Title: His Dark Canvas
Series: A Corde Noire Novel
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Dark Erotica
Release Date: August 29, 2016
Ella Winston is a talented chef with a problem–the slightest touch can reveal anyone’s darkest secrets.
Hired to cook for the artist, Ren Plancharde, she struggles to keep her ability under wraps.
After accidently uncovering Ren’s underground activities, the eccentric painter offers Ella a glimpse into his world of pleasure and pain. Intrigued, he decides to make Ella a part of his sinister Corde Noire Society, but his chef isn’t quite ready to commit.
Absolute submission isn’t all Ren wants from the stubborn woman. He has big plans for her gift, too. The only question is … will Ella be willing to give in to his desires when the time comes?
The darkness within can hide a lifetime of secrets.
“5 paint me stars! Another great book in the series… I’m still fanning myself!” ~5 Star Review by Melissa at Alpha Book Club
“This series is outstanding!! I absolutely love this series and this book in particular.” ~5 Star Review by Kathy on Goodreads
“His Dark Canvas was an EXCELLENT read! … Full of hidden desires, food and paint! Oh and sex!” ~5 Star Review by Ashley on Goodreads
Through the haze of her apple martinis, Ella spotted someone across the wide dining room. He was different from the other patrons there to celebrate the restaurant’s two-year anniversary. With an arrogant walk, he strutted across the stone floor. Lean, muscular, and blessed with one of those bodies women would always notice, he had dark blond hair and disquieting dark green eyes. He was the kind of guy who knew he was good-looking and let everyone else know it, too. She wasn’t usually attracted to that type, but this man—his confidence intrigued her.
“You’re Ella, Ella Winston,” he said in a voice like dark chocolate fondue: deep, and wickedly sexy.
“Yeah.” She almost dropped her drink. “I’m the sous chef.”
“I know. Marcus told me.”
As his smile sank to the depths of her belly, he extended his hand, but Ella ignored it.
Don’t touch him. You know what happens when you touch them.
“So, how do you know Marcus?” Ella quickly asked, hoping to make up for her rudeness.
He laughed, looking her over. Above the din in the room, she could sense something different about his laugh. Unlike the insincere chortle of others, this man’s laugh got to her. She was having an unusual physical reaction, something that never happened to her. When most men laughed, Ella usually ran away.
“Marcus and I share the same friends.”
“What friends are those?” she asked, craving another martini.
“The wealthy kind, who like to support the arts.” He raised a green bottle of sparkling water in his hand. “I’m a painter. Marcus and I know a lot of people who like to pretend they’re patrons and keep us gainfully employed.”
“Painter?” Ella shrugged, finding it hard to believe Marcus knew any painters. “What do you paint?”
“Portraits of women. Usually with very little clothing.”
Oh yeah, I need another drink. “Is that lucrative?”
Her eyes wandered around the dining room, desperate to find a rescue. Ella needed to get away from this man before she said or did something really stupid.
“Do you like art?” he pressed.
“Some art. I think it would depend on the passion I see in a painting.”
“The passion in a painting?” That laugh again. Her toes tingled. Not good. “You sound like a painter, Ms. Winston.”
The martini glass in her hand suddenly weighed a ton. “Isn’t painting a passion for an artist, like cooking is a passion for a chef? Having a passion is a healthy thing. It reminds us that we have a soul.”
He nodded, seemingly approving of her drunken ramblings. “That’s very profound and also very true. I think you have a lot of talents yet to be discovered, Ella. May I call you Ella?”
“Ah, sure. Ella is fine.” Her mouth went dry. “What makes you think I have any talents outside of cooking?”
“I have a sense for these things.”
She tensed. Can he tell? The same thought always haunted her when she met new people. Ella fought so hard to keep her secret under control. Time to make a run for it.
“Don’t let Marcus know I have other talents. He’ll probably fire me.”
She was about to depart when he stopped her. He leaned in, and she could just make out the small cleft in his pointy chin. “I promise, if you ever need a job, I’ll hire you.”
His mouth was so close she could have kissed his perfect, thin lips. Frightened by the notion, Ella backed away. “I’ll hold you to that.”
She should have done a million different things: asked his name, gotten his phone number, or stayed to flirt with him some more. Instead, Ella walked away. She figured it was one of those moments in life she would live to regret. Fortunately, Ella found the bar and drowned her disappointment in another apple martini.
Ella reasoned that was the way of it. You meet people and move on, and one day, if you’re lucky, you meet the interesting ones again.
His Dark Canvas is book 2 in the American Corde Noire series, where we are still trying to figure out what happened to Nathan Cole, but there are some new players introduced in this book. Once again this author does an amazing job in taking readers into high society life in New Orleans Louisiana. I envisioned myself there with her descriptions of the sites, foods, music, language and culture. This series is different than your average Dom/Sub romance novel and I loved the added New Orleans spin with juju and paranormal. The D/S relationship in this book is heavy but it wasn’t overdone.
Ella, a sous chef down or her luck accepts a job off to become the Ren’s personal chef. A well- known painter of nude women in the New Orleans area. I loved that her character was different from other submissives, she was inquisitive and opinionated. Being around Ren and her ability to see things no one else can showed her the ghost and secrets of many in Ren’s mansion. She doesn’t like to touch people and avoids situations that can lead her to do just that but for some reason she’s drawn to the Ren’s reclusiveness and temperament. After stumbling upon the Corde Noire affairs her interest is peeked, I mean she is a curious one.
Ren was a hard character to read. He was always in the shadows but affected by Ella. He is a great painter and a trainer of subs, but when he offered to take Ella on a D/S journey he begins to show a softer side. I questioned what was really going on with this man and was happy with how the author slowly unraveled his character. There was so much more than a painter with an attitude. His role in the society is a major role and finding out what really happened to Nathan is his priority even if he has to use Ella to do it.
The relationship between Ren and Ella was a long journey. I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. We see both characters get to know one another and fall deeper for one another. Ren is confused by his feelings, with the words and descriptions you can see he wants more but his role doesn’t allow him to keep a sub. The more time he spends with Ella the more he falls, Ella is also taken by Ren and fights it every step of the way. Her gift leaves her a target to an enemy and Ren is forced to make a decision. To let her go or keep her as his own. The mystery behind the Society and Nathan Cole plays out so well throughout this book and we get to see a darker side to this high society game of D/S. I was stuck to the pages of this book and all though it is long I really got a lot of clues and vital information. The secrets of Nathan’s death and the dangers of the high society club are just starting to unravel. I really loved this story and I can’t wait to see what comes out next.
From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. Her work has been critically acclaimed and has been continually growing in popularity.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehaber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.