Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Winter Flame by Milly Johnson

 3 Star
'Tis the season to be jolly… But can Eve find happiness through the frost…?Eve has never liked Christmas, not since her beloved fiancĂ© was killed in action in Afghanistan on Christmas Day. So when her adored elderly aunt dies, the last thing she is expecting is to be left a theme park in her will. A theme park with a Christmas theme…

And that's not the only catch. Her aunt's will stipulates that Eve must run the park with a mysterious partner, the exotically named Jacques Glace. Who is this Jacques, and why did Aunt Evelyn name him in her will?

But Eve isn't going to back down from a challenge. She's determined to make a success of Winterworld, no matter what. Can she overcome her dislike of Christmas, and can Jacques melt her frozen heart at last…?

Kathryn - 3 Star

It's not that I was completely disappointed by Johnson`s latest novel because I found the plot line to be unique (not many books out there centre on the combined inheritance with a stranger of a partially completely winter wonderland theme park) but I really wish I`d been interested in the main character or felt some warmth towards her- it would have really improved my read.

Eve is quite emotionally stilted because of her history - although as we make our way through the novel I suppose one cannot blame her for being wary- but it was difficult to believe in her intense distrust of Jacques (the other beneficiary).  She takes her lack of trust to a level I just couldn't get on board with.  For that reason I appreciated Eve’s cousin Violet so much more- she was warm and all-embracing and although she had her own reasons for distrusting men you could still feel she wanted to believe that love was possible for her again. Unfortunately I wanted to invite Violet to the party and forget to send Eve’s invitation.

The building of the winter/Christmas theme park was fun and this aspect of A Winter Flame was inviting. I loved the planning, the chaos and particularly the animals involved in the build.  Jacques was fabulous and charming and served to point out Eve’s reluctance to enjoy life even more- he had endless patience.

This lack of warmth for Eve made A Winter Flame a bit difficult to embrace but I still feel Milly Johnson forms a well written story and has an affinity to put characters together with a good plot line.  I just didn’t connect with this leading lady.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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