Bitter from a bad divorce and cynical of his job photographing fashion models, ex-male model Simon McCallan felt starved of everything: of inspiration, hope, sexual fulfillment, love. That was until he opened the door that stormy morning to his new temp—Adriane Parks. Emotionally warm, insightful in mind, and generous in spirit, Adriane was the feast he’d hungered for but had never dared go after. Even more irresistible was her lush, full figure, a silhouette that even confident Adriane doubted. Simon had no doubts at all. He wanted her on sight, and he was determined to have her.
In trying to trick the sexy Adriane into his arms, however, Simon would get far more than long-denied sexual fulfillment; he’d discover the real man beneath his own photogenic face.
Review: Have you ever read a story so good it gave you goose bumps? Well, this is how I felt through the entire story that is Pretty as a Picture by Thirteen. After reading the back blurb, I was so curious to know what happened, I had to read the story. From the first sentence, I was pulled headlong into this fast-paced, erotic tale of two people who have a chance encounter that’s so much more.
Simon McCallan is drop-dead gorgeous. He knows it, the world sees it, and because of his physical perfection, Simon was a top billboard model for years before he decided he wanted to be behind the camera and not be the robotic subject of cardboard-like photographs. Having lived in the fashion-world as a model and still there as a photographer, Simon is jaded. Although attracted to bigger women, he keeps it secret because everyone expects him to be with someone on an equal level of physical beauty. In other words, model thin.
When his new temp arrives, Simon is instantly attracted. Adriane Parks is much curvier than the models he’s constantly around, and unlike with his ex-wife, Simon can’t look at his new temp without wanting her. So what does he do? He tries to trick her into his arms, relying on his good looks, to get the girl. But in doing so, will Simon find out good looks don’t always count?
This novella is told from Simon’s point of view, and it makes for hilarious and of course, great, storytelling. I have a few favorite quotations from this novella and most of them are what Simon thinks Adriane is thinking about him. More shallow, but true, statements have never been written.
Thirteen does an amazing job telling this story in such a short space. It has everything that makes for the perfect short story. Not only is Thirteen a storyteller, she is a linguistic artist and a social commentator. Pretty as a Picture was the perfect title for this story because every sentence is the equivalence of a snap-shot scene from the book and while the words are certainly pretty, the emotions and feelings behind them are not always so. The title itself is also very symbolic of beauty and the eye-of-the-beholder, which becomes a resonating theme in this story.
I can write much more, but to do would give away pieces of this story, and I think it best that everyone have the opportunity to read this masterpiece and form their own opinions. I would highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a short, funny, and poignant read that is also wickedly delicious.
Quote: “Men that beautiful exist only on billboards” – Simon on Adriane’s thoughts of him.