For Emma Trinket, life is a delicate balancing act between loving her family and pursuing interests they don’t understand. When the opportunity arises to finally impress them with her job as a computer programmer, she jumps at it even if it means immersing herself in a world she’s despised since childhood.
Unfortunately the one man who could crush her prospects is also the best person to help her navigate the lessons she needs to be a success.
Artistic expression is both Carter Anderson’s safe space and his livelihood, but his fading inspiration has him worried about his place in life. His encounters with Emma spark a passion to create that he hasn’t felt in years and he isn’t ready to let go of his new muse even if she’s threatening the sanctity of his art world with her digital technologies.
As each tries to gain an advantage from the other, Emma and Carter discover they actually might be more compatible than they thought. Will that be enough to unify their opposing missions or will the real differences between pixels and paint tear them apart?
I enjoyed reading Pixels and Paint, set in an affluent part of suburban Atlanta, Georgia. Emma is a geek at heart who loves computer gaming and doesn’t feel like she belongs in her family. Her mother, aunt, and twin sister, Amy, work for their family fashion boutique, and are all obsessed with image. Amy is a stylist who regularly updates Emma’s wardrobe, and is blissfully unaware that Emma only wears expensive boutique clothing to keep her family happy. Emma works in IT, her boss is her best friend from college, and her preferred clothing style is casual and relaxed.
Emma is expected to attend cultural events with her family, including visits to art galleries. Her family loves art. Emma detests art and doesn’t understand the appeal. The story opens with Emma dressed in uncomfortable evening wear at a new exhibit opening night in a local art gallery. The obnoxious artist is her sister’s new boyfriend.
Emma is neurodiverse and struggles to navigate the inevitable mingling in social gatherings. Carter, a handsome stranger who Emma mistakenly assumes works for the gallery, rescues Emma from an awkward social situation.
Carter is an accomplished and commercially successful artist who’s intrigued by his first meeting with Emma. She becomes his muse as he deals with why his creativity is in a slump. A fun romance unfolds as Emma and Carter’s professional lives collide and create many problems in their relationship. I recommend Pixels and Paint to contemporary romance readers who like opposites attract romcoms with depth that are connected to the art world and have a relevant faith element in the story.
Many thanks to the author for the advanced reader copy.