Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Jaci Burton on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
The Perfect Play (2011), Changing the Game (2011), Taking a Shot (2012), Playing to Win (2012), Thrown by a Curve (2013), One Sweet Ride (2013), Holiday Games (2013) (Novella), Melting the Ice (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
WARNING: The content of this excerpt and the book may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18 years.
Excerpt from, Melting the Ice, courtesy of the author's website.
Everything’s coming together for budding fashion designer Carolina Preston. Only months away from having her own line, she could use some publicity. That’s when her brother suggests his best friend as a model—hockey player Drew Hogan.
Carolina and Drew already have a history—a hot one, back in college. Unforgettable for Carolina, but for Drew, just another slap shot. This time, though, it’s different. His perfect body would be for professional use only. This time, she could use him.
Drew is all for it. He’s looking forward to the exposure. Plus, it would give him a chance to prove to Carolina that he’s changed. If only he could thaw her emotions, convince her to let down her guard and let him in just one more time…
Jaci Burton brings readers the latest book in her Play-By-Play sports romance series, Melting the Ice. Sports fans and romance readers alike will really get into this book. Drew is hockey player. And Carolina is a designer in need of a model. The combination of the two makes for a sweet romance that readers will find captivating. Burton knows how to heat up a scene and these two characters make it easy. With smooth chemistry and a bit of a past, this couple is perfect for each other.
What I liked:
I have liked this series from the beginning. A long the way Burton has introduced us to several heroes that have sports careers from football to baseball and even racing. Melting the Ice focuses on Drew who happens to be a hockey player. In my experience a lot of sports heroes are vain and pompous, but Burton makes me re-think that idea with characters like Drew, who is sweetness personified. She is able to take the sports hero mythos and angle it her purposes for each of her books and she does such a good job with it. I always think that guys who are good at sports are good at most other things as well, if you know what I mean and that certainly proves true in this book and the others in this series.
Carolina is a young woman with a passion for fashion design. It's not just a fad or a little hobby she picked up along the way. But it's hard to be taken seriously when you are wealthy and your father is the vice president. She needs to make it at New York Fashion Week to prove to herself and everyone else that she has what it takes. She's driven to be successful and now all she needs a couple of good models to make her dreams a reality. I loved the way that Burton wrote this character. Her career means a lot to her and she doesn't have to put it aside to find love. I think Burton was trying to say that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Drew was just a sweetheart. That's not to say he had not made some bad decisions. Hooking up with his best friends sister after a few too many drinks at a college party was probably not his most shining moment. Nor was the next morning when he left her in the dust because he didn't want to be tied down as his hockey career began to take off. But now that he's older and wiser, he has learned where he made his mistakes and doesn't plan to make them twice. That is if Carolina will give him a chance to prove he's changed. Burton gives us a real hero. He isn't put on or fluffed up. He doesn't think of himself too highly and he knows his faults. A great hero in my opinion.
The chemistry between these two is obviously there, because of their past experience with each other, but it doesn't pound the reader into submission like some of Burton's other romantic pairings. This romance is more subtle, it has the pacing of a real romance instead of a fly by night affair. Once Carolina gets over his issues with Drew from the past, their romance takes a steady pace. Nothing breakneck or too in your face. Some readers may think it lacks intensity for this reason, but personally I thought it was quite a bit more realistic than what some romance writers give us.
What I didn't like:
I thought perhaps this book would have benefited from a bit more conflict. The issues from this couples past are solved rather early on in the book and the only other source of conflict is Carolina's brothers reaction to the fact that his best friend has the hots for his sister. There was not a whole lot to hinge the plot on, other than the romance itself. I just think that readers expect a little drama along the way in most romances, which is of course how it usually goes in the real world.
This was another good book from a highly respected author. It may not have knocked my socks off, but does every book need to? I think sometimes we need a few books that set a more gradual pace, with a more realistic story line and this was one of those that made me smile and think about how life works out sometimes.
Melting the Ice is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Jaci Burton is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author who lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. She has three grown children who are all scattered around the country having lives of their own. A lover of sports, Jaci can often tell what season it is by what sport is being played. She watches entirely too much television, including an unhealthy amount of reality TV. When she isn’t on deadline, which is often, Jaci can be found at her local casino, trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck). Burton is the author of the Play-by-Play series including The Perfect Play, Changing the Game, Taking a Shot, Playing to Win, One Sweet Ride, andThrown by a Curve, and, with Lora Leigh, co-author of the anthologies Nauti and Wild and Nautier and Wilder. She’s a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you’ll find in all her books.
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