar. It. Was. Epic. Let everything but the energy go, and see where it takes you…Lost souls; we get two heartbreaking beautiful lost souls in this book who are so damn stubborn and full of emotion that it is breaking my heart just to write a review. Thomas, oh Thomas. You sir won me over from page one and with your first memory of antique shopping with Marcus I knew that the two of you would take me on an emotional roller coaster and you did not disappoint. Your struggle to want, to simply want and do what is right had me pressing my palm into my belly in attempts to calm the intensity flowing through me.Thomas had heard how your life could pass before your eyes when it was threatened. Apparently every memory of that life with someone else could do the same when you heart was threatened. To say I have a soft spot, a fetish if you will for BDSM stories would be true. There is something about the power struggle that goes on; the purity of the submission that matches the dominance that when done right, written right, flows like poetry to me. This, this was the purest form of poetry akin to the masters, pun not intended. The other fetish I seem to have is a Dom/Master’s endearment for their sub/slave and each time Marcus calls Thomas “pet” I melted into a puddle right where I was.“Sshh…Obey your Master. Be still and let me touch you. I just want to take care of you, pet. Just want you to let me take care of you.” “But…who takes care of you? “You take care of me, pet. Just by breathing and existing. You take care of me in ways you can’t imagine.”This is not just a story about BDSM though; while it plays a part in the relationship of Marcus and Ben what we really get is a soul searching, soul searing story of two men who desperately want to be together and just need to figure out how to be vulnerable in every aspect of their lives to get what they want. While Thomas’ story is laid out before us in its simplicity, Marcus hides his behind the tallest and thickest strong hold I have ever seen. But the slight man who has gotten under his skin like no one before has the power to draw it out of him; the power to bring his master to his knees and allow him to let it all go. No…I am not crying again or going back to read scenes from this book that kill me. Who am I kidding of course I am. A true submissive wasn’t forced to submit. He was simply shown the right room in his soul. Sometimes when he stepped into it, he wrapped his way around his Master’s heart and tugged him in right after him. Rough Canvas was a brilliant story. The ups and downs these men go through are engraved in the fibers of my being. How can they not be? They were beautiful, heartbreaking, sexy as hell and so loyal and loving that I highlighted 83 different passages from this story breaking my record. I am sure the one highlight, when Marcus explains to Thomas’ mother how he feels about him, the time he just stood in a door way and watched him sleep could count as another 10 or so but that one alone was too precious to break up. The art…I have to mention how detailed the art was as well. It was if I could see each of Thomas’ paintings. See him through Marcus’ eyes as he watched his lover sketch among the grassy hillside or in his studio as he mumbled to himself unaware of doing so. Though this was book six in the Nature of Desire series and can be read as a stand alone I am now intrigued to read the other stories of those we met in Rough Canvas. Again, I admire the talent of an author to not only pull me by the heart strings and soul through one book but make me want to read more about those I met briefly. If you adore a true love story as much as my hopeless romantic heart does I suggest you read this. I do not think I have read a more beautiful story than this of Marcus and his pet, Thomas. Last note: This book mentions a few songs and though I am NOT a John Mayer fan I listened to this when Marcus mentioned it playing and now I am obsessed with it. Not only did it fit the moment but it could be Marcus’ theme song if he let it be.Gravity is working against meAnd gravity wants to bring me downOh I’ll never know what makes this manWith all the love that his heart can standDream of ways to throw it all awayOh twice as much ain’t twice as goodAnd can’t sustain like one half couldIt’s wanting moreThat’s gonna send me to my kneesOh gravity, stay the hell away from meAnd gravity has taken better men than me (now how can that be?)Just keep me where the light isC’mon keep me where the light isC’mon keep me where keep me where the light is~John Mayer, Gravity