Blaze of Winter (Star Harbor #2) by Elisabeth Barrett
Series: Star Harbor #2
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: September 10th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Deep Autumn Heat, Callie’s Cowboy, and About Last Night.
Warning: There will be loads of venting and spoilers. Read at your own risk. You’ve been warned.
This is the second book in the Stars Harbor series by Elisabeth Barrett. This book follows Theo Grayson and Avery Newbridge to their happily ever after and it was a long time coming too. It may not have seemed like it because the book takes place within a few months but it definitely felt like a long time because Avery kept Theo at a distance for a long time. Theo didn’t give up though because he knew what he wanted and he was always upfront about everything with her. I appreciated that about him.
There’s a lot of things going on in this book from secret drug rooms, Avery’s indecision about going back to work, Theo’s own work, Kate’s after cancer sickness and the Christmas musical thingy that Avery was a part of but as much as those things added to the story, I was focused mainly on the romance between Theo and Avery.
Avery got on my nerves a lot. Her constant dodging each and every time that Theo tried to get closer to her (yes, even after she melted for him at every turn) bothered me. Every time they had sex and she would freeze up on him, I wanted to smack her. I wanted her to get over herself, her reservations and just enjoy their time together for however long it was but she kept getting in the way of herself by overthinking everything.
She assumed the worst each and every single time and every time that she thought she knew what Theo was thinking or about to say, I wanted to punch her in the nose. It got so freaking old. When Theo finally snapped, I was glad because like Kevin from Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey, he had done nothing to deserve her constant distrust and when you’re 80% done with the book and she’s still putting up walls, I was about ready to give up on the book or kill Avery, one or the other. I think I would have liked it better if Theo didn’t lose his steam with writing his book, like he was dependent on Avery for the success of his book. And really, I wanted more suffering from Avery before her and Theo finally got it right. She put him through too much crap to not have to grovel.. And I hated that Theo thought he drove Avery away when she drove herself away long before the night everything goes to shit.
Alls well that ends well but even at the end of the book, I was still annoyed with Avery and my enjoyment of the book suffered because of it. When heroines hold heroes at arms length for no reason other than to protect their hearts even after the hero has proven time and time again that they’re in for the long haul, I have a hard time forgiving the heroine because it’s just…annoying. And I hated that it was Theo that went to Avery for forgiveness. Forgiveness for what? For falling in love with her? For being honest about everything from the very beginning? He had nothing to be sorry about. It was Avery’s stupid ass who should have been the one to go and try to make things right with Theo. He kept bailing her out which pissed me the hell off because it should have been her.
And when she finally realizes that she wants to fight for Theo? When she’s being kidnapped and her life is in danger. OMEFFINGGOODNESS, get the hell out of here. insert eye roll here
I will say that I enjoyed the other characters in this book. Theo’s brothers, their women and Avery’s family were all pleasant additions to this story and the small town of Stars Harbor was cute and cuddly and I wanted to hug it close. This book would have been a lot cuter and sweeter if Avery wasn’t such a stubborn ol’ goat. I enjoyed Theo but wished that he would have put his foot down long before he finally did but everything worked out so it’s all good. I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if Avery hadn’t been well, her. Ugh, Avery.
Grade: 2.5 out of 5
This book is available from Loveswept. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.