THE PORTRAIT by Megan Chance

PUB. INFO: Dell, October 1995
SETTING: New York, October 1855
HEROINE: Imogene Carter
HERO: Jonas Whitaker

FROM PUBLISHER: The reigning master of the New York art world, Jonas Whitaker was brilliant and compelling, a man of dark passions and uncontrollable emotions. Terrified of his own dangerous nature and scarred by the horror of his emptiness — until Imogene Carter pushed her way into his life.

He discounted her on sight, seeing her as a colorless, fragile woman with no spirit and less talent. He could send her running with a word — and he intended to do just that. But Imogene was not so easily frightened. She came to Jonas to learn from a master, and learn she would — everything he could teach her. She wanted his artist’s secrets and his brilliant passion. She wanted to be swept up in his seductive, forbidden world.

Until she saw the terrible price he paid for his talent.
And realized it was impossible to catch a shooting star without being burned….


Jonas: He has long dark hair and green eyes. I don’t think his age was given. He’s manic-depressive (bipolar). He lost his right hand due to a suicide attempt four years previous. He’s attempted suicide several times. After he lost his hand, he was admitted to an insane asylum and was there for four months. He’s also bisexual. He’s also estranged from his family.

Imogene: She’s twenty-six, short with light brown hair and brown eyes. She’s been living in her older sister, Chloe’s, shadow her entire life. Her sister died a few years previous from cholera. She was a gifted artist but Imogene could never live up to her, in their father’s eyes. Imogene was secretly in love with Chloe’s boyfriend, Nicholas, and even had sex with him at some point after Chloe’s death. But that’s all Nicholas wanted her for.

Frederic ‘Rico’ Childs: He’s got long blond hair and blue eyes. He’s Jonas’s best friend and fellow artist. They smoke opium together sometimes and, I believe, have sex with each other. Rico is the only one who truly cares about Jonas.

I love this story. This is the second time I’ve read it and I love it more now than I did the first time. I sent my book to the author to be autographed after reading it the first time. I’ve never read about someone like Jonas before in a romance book. What an original story this was and how great that the author even thought of creating a hero like Jonas. In no way, shape or form is he your cookie cutter hero.

I wasn’t impressed with the heroine at all. She was pretty basic and too passive. And the way she let her father talk to her? I don’t know why she let him get away with it. She could have told her father off, let him know what she really thought of him, but she never did. Twenty-six is too old to be talked to like that from a parent, someone who’s supposed to love you, no matter what.

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