Read Sculpting Clay by Linda Reilly Online


When Taran Lorenz enters Clay Stevens's life, Clay is still reeling after his long-time partner, Javier, abruptly ended their relationship. Taran gives Clay the motivation to start living again, but Clay's insanely jealous ex threatens to nip their relationship in the bud... only Taran won't give up, even when Javier gets their mutual employer, the manipulative billionaireWhen Taran Lorenz enters Clay Stevens's life, Clay is still reeling after his long-time partner, Javier, abruptly ended their relationship. Taran gives Clay the motivation to start living again, but Clay's insanely jealous ex threatens to nip their relationship in the bud... only Taran won't give up, even when Javier gets their mutual employer, the manipulative billionaire Vincent Torres, to mark Taran for "removal." It's the start of a fight on three fronts: Javier confessing his continued love for Clay while he tries to run Taran off, Taran fighting to be loved and accepted for who he is-not what he is-after magically returning from the dead, and Clay trying to figure out how he got stuck in this fairy tale of monumental proportions and where he can find the happily-ever-after ending....

Title : Sculpting Clay
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781615813544
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 226 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sculpting Clay Reviews

  • Jeff Erno
    2018-12-11 06:41

    Set in present-day New York City, Sculpting Clay is the story of Clay Stevens, a middle-aged gay writer whose life is suddenly turned upside down when his partner of eleven years unexpectedly dumps him. Distraught and confused, Clay mourns his lost love for the next several months until a new man enters his life. Young and strikingly handsome, Taran Lorenz works as a server at a local pub that Clay frequents. The two are instantly attracted to one another, and a romance ensues. Clay discovers that this mysterious and sexy young man is everything he’s ever dreamed of, yet he cannot seem to shake the memories and heartbreak of his former partner Javier.As Clay and Taran fall head-over-heels in love, Clay begins to discover that Taran is special in many ways. He never uses scented bathing products or deodorants, yet he always smells deliciously sweet, like fresh baked cookies. He has unexplained vertical scars which run down the sides of his spine. He doesn’t have much furniture in his apartment, not even a bed. Most interestingly, Clay’s appearance and energy level seem to be affected merely by being around Taran. He looks and feels years younger—rejuvenated.Ultimately it is the reemergence of Javier in Clay’s life which creates serious conflict for the protagonists. Taran questions whether Clay is completely over his feelings for his ex, and Clay is confused by his own conflicting desires. He genuinely is concerned about the well being of his ex-partner, but he knows he’s falling madly in love with Taran. It isn’t until Taran is nearly taken from Clay by a tyrannical wealthy businessman who attempts to murder him, that Clay realizes Taran is the only man he wants. It is at this point that Taran’s mysterious identity is revealed and Clay admits he’s in love. But is Clay too late? Has his indecisiveness and tardiness in sorting out his feelings cost him the man of his dreams?I found this story to be a unique blend of several genres, and it is difficult to explain in depth the way these genres mesh with one another without including spoilers. Obviously it is a romance, but it also contains a paranormal element. It is a thriller, containing mystery and suspense, and of course it is intensely erotic. It certainly has the potential to appeal to a wide audience of readers, yet it could also be disappointing to those who expect one thing and discover the story is dramatically different than their expectation.The writing style was very strong, and it had the feel of that of a seasoned writer. I didn’t get the sense that the book was written by a first-time, novice author. Certain phrasing within the dialogue seemed unrealistic to me, though. For example, when the author was writing laughter, she wrote it as “Ha, Ha”, as if the characters were actually speaking the words.I was also a bit distracted by recurring references to designer clothing and accessories. It seemed as if the characters were obsessed with fashion, and to me, this made them seem shallow. I personally don’t care one iota about fashion or designer name brands, and those who obsess upon these things seem pretentious to me. If the reader is one who does appreciate this kind of detail, however, then they may feel these references add a realistic touch.The strengths of this novel, in my opinion, far outweigh these minor criticisms. The plot was genuinely captivating. Not only was it interesting, but it also was very exciting. I particularly appreciated the way the author used foreshadowing references to lead the reader to the point where the “big reveal” was introduced, i.e. the paranormal or mythical element of the story. The initial love scenes in the book had me a bit concerned because they seemed a bit cheesy, but upon reflection I think this was intentional. The serious erotic scenes which were included towards the middle and end of the story were intense. In fact, they were both realistic and incredibly hot. The author skillfully developed her characters and demonstrated a remarkably realistic arc for each of the three primary characters. The protagonist Clay was at first rather annoying to me with all of his quirkiness, but the more of him I saw, the more I liked. With the exception of his fashion snobbery, I found him very endearing, and ultimately I yearned for his happiness. I was also impressed by Taran’s personality and by his genuine selflessness. Overall I found Sculpting Clay to be a worthwhile read. I’m thrilled by the talent of this new author and honestly look forward to hearing more from her. It is without hesitation that I highly recommend Sculpting Clay.

  • Wade
    2018-11-25 07:29

    I bought this in New York when visiting the Rainbow Book fair. I guess I was attracted to the hot guy on the cover. I know, I know, you can't judge a book by its cover but it DID entice me to pick it up. :sI opened to a random page and read a line about a lazy bee and something about that had me. I guess I was in a sappy mood that day. (i can be) I bought it. And I liked it. I loved Taran. I wanted to imagine him so badly I think I took out the jar of cloves and sniffed it a few times. ( they say smell is the strongest sense). To this day, Thanksgiving reminds me of Taran. Besides, the romance was sweet. Who wouldn't want to fall in love with a fairy?

  • Jenre
    2018-11-18 08:28

    I picked up Sculpting Clay because I'd read Linda Reilly's advent story and wanted to see whether the promise shown in that story would extend to a novel length piece of writing. Although this book was on the whole an enjoyable read, there were some parts of the book which didn't work as well for me.Clay is a broken man. A few months prior to the start of the book, his lover of 10 years, Javier, had broken off their relationship with very little explanation. Clay spends the next few months in a daze of hurt feelings, nursing his broken heart. One day he is sitting in his favourite bar when one of the bar workers, Taran, breezes in late. Clay has never noticed Taran before, but he is struck by how attractive the man is. They begin a relationship but Clay has a great deal of trouble letting go of his love for Javier. When Clay learns that Javier is in trouble, he is determined to help him, even if it jeopardises his new relationship with Taran, a man who holds a few secrets of his own.This book's strength is in its characterisation, especially with the growing relationship between Clay and Taran and Clay's recovery from his broken heart. When we meet Clay at the beginning of the book he is still trying to recover from the sudden break up of his relationship with Javier. This is difficult for him as he can't understand what prompted the spilt and therefore find any closure with the relationship. When the younger looking Taran comes along, Clay is flattered that such a young and attractive man would be interested in a 46 year old man with greying hair and age spots on his hands. Taran breathes new life into Clay and I really enjoyed following their developing relationship as they start to fall in love. The way that it takes Clay a long time to recover from Javier's betrayal was realistically done, as was Taran's feelings as he veered from being understanding about giving Clay space and time, and also being jealous of the hold Javier still has over Clay's heart. It was a gradual process and I was really happy for Clay and Taran as they overcame their problems and fell in love.Javier was also quite a complex character and I liked that the author hadn't made him into some kind of bad guy monster. Instead he is conflicted over how he has treated Clay, especially once he realises what a mistake he has made. The way that he attempts to get Clay back at first makes him a very unsympathetic character, but it isn't long before I was able to see that Javier actually has a good heart under his misplaced ambition. It was necessary for Javier to be this way otherwise Clay would have come across as being quite weak to have fallen in love with such a selfish man, but by the end of the book I was able to see Javier as the man Clay fell in love with.If the positive part of this book is in the characterisation, the negatives rest on some aspects of the plotting. The main thrust of the suspense plot revolves around Clay and Taran discovering why rich businessman, Vincent, has such a hold on Javier. I actually thought this part of the book quite weak in that Vincent is the richest man in the city and yet most of his money is made through slightly dodgy business transactions. It just seemed too unrealistic that no-one would have been suspicious of him prior to Taran and Clay's investigation of him. I also found the way that they resolved this issue was too easily done making Vincent seem like a cartoon caricature of an evil businessman than a realistic opponent for Taran and Clay.Another oddity was that Clay seemed completely obsessed with designer clothing. Everything he or Taran wears is some famous expensive brand (many of which went straight over my head as I have zero interest in such things). This seemed odd considering that Clay is an author and not connected to the fashion world at all until he meets Taran. Taran is a model, so it was more believable that he would wear designer clothing but I still found all the name dropping rather intrusive to the story and it got to the point where every time a brand name was mentioned, it pulled me out of the story.One final, albeit minor, negative is that some of the writing was a little clumsy at times. For example, the characters say 'ha ha' when they laugh, which jarred a little. There was also a lot of telling the reader how the character was feeling rather than showing through gesture, tone of voice or facial expression. Finally the viewpoint was fairly erratic on several occasions, switching randomly between the characters. However, these are probably things which will improve as the author gains confidence in her writing.Overall though, this was a sweet romance story with an interesting and unusual paranormal twist. The paranormal storyline worked well alongside the contemporary feel of the romance and although the end got a bit slushy for my tastes, this didn't detract from some of the tender romantic scenes earlier in the book. Sculpting Clay is a good first book from Linda Reilly, and I shall look out for future books from her. For now, I recommend this book to those readers who like sweet romance and paranormal elements in their books.

  • Juniper
    2018-12-01 09:14

    This was a lovely read. I enjoyed that the paranormal elements did not over-power the story but rather took a much smaller role than I had first expected. I warmed to the main characters very quickly - Taran was incredibly sweet (& quite naïve) &, although Clay found it difficult to commit to him, this was understandable after having just come out of such a long previous relationship - I often become irritated when characters seem to dither between old & new loves.I would have liked some back story to Taran's life - perhaps Ms Reilly will continue this as a series (after disliking him at first - as I'm sure the reader is meant to - I would now love Javier to have a happy ending - perhaps Taran has a brother?) Beautiful guy on the cover!Would be 4½ if possible.

  • Elisa Rolle
    2018-11-17 03:32

    When reading this novel, you have to be careful, this is clearly a book more aimed to a female target, and more, to the female readers who like their hero pretty and cute, even maybe a bit girlish. Then yes, if you consider that the pretty and cute boy really exists out there (he is not yet an endangered species), you can find also a niche of the male target that could be interested in this story. Said that, I also highlighted all the element that made me think on this novel: the sometime hyper-highlighting of some “girly” characteristics of the heroes, above all Taran (I remember, for example, a cherry flavoured mouth that made me think to lipstick, even if Taran was not wearing it); the obvious objectification of the male, Taran is an Armani model, Clay an independent wealthy fantasy writer who doesn’t really have to work; even Taran’s “innocence”, his almost absolute virginity (he had only a previous sex experience, one shot, and with a woman)… they are all points that I can easily link to the classical rules of romance, and romance usually is for women; again, I’m not saying the book was not interesting, it was and I will proceed now to say why it was, and I’m not saying the book is “not for men”, we all know that there are men who read (and write romance), even among the heterosexual crown, mine is only a fairly warning. I like romance, you all know that; I even like the pretty boys, and Taran is a clear example of that. Taran is innocent in many aspect, he is a young fairy, and not, it’s not slang, he is really a fairy, little man with wings, but he decided to live in New York City with the external look of a young and cute man of 27 years old but with the experience of a barely legal boy. I don’t know if it was his main purpose from the beginning, but almost as soon as he arrives in NYC, he falls in love for Clay, a more than 46 years old man living in the near building. It’s obviously no fair game, even if Clay is rebounding from the breakup with his 10 years partner Javier, when Taran decides to meet him, Clay is taken. Taran, in his human form, is beautiful, long black hair, olive skin, and coquettish attitude. He is also a bit of a teaser, since he is very forward in his sexual innuendo, but he has not the experience to match them, and so, when they soon arrive to THE moment, Clay has to play the role of the “training ship”. Even if Clay is way older than Taran, truth be told, I didn’t feel so much the age difference between them; maybe Taran, being 27 years old only as illusion, is for real older than his age, but he is also very young in comparison to his people; maybe Clay, living a life without obligations, has the chance to be younger in attitude if not in age… in a way or the other, those almost 20 years between Taran and Clay were not a limit at all, and didn’t create any friction. The story is also very much focused on the two men, Clay and Taran; there was a subplot, something that could be also scaring and potentially angst, but all in all, it didn't interfere so much with the love story, in the end the "villains" are not so dangerous.One other thing I noticed of this story is that, even if quite heavy on the sexual innuendo, and very sensual in the description, when we arrive to the real sex scene, the author doesn’t linger so much; she spends more time on the foreplay, maybe even a bit on the first touches, and tastes, but not in the main course. It’s strange, since for sure this is not a sweet romance (meaning the formal use of the term, sweet romance is a romance without sex), there is sex, and I couldn’t say that the sex is not graphic, during the foreplay there are a lot of details, but it’s like the author prefers the anticipation to the realization. Sometime also I am like that, so, if you want something in the middle, not exactly sweet romance, not exactly erotica, probably this is a good compromise.

  • Miz Love
    2018-12-07 08:27

    Sculpting Clay is an absolutely beautiful book. It centres around Clay, who is trying valiantly to get over heartbreak due to his 10-year love affair with Javier coming to an end. He’s failing miserably. Everything reminds him of Javiar; after all, they lived together as a couple, did everything together, and the sudden break stunned him senseless. It didn’t make sense. They were fine, weren’t they? One minute Clay’s world was on an even keel, the next, Javier announces he wants to further his career, and having Clay in his life will hinder that. But Javier is just a chef—Javier then admits he’s found someone else. I felt Clay’s heart breaking.So, Clay tries to move on and visits a bar every Thursday, drinking Guinness compared to his usual tipple, just so he’s doing something that isn’t familiar. He’s been going to the bar for a while and hasn’t noticed a guy named Taran until one day he meets his gaze and Clay’s life changes forever. Taran isn’t like your average guy. You’ll note immediately how different he is, and it’s something unexplainable. His character stands out, from his demeanour, his thought processes, right down to his exquisite personality. I fell in love with him, just like Clay did.Being with Taran changes Clay in more ways than one. His obsessive need for neatness eases; he looks and feels younger; he’s happy for the first time in months. But memories of Javier tend to intrude, as they do when a person moves from one relationship to another. Getting the old out of your head takes time, and every so often Clay finds himself thinking of Javier despite being happy with Taran. It’s real—it’s life. Javier is destined to still be in Clay’s life. As Clay gradually begins to come to terms with everything, he sees Javier, and his emotions get confused again. He still has feelings for Javier, and Taran understands that. Taran is the perfect partner for anyone—he’s just so emotionally level and looks at the bigger picture. He knows Clay needs closure, knows he must exorcise the demons, and he’s there to ensure Clay can do that.Javier is an arrogant bastard, to put it mildly, and thinks that with a snap of his fingers Clay will take him back. But there’s more to Javier than at first meets the eye, and there are reasons why he split with Clay that had more to do with keeping Clay safe than furthering his chef career. When Javier makes it clear he wants Clay back, I felt so sorry for Clay. His mind was sent into tumult, and his emotions were all over the place. How can he love two men at once? Why can’t he just move on with Taran, who loves him unconditionally? Easy—he needs to understand the past and what happened in order for him to move on. This section of the book delves so well into the human psyche that I applauded Ms. Reilly. She knows exactly how to make a reader understand her characters.As things start hotting up and becoming clearer, a surprise is introduced. Taran isn’t what we first think, and I LOVED this new slant. He has scars on his back for a reason you wouldn’t believe, and it’s Taran’s job, after a sinister “accident”, to convince Clay of a few things. The wonder Clay sees and feels in the “reveal” scene is so lovely, and I saw it all for myself as though I were him. I adored the "wing" part, when Clay teases Taran. Very erotic and sweet at the same time.The plot is excellent, but I won’t go into the details of the whole thing in this review. I wanted to talk about the characters and how they made me feel. Sculpting Clay changed my perspective on many things, made me believe “otherworldly” beings do exist, and it’s a book I won’t forget in a hurry. Beautifully written, with perfect images to go with the emotions I guarantee you’ll feel, this book is WELL worth The Golden Nib and then some.

  • Fernanda Parente
    2018-12-09 10:36

    Too bad we never get a story with Javier, he became a great guy and he deserve a love of his own. about this book, I'm in love with cute, so lovelly...I only imagine him so gorgeous...great book

  • adrienne
    2018-12-01 06:42

    I wanted to give this book 4 stars b/c it was kind of sweet, but a couple things just bothered me too much to do that:Firstly, i was put off by the excessive product placement (arbonne, mac computers, armani, gucci, prada, etc. etc. etc). it's unnecessary and seemed kind of snarky- like the author needed to repeatedly impress upon the reader that the characters were fairly well-off. Secondly, i think there was only one instance where anything like 'he laughed' was written- because laughter was expressed as "ha, ha, ha". I'm not sure exactly why, but that irritated me beyond even having Clay use the word 'gawd' repeatedly. All in all though, if one's looking for a sweet romance w/a minute amount of sex, Sculpting Clay was a decent read. Stylistically it wasn't to my taste, but the plot was solidly planned, there were no obvious lapses in plot or personality, and the character's motivations were clear.

  • Kei
    2018-11-27 06:30

    “Sculpting Clay” by Linda ReillyThe title is a delightful play on words that lets the reader know the author has a way with words. Her command of the language and good story telling skills make this a definite must read. It is hard to believe that this is her first novel and only one short story preceded it. To have this depth usually requires more extensive writing experience.The three men taking part in her love triangle are all different. They have different personalities and different ways of seeing and reacting to the world. And one of them is even more different than one might expect.She does a good job of limiting the use of paranormal in the story. That’s not what this story was all about. The story is about the interactions between the three men and how one has to live with one’s choices.I really enjoyed this faerie tale and once more, knowing the author has made it even better.

  • Kiera Nightroad
    2018-11-23 06:28

    An amazing debut novel! The author has a wonderful way with words.The paranormal elements do not take over the story, which is about moving on in one's life. One of the secondary characters learns the painful truth that one must live with the consequences of ones actions.A fun story with deep messages. I recommend this story.

  • Lily
    2018-11-18 06:35

    2.5 starsThis was a nice read with interesting protags and a slight paranormal thread to it. Although for the most part I liked the characters and the storyline was entertaining I did have a couple of issues. Most annoying was the continual "product placement" found throughout the book as well as some editing issues and stilted, strange writing ("ha ha ha" to express laughter instead of saying "he laughed") which took away from my enjoyment of the story. Not all readers may have the same reaction as I did but for me this story just didn't quite live up to my expectations.

  • Justacat
    2018-11-24 09:35

    Came very close to giving up on this one many times. Story wasn't terrible, though the resolution of the "triangle" was highly unsatisfying, but I just couldn't get past the clumsy, amateurish writing, stilted and unrealistic dialogue ("ha ha ha" for laughter? is this elementary school?), and errors and mistakes that should be excruciatingly embarrassing to both author and editor - I mean, Grenache Village, NY? Did no one bother to proofread?Not recommended.

  • thelastaerie
    2018-11-15 10:15

    Gave up due to clumsy writing and rather unrealistic dialog.

  • Mistral
    2018-11-27 06:34

    2.5 starsIt's a nice story, with likeable characters, but nothing out of the ordinary...

  • Indigo
    2018-12-06 07:15

    A modern faierytale in NYC.