Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “Never put off tomorrow the hot sex you could be having today. You just never know what might happen.”
I absolutely adore Laura Florand’s books and when I heard her latest featured protagonists that are in their fifties, I was greatly intrigued. Further, the heroine was recently in prison. Yes! Bring it.
Anne Winters is a self-made billionaire. Having a magazine empire and being brilliant at interior design and crafting, Anne has been quite successful in business. Her personal life hasn’t quite shined as much. After having a son, her marriage fell apart and when that son got married, his marriage was in trouble for quite a while (from the book Snow-Kissed). Oh – and there is that pesky little matter of her being guilty of insider trading and going to prison for six-months. And let’s just get out of the way that yes, she is Martha Stewart, but let’s also pretend she is Anne – not Martha. But she is now out, and ready to live life. Except she is nicknamed the Ice Queen. She is serious, proper, never letting emotion get the better of her. Even during her trial, she would look at the jury with a ‘fuck you’ attitude – which didn’t help her case much.
Anne didn’t do vulnerable. She looked at the jury and thought, If I play all fragile, I bet they’ll let me off, and instead of doing that, she gazed them straight in the eyes and thought, Fuck you. The admiration Mack had felt watching her, and the impotent fury at the damn Department of Justice, had caught him in a tight fist and held him. Held him every damn day she was in prison. Still held him.
She has been friends with another billionaire and head of Corey Chocolate, Mack Corey for twenty years. Mack’s wife died in a car accident years ago, leaving him to raise two daughters. They each own a beach home in the Hampton’s, and when they are both in residence, have taken to long walks on the beach together for years.
In present day, Mack’s daughter Jaime is getting married to Dom (from The Chocolate Touch) and Anne has decorated his house for the event perfectly. All the chocolatiers are in town and the wedding festivities are in full swing. During the wedding, maybe due to a few drinks or maybe due to the fact that he is tired of waiting, Mack decides Anne is the one for him. But Anne’s ice facade is a hard one to crack…but Mack is so hot, he just melts it away.
Mack is damn sexy you guys. I just love that Florand writes her heroes who for the most part are the ones that really have to work to win the heroine. Work it boys! Mack is set on getting Anne to finally see him romantically, but she is a tough one to crack. Besides being closed off, Anne loves to fight. Boxing aside, when Mack approaches her and flirts, her first instinct is to fight him off, even though her insides are going all gooey. There is also the fact that he does it at his daughter’s wedding so there are a lot of eyes and pressure on them.
He is so intense, and naughty and you know from the first sentence out of his mouth that Anne will ‘lose.’ He riles her up and gets her going and it’s good times for all.
“Go ahead, Anne. Hit me.”
Damn it, she couldn’t. She didn’t want to hurt him. “Fuck you.”
“No, you,” he said, with those glittering, beat-the-world eyes and that battering ram voice. “Isn’t that what we’re talking about?” His voice went low, low, low, so deep it vibrated through her bones. “Fucking you.”
And there is kissing:
And he kissed her.
Just flat out kissed her. No careful approach, no slow dip in to make sure she was okay with it, no testing the waters. He just took her mouth and took it over, like she was damn company and he was pissed off.
Like he was just going to seize all her assets and restructure her.
She felt that way. Seized. Restructured.
We also spend time reflecting with Mack now that both of his daughters are married. He feels a bit lost and sad that they live across the world from him. That he has to let these two brute men take care of his daughters. And Anne has to come to terms with how she raised her only son, and the yearning she had for other children she couldn’t have. It’s a very full story for a shorter length book.
This can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend this author and all her work.
Previous Laura Florand Reviews