Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett

Title: Blaze of Winter
Series: Star Harbor
Author: Elisabeth Barrett
Read copy: eBook
Published: September 10, 2012
Publisher: LoveSwept
ISBN: 0345534344
ISBN-13: 9780345534347

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

My rating:

In a writing funk (okay, it's a writer's block), Theo Grayson, known in the publishing world as T.R. Grayson, returns home to Star Harbor, hoping the winter season (his favorite) and the familiarity of the town will help him start writing again.

Instead it's the girl manning the reception at the inn, where he escapes after having spent too many days living on a houseboat with two of his brothers, that once more ignites his spark. The writing one...And the other one, as well.

I loved the first book, Deep Autumn Heat in this 'quartet' about the Grayson boys. And because I was immediately intrigued by the quiet one of the bunch, Seb's (the hero of DAH) twin brother, Theo, I couldn't wait to read his book. You know what they say about the quiet ones, right? Still waters etc.

I was glad to see it was his turn immediately after his twin brother, and I wasn't disappointed in him as the hero, his character, his personality, his passion for writing, his passion for...other things. I was disappointed by his heroine, though.
Avery. Sheesh. One word could describe her. Issues. Sheesh. She annoyed the crap out of me. At first it was, okay, let's see where this one goes, maybe she has a legitimate reason for being such an annoying idiot. (Lexie, the heroine from DAH, did, for example). So I kept reading...and reading...and there was absolutely no reason. No former bastard boyfriend, no abandonment issues, though maybe the fact her dad died when she was little could be seen as abandonment issues, but that was never elaborated on, so I guess that wasn't it. Yet, there she was. Jumping to wrong and hasty conclusion after conclusion. For no reason!
She'd get hurt. Come again? Theo would hurt her. Why is that exactly? Oh, he hit her. Nope. Right, he was a bastard. Didn't see it. Why would he hurt her exactly? He'd leave eventually. He never said that. She had no control when he was around. Not his fault, honey. She couldn't keep her little paws off him, yet it was always all his fault. If he'd give in to him, he'll end up hurting her. Who ever said that?!
Such a Romancelandia reasoning just gets on my nerves. If she gives in to him, she'll fall in love with him, he'll abandon her, and she'll remain behind brokenhearted. Right. Because of course, the chick has to fall in love with the guy she does the mattress dancing with. So not happening in the real world.

Okay, went a little off the beaten path there. Sorry. It's just...The heroine really got on my nerves. So much in fact, I was afraid my eyes (due to all the rolling I was doing) might permanently remain turned backwards.

Otherwise, the story was nicely written, offering a cute little quasi-epilogue to the previous one with Seb and Lexie's wedding, and a great continuation of the 'main' suspense-arc with the drug-dealers and smugglers, which I'm sure will receive even more screen-time with the last two Grayson brothers working in law enforcement. And I'm curious as to how the legend of the Lorelei and the recovered two keys factor in the overall arc.

I'm giving this one 3 stars purely because of Theo and his brothers, the writing, and the suspense-plot that is starting to really to intrigue me. And the book doesn't get five stars thanks to the heroine and her multiple (and unexplained) issues.

Oh, and I can't wait to make the cake. 😉


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