Read with: Kindle for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Valentines Day Survival Guide
Publisher: Harlequin KISS
Hero: Alekzander Rush (Zander)
Heroine: Georgia Stone
Date of Publication: February 2013
Started On: February 05, 2013
Finished On: February 18, 2013
Never have I written a review while conflicted so much about the rating I would give to the story. On the one hand I enjoyed this story immensely. Nikki Logan has definitely earned her place in the list of authors whose books I would always continue to buy. Even then, I find myself a little bit more than disappointed in one aspect of the story I will highlight as I get on with the review.
28 year old Georgia Stone gets rejected on Valentine’s day by the man she has been dating for the past year. Public scrutiny is hardly what she needs or wants but then the contract that she signed with the radio station won’t let her get away that easily. The station manager Alekzander Rush (Zander) offers her a way out, a monthly segment on the radio which features bits and pieces of the one year journey that Georgia takes on an year of self discovery and realization i.e. “The Year of Georgia”.
With Zander “monitoring” her during all the activities that Georgia takes part in, the attraction and the sense of awareness that Georgia has had for Zander since their very first encounter starts to grow. Georgia might not be a woman who might be considered a ravishing beauty but her personality is one worth delving into. I fell in love with her for her easygoing nature, the way she tries her hardest not to let self-doubt and a sense of inadequacy get in her way of exploring new horizons. It takes courage for a woman who has been rejected in a very public way to find within herself to move past all that and take a chance at love and happiness once again and I applaud Georgia for that if not everything else about her.
Zander is one of those broody intense heroes that you are just going to love. I fell in love with him from the moment his intense eyes blazed with need for Georgia, a need he ruthlessly tamps down and brings under control every single time it tries to get the best of him. Zander is reserved, not surprising given his past and surprisingly empathetic when it comes to Georgia’s very public blunder on the Valentine’s day. But when you get to know what Zander himself goes through, the surprise factor turns into understanding of why Zander is the way he is. The more Zander tries to push Georgia and her thoughts away from his mind, the more tenacious they become until all he can think of is Georgia and the one inevitable conclusion of all the combustive passion that he is keeping a tight rein on.
And oh my dear lord, how I loved the subtle and yet intense layer of awareness and attraction that is such a huge part of Georgia and Zander’s relationship. And it made me want to weep and throw the e-reader at the wall when all that came to a realization and there was nothing for the reader to enjoy. Yes, the sense of awareness and desire between Zander and Georgia is mind-numbingly hot & intense and I wanted at least just one scene of passion between them to come to life in the book. I don’t need explicit content. Just something other than a memory on the heroine’s part of the culmination of all that passion would have done it for me. And yes, true story, I whimpered in sheer agony because I never got to “witness” what an endurance runner might be like in bed.
What made the connection between Zander and Georgia that much more precious was the fact that both characters remain true to their self, and its a slow journey of discovery of a love that is that much more real because in the end its not the normal Harlequin variety of romance where the ultra rich workaholic hero takes one look at the damsel in distress and falls head over heels in lust and love with the heroine. The fact Zander resists the temptation Georgia offers and yet yearns for her with every cell in his being was what made the story work for me. And it would have made for a 5-star outstanding read if not for the fact the I felt so cheated out of seeing the passion between Zander and Georgia explode onto the pages.
Recommended for those who love reticent heroes and the heroines who make them fall in love.
Her breath came heavy and fast and mingled with his. Then she turned inwards, drawn by the plaintive breath that was her name on his lips. Their mouths touched. Sensation sparked between them and birthed a flame, hot and raw. Zander pressed their lips more firmly together, leaned into her. Curled his fingers into the hair at her nape. Georgia pressed a hand to the damp, cool earth and used it to lever herself closer to him, to hold the connection fast. To explore and taste and experience. His breath became hers. Her breath sustained them both. She kissed him harder. Greedy for his taste.