Friday, October 4, 2013

{Heather #Review} Contemporary Romance: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett

BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett
Series: Star Harbor #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook via Netgalley
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Loveswept (September 10, 2012)

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

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.

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Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
Other Books In Series:




REVIEW:

This is the second book in the Star Harbor Novel series by Elizabeth Barrett. In this book we get Theo’s story (Theo is the identical twin brother to Sebastian, the hero of the first book). Theo is a successful writer until his lifestyle exceeds his ability and he becomes stuck. Theo moves back to his hometown of Star Harbor to rekindle his passion for writing. While doing so, he awakens a passion in the heart of the local innkeeper’s niece, Avery.

I so wanted to love this book. Deep Autumn Heat (book 1) received four stars from me; this one only gets three. While the quality of the writing didn’t change, the quality of the story did. I understood why Lexie would want to resist Sebastian, and that conflict drove the story. I did not understand why Avery would want to resist Theo, thus I spent the entire novel looking for a source of conflict. The book just doesn’t have it. Avery is in Star Harbor to help her aunt recover from cancer treatment and figure out if she wants to return to her social work job. While both of those issues require effort and thought, neither would stand in the way of meeting and falling for an incredible man. And Theo is just that – gorgeous but not vain, successful at a job that he can do anywhere, and most of all totally and completely smitten with Avery. I spent a lot of time reading this book wanting to kick Avery for telling herself she didn’t want him. What’s not to want?!

In addition, the sub plot of a large drug smuggling ring takes some awkward steps forward. In book 1, Lexie and her line cook accidentally come across drug smugglers in a grange where vegetables are stored (huh?), and in this book the drugs are being stored in an unused section of basement underneath Avery’s inn (which neither she nor her aunt notice. Huh?). Not only does that strain one’s credulity – it also seems forced. Books three and four center around the two brothers in law enforcement; I really hope it makes this plot line more logical and believable.

One thing I DID like about this plotline is that Theo is a smart guy – thus he never tries to involve himself in the drug smuggling/dangerous people parts. He hangs back and calls the cops, as he should. That sort of calm and sensible behavior is seen too seldom in romances. It was one more reason why I really liked Theo. He is the shining star of this book. One can’t help but be charmed by him and root for him to get the girl. He’s very sweet.

This book is worth reading, as long as your expectations aren’t too high at the outset. I will read book 3 to see how the story progresses, so this book didn’t turn me off the series completely. There are some terrific secondary characters that I enjoyed seeing a second time which helped bring this book to the “I liked it” rating.

Favorite Quote:
“Since when did we start doing room service?”
“Since we started spending the night with our guests, dear.”






Reviews for other books in series:
Deep Autumn Heat #1
Slow Summer Burn #4
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