Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: I definitely see you. Can you see me?
Carolina Preston is finally seeing her dreams come true. Getting ready to launch her own designer fashion line, she only needs one more thing to make it a success…Drew Hogan. But she and Drew have a past that led to her embarrassment and heartbreak in college so she decides to let sleeping dogs lie. When Carolina’s brother Gray informs Drew that she needs his help modeling her clothing, Carolina finds herself having to shore up her heart against the one man who has the ability to hurt her all over again.
Drew Hogan, professional hockey player, regrets hurting Carolina so long ago. He admits that back in college, he acted like a jerk and didn’t handle the gift she had given him very well. Now Drew has a another chance. He is older, wiser, and knows that the boy who wanted her so long ago is now the man who is able to handle the love that was there all along.
First, everyone must take a minute to pet and drool over the cover. *pets softly*
*wiping mouth* Good. Now for my review.
Melting the Ice, number seven in Burton’s sexy sports romance series, brings us Gray Preston’s little sister Carolina and his best friend, Drew Hogan for a lightweight second chance romance. Though enjoyable, this wasn’t as addictive. Since Playing To Win, I’ve noticed Burton’s books have undergone a transformation. Softer edges and less volatile characters produces more emotionally based romances without the intense external and internal conflicts that were seen with the Riley siblings. I will admit to missing the deliciously dirty sex scenes that were abundant and varied in the first three books. Regardless, Melting The Ice gives us a sweet romance that, though simplistic in its evolution and resolution, is enjoyable on the whole.
Our protagonists, Carolina and Drew, are extremely similar in their character makeup. Intelligent, loyal, and witty with a lack of the usual deep seated emotional baggage that often sparks the tension and must have misunderstandings in these romances. Though hard working, their well balanced personalities and dry humor sparks throughout the story, helping their burgeoning romance by using the tools and attitude that can only come with age. Drew’s confident and easy going outlook on life was the perfect foil for Carolina’s more quiet nature.
Getting both protagonists points of view allows us an intimate view of their thoughts and emotions concerning their growing romance. We learn what happened so long ago and how both have changed in the years that have passed. Burton doesn’t make it easy for Drew to recapture Carolina’s trust but neither is it a never ending drama fest. He admits he was wrong in how he handled her years ago but his reasons were solid and he is honest in his apologizes to Carolina.
The storyline is relatively straight forward. Seamless writing and engaging dialogue makes the progression of the romance smooth and steady. Drew wants another chance and spends his time teasing, cajoling, and subtly pushing his way back into Carolina’s life and bed. Carolina isn’t so sure she can handle Drew being anywhere around her, but slowly begins to open up to him; first in bed then in her heart. The subplots, Drew and Carolina’s respective careers and the pressures involved, intertwine effortlessly into the main conflict and show that with some work and honest communication, you can have your cake and eat it too. The sex scenes, while frequent and inventive, lacked the intensity and heat of the previous books. Certain phrases repeated with each encounter and I found they didn’t engage me much past the second excerpt. Though, I did like the exhibitionist vibe. It played well against the nice and well behaved tone that prevalent in our characters.
As this storyline follows friends of the Riley’s we don’t get to see any of that rambunctious family but we do get to spend time with Gray and his fiancee and previous characters are mentioned in various conversations. Some new characters are introduced whose story lines look to be in the making for future books; plus, we are given the intro to book number eight-Straddling The Line- which involves a dual sports star and his childhood mentor’s daughter. Looks yummy. Book eight is set to release July 1, 2014.
As always, Burton’s contemporary romances offer a pleasant respite from the banalities of everyday life. I look forward to reading more about her sexy sports heroes who play hard on and off the field and the woman who are more than able to handle them.