Review: Max Monroe’s The Girl in the Painting

My first foray into Max Monroe was through an ARC for 4th and Girl (see my review here). The meet cute for that book along with its humor and character development captured me and lighted my Max Monroe fire. After that book, I read their Jerk series and their Billionaire series. I honestly have never laughed as much at a book as I did with that series. As far as I was concerned, along with Jana Aston, they owned the crown for rom-com Queens.

When they began teasing a new book through their Facebook group, of course I was on board. Signing up for an ARC was a given. However, when the cover and blurb reveal were dispatched for publication, I was intrigued. This didn’t look like their typical rom-com fare. Around the same time, they posted the Spotify playlist for this book (find it here). Then, I knew. This wouldn’t be like the books I’d read by them. And, after reading it, I was right.

Unlike my other review posts, I usually give some brief, very basic synopsis of the book. I am going nowhere near it this time. I want everyone to read this with only Max Monroe’s blurb in your mind. There is too much special with this book to divulge any of its secrets, so I won’t.

Instead, what I need you to know is this:

✅ I cannot move past this book yet. I finished it in one day three days ago (it’s Thursday, the 28th), and it will not leave my soul.

✅ I am obsessing over the playlist for this book. I listen to it every day so I can try to recapture the magic of this book.

✅ This book has a visceral, cinematic quality to it. There are two scenes in particular: a scene in the subway and a scene in Ansel’s studio that played out in my mind like I was watching a movie. Additionally, this book reminded me of a certain movie (of which I will not name because it will give you too much information — if you want to know it, then PM me). It played through my soul like a movie reel.

✅ If you like cosmic, soul-deep connections in your books/romance tales, then you NEED this book. Those types of stories (see authors like Jewel E. Ann, Dylan Allen, Kennedy Ryan, etc) are my favorites because the connection between the characters is more than sex, more than sweet meet-cutes, more than the circumstances of the story. They reach into your heart and re-arrange it. The Girl in the Painting is this type of book. It is the type of story that stays with you days, months, years later.

✅Ansel and Indy are individuals who survive the grittiness of life to find connection. Together, they are poetic, magic. You cannot have one without the other and derive any meaning from the story. Their pairing is the brilliance of this book.

I am fairly certain, if you’ve read this far, that you know the gravity of this The Girl in the Painting to me. Max Monroe shocked me with it. They’ve reminded me once again why I will always read their books. Whether they are making me laugh uproariously or cry through a box of tissues, I’m officially hooked on their brand of romance.

P.S. When you read this book, please listen to the Spotify playlist. You will not regret it.

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐++

In love and romance,

Professor A


I teach students to write for college. I love to read writers who write romance. Why not review and promote the writing of people who love to write romance? Win-win for me

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