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melting ice davies

Category Romance Review: Melting Ice by Rosalie Ash

category romance
Melting Ice by Rosalie Ash
Rating: three-stars
Published: 1989
Illustrator: Will Davies
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Romance (Special Subscription) #55
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 191
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Melting Ice by Rosalie Ash

MILD SPOILERS 😉

The Book

Melting Ice by Rosalie Ash is a hard little book to find in its original form. It was released by Mills & Boon in 1989 but only published as a special edition for Harlequin Romance subscribers. The book was #55 of that line.

The author has rewritten and “updated” Melting Ice as part of a trilogy, so the modern e-book version vastly differs from the original print copy.

This review refers only to the Mill & Boon/ Special Harlequin Romance edition of Melting Ice.

The Characters

Victoria Francis is an airy-fairy young woman living in the English countryside. The story begins as she’s walking on her hands outside and meets the hero while she’s upside-down. It’s a good metaphor for demonstrating Victoria and Julius’s opposite perspectives about life.

Julius Korda is a cold and calculating icicle. He is an avaricious businessman who wears power suits and ties. Julius works in the fast-paced world of… antiques.

(Wait a minute, that can’t be right. Let me double-check that. Nope, that’s correct.)

Julius Korda is a big deal in the throat-cutting world of old-time estates and furniture sales.

(I can see why Ash decided to give this book a rewrite. The hero’s occupation bugged the hell out of me. That did not fit his described persona. Not that there’s anything wrong with buying and selling antiques. But buying and selling stocks would have made it in line with how Ash wrote Julius to be.)

“Julius Korda is as cold as steel, as ascetic as a monk, and the only god he worships is the almighty dollar.”

The Plot

Despite their decade-and-a-half age gap, the innocent Victoria and the money-hungry Julius form a connection. Victoria finds herself falling for him.

In a surprising turn of events, the buttoned-down Julius has a moment of weakness, and he and Victoria make love. Victoria was a virgin, and a confused Julius leaves her.

Years pass. When they meet next, it will be under different circumstances. And Victoria will have a surprise in store for Julius.

(Sigh) Yes, this is a secret baby plot.

Yada, yada, yada, you get the deal. Julius and Victoria reconnect and form a new relationship. Passion reignites. Julius learns that there are things in life more precious than gold–or 19th-century golden candelabras.

Final Analysis of Melting Ice

I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. Generally, plots with uptight heroes paired with free-spirited heroines are a joy to experience. There were good elements here. However, they were wasted.

I shouldn’t be so shallow, but I couldn’t mesh Julius’ career with the identity the author had created for him. Antique dealing is a step above being a beautician in terms of macho jobs for a hero (See my review of Easy Lovin‘. I wasn’t overly fond of that hero’s profession as a hairdresser.)

The secret baby surprise came out of left field. Victoria was too young and childish; it didn’t seem right for her to become a single mother abandoned by her one-night stand. And where the heck was Julius for all that time? Polishing his silverware?

Melting Ice started out quite charming. However, I couldn’t get over a few issues, making this an average reading experience. Maybe the updated version is better, but I’m not curious enough to check it out.

3 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
3
Characters
3
Writing
3
Chemistry
2.5
Fun Factor
3
Cover
4
Overall: 3.1

Synopsis:

From the moment they met, young, carefree, Victoria was infatuated with Julius. But Julius made it clear that as far as he was concerned she wasn’t his type and in any case, she was far too young for him. However, everything changed one night — with far-reaching consequences for both of them.

MELTING ICE by ROSALIE ASH
forever mine valentine crouse

Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson

category romance
Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: February 1990
Illustrator: Daniel Crouse
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Temptation #288
Book Series: Mine Valentine Series #2
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson

MILD SPOILERS ⚠

The Book

Vicki Lewis Thompson‘s Forever Mine, Valentine, Booke #2 in her “Mine Valentine” duology was my introduction to the now, sadly, defunct Harlequin Temptations line.

The Temptation imprint launched in North America in March 1984. These books were far more sensual in nature than Harlequin’s other series, the Romance, Supperromance, and Presents lines. Temptations featured main characters from all walks of life, not just the rich. They took place anywhere, from small towns to big cities to tropical destinations.

The setting of Forever Mine, Valentine, is mainly in a shopping mall in Colorado, where St. Valentine himself is a character in the guise of Charlie Hartmann, a sweet, seemingly doddering old man.

The Plot

Jill Amory left her old life behind–including a stable dentist boyfriend–to wander across the country on foot with just a backpack. She paints windows for businesses to earn a little money and has a deadline to travel through all the States. Jill doesn’t quite know what she wants in life, but she knows it’s not commitment.

Spencer Jegger owns a successful sporting goods store in the mall. He’s athletic, attractive, and friendly to all, including Charlie, who insists that Valentine’s Day miracles are in store for Spence.

Charlie tells a disbelieving Spence that he and Jill are destined to be lovers for life. While Spence doesn’t trust the old man’s predictions, he is interested in Jill.

Spence hires Jill to paint the windows of his store, and in the meantime, he and Jill form a playful relationship with sexual tension bursting through the surface.

Jill is hesitant about getting close to Spence. He’s an incredibly good-looking man and makes his interest in her known. Jill’s mind is not on settling down, not even for a short while for a love affair. She’s aiming to roam, to search for something, some purpose in life.

I didn’t understand Jill’s hesitancy towards commitment to Spence and was glad when she decided she knew where her true home was.

Charlie is a cute character, doing everything he can to get Spence and Jill together. The two are destined for each other, he fervently declares. Isn’t it Valentine’s season? Doesn’t Jill’s surname, “Amory,” has the word love in it?

That’s more than a mere coincidence. It’s a sign from the heavens above that they’re meant to be!

Charlie also has a cute flirtation with an elderly mall walker, a lady who wouldn’t mind cuddling up to the supposed St. Valentine.

A Brief Memory About Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson left quite a mark on my impressionable younger self. This romance introduced my young mind to real love-making in books. I’d read sex scenes before in V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic and Stephen King’s Carrie. But they were brief and not as detailed as what I read in this one!

My goodness, I was such a dorky, nerdy bookworm back then. I passed this book around to my friends, spreading the salacious content around in school until one day, I got in trouble with my social studies teacher.

She took the book away from me in class one day and made a big scene, which was humiliating, although fortunately, that was the worst of it.

Well, except for the fact that it earned me a reputation for years as “that girl who reads the sex books.”

After a while, I learned not to care about what others thought and held my head high and proud whenever I held a clinch-cover romance, and someone teased me about it.

Never be ashamed of the genre!

Final Analysis of Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine was a sequel to Vicki Lewis Thompson’s 1989 Be Mine, Valentine, where Charlie had previously wielded Cupid’s bow and arrow to great success. Yes, the angels from above sent the old scamp down to spread love among mortals!

I loved that aspect of the Temptation line. There was so much variety; the books could have any crazy plot or simple, mundane ones. Temptations told all kinds of stories; the only qualifier was they had to be sexually steamy enough for a new era of romance readers.

This Temptation romance had a hefty dose of humor and lots of steamy love scenes making it an engaging Valentine’s Day treat.

Rating Report Card
Plot
4.5
Characters
4.5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4.5
Overall: 4.7

Synopsis

Hartman strikes again!

Old Charlie Hartman was out of his mind! To insist that Spence Jegger would marry the first woman he saw on Valentine’s Day was pure madness, given Spence’s opinion of marriage. And an aging vagabond playing St. Valentine was a bit much for even a friend like Spence to accept. Until Charlie pointed out Spence’s “intended,” Jill Amory.

All Jill wanted, however, was to finish painting Valentine messages on the windows of Jegger Outfitters and be on her way. She had a deadline to meet…on the other side of the country. Now all of a sudden two crazy men – one of them the tempting Mr. Jegger himself – seemed determined to influence her schedule…and her heart.

FOREVER MINE, VALENTINE
the magic of you

Historical Romance Review: The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey

historical romance review
The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1994
Illustrator: Elaine Duillo
Book Series: Malory & Anderson #4
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
Pages: 406
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonThriftBooksAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey

SPOILER FREE REVIEW 😊

The Magic of You and No Time for Romance

By the time Johanna Lindsey‘s The Magic of You was published by Avon in June 1993, I was a rising Junior in high school.

From 7th to 9th grade, I had been obsessed with romance novels, reading everything from Lady Chatterley’s Lover to category romances to thick, door-stopper historical epics.

So at that time, I was not as fanatical about reading for fun due to a full course load at school, with no lunch period and little time for extra-extracurricular activities.

On the day I came upon that blue Elaine Duillo and Fabio step-back paperback at a Waldenbooks in the local mall, I squealed in delight. It was a sequel to one of my favorite Lindsey books Gentle Rogue.

I excitedly plunked down $5.99 plus tax (oh my, how expensive books had gotten; only 3 years earlier, a mass-market paperback could go as low as $4) and hurried home to read it.

To this day, The Magic of You remains the only book I have ever read and finished TWICE in one day.

the magic of you
The Magic of You

The Heroine in Pursuit

The heroine-in-pursuit plot seems like such an unusual trope in historicals. If it isn’t, it’s at least rare in the romance novels I read.

More often, it’s the hero pursuing the heroine, if not out of love, because he wants her body.

Here, Amy wants it all from Warren: his body, his love, and his laughter.

A free-spirited, confident heroine in pursuit of an uptight, stuffed-shirt hero who tries his best to resist her is my absolute favorite trope. I don’t think I’ve seen it done better in any book than this one.

Lady Amy Malory is female, but that doesn’t mean she’s distinct from her libidinous Malory uncles. And she’s much more so than flirtatious cousin Regina.

Amy might be a 17-year-old virgin, but she knows what she wants. That would be Warren Anderson, the brother of her uncle’s James wife. The dour American is much older at age than her at (I think) 36.

Yes, there’s a considerable age gap between the two, but it doesn’t make any difference in The Magic of You.

Amy is strong-willed, determined, witty, and utterly charming.

Warren is the complete opposite: a stick-in-the-mud type who was deeply hurt in the past by the woman he loved. Now the only woman he has any feelings of consideration for is his sister, Georgina, and his newborn niece, Jacqueline.

“I want you, Warren Anderson.”

The Magic of You

The Hero in Flight

Warren hates the Malory family. In particular, his brother-in-law, James.

When James Malory compromised his sister, Georgina, it took all five burly Anderson brothers to take turns beating James into a pulp to force him to marry her. James has never forgotten that.

Nor have the Andersons forgotten that James was a pirate who plundered some Anderson family ships. Not to mention that he’s a blasted Englishman, while the Anderson are American.

The blood feud runs strong between the two families, despite George and James’s marriage.

So it’s no surprise that Amy’s uncles are vehemently opposed to any union between Warren and Amy. But Amy doesn’t care. She will use all her feminine wiles, all her charm, all the magic of her love to transform bitter Warren into a happy man.

And because she’s a Malory, Warren has met his match.

Final Analysis of The Magic of You

The Magic of You is an imperfect book, I know. It’s not one of Johanna Lindsey’s most well-written historical romance novels.

Doesn’t matter. I loved this one. Loved, loved, loved it.

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
4.5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
5
Overall: 4.8

Synopsis

As wild and reckless as the most incorrigible of her male cousins, Amy Malory has reached a marriageable age and has set her sights on a most inappropriate mate: the straight-laced American ship captain who once nearly had her Uncle James hung hanged for piracy.

Warren Anderson is shocked by the brazen advances of his despised enemy’s beautiful niece. Though determined to resist her, he burns for the enchanting British minx. And an impassioned heart implores him to surrender to a love that could stoke the smoldering fires of a family feud into a dangerous, all consuming blaze

THE MAGIC OF YOU by JOHANNA LINDSEY