Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jaci Burton - Melting the Ice

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...
Comment: This the seventh installment in the Play by Play series by author Jaci Burton. Of all the stories so far, I must say the overall opinion is that this is too average, too clichéd and not completely appealing all the time. I'm at a point where I keep reading only to get books out of my TBR list as an accomplished task, even if one or two titles have been better than others.
This one wasn't that great...

In this story we have Carolina, the youngest sister of the hero from the previous book, and Drew, one of his best friends.
While at college, Carolina decided one day to seduce Drew and they spent a night together but Drew left without any further communication so although no promises were exchanged, Carolina still felt a bit rejected. They have kept a cordial relationship over the years even if Carolina never forgot that one time.
Now that her father is the vice president, her brother is engaged and happy and her own professional life is going on a new positive adventure, Carolina and Drew are brought together once more by Gray, her brother. Caroline needs models for her new fashion collection debut and Drew can be a great outdoor model, allying his good looks with his sports' fame to better start up her sports collection. But getting so close again will revive the sparks of that one night in the past?

As I've said, this story was very average. I can't help thinking the plot was boring and the character's actions and interactions didn't bring anything new to the table, only more sex and clichéd ideas. I wasn't even sold on the fact they were falling in love. Nothing emotional or deep was obvious and no matter how often we read their feelings were changing, that was not easily seen. When a book is so mono toned I wonder why going through all this trouble... I certainly would change things and that can't be a good reply to a work that has certainly taken the author time and effort.

The plot is rather thin. There are several scenes that I assume try to convince us both protagonists work hard in their jobs but I think they were mostly impersonal to the point any character could do them. Several things also happen to convey this need for the protagonists to interact, like fitting for clothes, like Drew spending Christmas with Caroline's family, like Carolina watching Drew's games to get "inspiration" for her sports collection... the thing is, all these things are perfectly acceptable and doable in this context but that's it. There's no advancing because of these things. I'm being picky, I suppose, I already knew about the writing style beforehand, but it still felt like a letdown because the characters were quite boring, especially together.
Another detail that doesn't always bother me but I can't help but notice is the lack of more sports scenes or related situations...this is a sports themed romance after all...

The books in this series are also labeled as erotic which means we should expect sexy times. Despite those scenes (which I skipped since they all look the same), I also expected some connection between the characters because of that. But the sex scenes didn't seem to improve anything or enhance their sentimental situation. The characters didn't seem to become that better together because they were sharing something that brought them closer. I also felt a little annoyed Carolina's feelings of sexual attraction were always so obvious to Drew. Do people really walk around always feeling horny and letting it be that obvious all the time? It felt silly, to be honest. Of course Drew would have sexy thoughts about Carolina as well and I won't even go that way just to not make myself even more annoyed.

I've come to realize this type of books aren't really something I appreciate that much. Sometimes books surprise me (I liked the previous one much more, for instance) but more often I'm left thinking there should be more to them. I need some substance in books and while some comedies manage that even without serious issues, just random repetitive things don't do it. I have one more book in the series to read but after that one I think I'll let it go.
Grade: 5/10

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