I’m just in the process of reading the third book in the Grayson brothers series, Slow Simmering Spring and thought I’d give you my thoughts on the series to date so far. I must say that Elisabeth Barrett does have some seriously good luck when it comes to the covers on her books. All four of them are most agreeable 😉
Deep Autumn Heat
Lexie Meyers decides there’s nothing sweeter than watching Sebastian Grayson’s perfect, wicked mouth devour her coconut cake. He’s hot, he’s hungry, and he’s sizing her up like she’s the best thing on the menu. But she’s been burned in the past and flings just aren’t her thing. Too bad Sebastian can’t resist a challenge.
Worldly, famous, and notorious with the ladies, Seb had planned a weekend of fishing and relaxation with his brothers. Until Lexie, with her kissable lips and frosty “get lost” attitude, makes him want to forget his culinary empire and create some magic with her. After he fires up his charm-including challenging her to a televised cook-off to break through her resistance-it’s now hotter in the bedroom than it is in the kitchen and Lexie isn’t sure whether she’s lost her mind . . . or just her heart.
This is Sebastian’s story. One of twins (brother Theo is the hero in the next book), Seb is a rising star on New York’s culinary scene. He has his own TV show, restaurant etc and is looking to expand his empire into Boston.
Lexie Myers is the proprietor of LM Kitchen, a newish restaurant in Star Harbor. She herself is new in town, having fled California and her ex, Frank. Her experience has turned her off wanting to ever be involved in a relationship again.
Let’s just say their first meeting doesn’t go all that well. Lexie doesn’t immediately recognise him and Seb acts like an ass (well put, other Grayson brothers). I did like how once Lexie realises who Seb is, she stands up to his assy behaviour and puts him right back in his place. Yes, he has an effect on you, my dear, but you stood up for yourself! Good on you!
Seb, of course, is intrigued by this woman who doesn’t fall into his lap, and his pursuit of her begins. There is a pretty strong undercurrent of attraction flowing between Seb & Lexie almost from their first meeting. They do have a little snark with and at each other, something I usually enjoy.
The storyline with Lexie receiving threatening notes & being stalked was handled really well. At first, she seemed a little unconcerned (thinking it was someone trying to steal her famous Coconut Cake recipe) but she did end up taking it seriously. I’ve read too many stalker storylines where the stalkee acts all concerned then goes and does something stupid to endanger themselves.
I very much enjoyed the relationships between the Grayson brothers. Their interactions were realistic and they behave exactly like brothers do.
There is a side storyline involving possible drug runners and a rumoured long ago sinking of a pirate ship – these look like they may run throughout the series.
I enjoyed Deep Autumn Heat quite a lot. This was a great start to what promises to be a really good series. The whole vibe of this will be right up your alley if, like me, you enjoy small-town contemporary romance.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 9 July 2012
Blaze of Winter
Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.
Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone-except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.
I read Blaze of Winter almost immediately after reading Deep Autumn Heat. I am not sure if this affected my enjoyment of this book in some way, because I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much. That is not to say it wasn’t a good book, I just didn’t get as into it as the first one.
Theo is the twin of book one’s hero, Seb. Theo is a famous novelist who unfortunately has lost his writing mojo. He’s hoping to regain it while he’s back in Star Harbor. His rediscovery of his lost inspiration isn’t helped by living with two of his brothers, Cole & Val on Val’s boat. So he moves into the inn.
There he meets Avery. Both are home in Star Harbor to re-energise. Avery is ostensibly there to run the inn for her Aunt Kate while she recovers from cancer treatment. But she’s also there as she had a crisis of faith in her career. A drug counsellor in Boston, she feels as if she could have done more to save one of her clients, who died after relapsing into addiction.
OK, now as a couple, I didn’t really connect to Theo and Avery as well as I did with Seb and Lexie. Theo is very much attracted to Avery and tries so very hard to win her over. Avery ran far too hot and cold for me. She was constantly chopping and changing from “Yes, let’s get sexy” to “Oh, body, how could you betray me so?” That got a bit much for me. She was a little too annoying for my tastes.
The pirate ship storyline has continued (makes sense considering Theo’s chosen genre of writing) and the friendly neighbourhood drug runners also reappear.
I am really looking forward to finishing this series, and might even go back and revisit Blaze of Winter at some later stage.
My rating: 3 out of 5
Release Date: 10 September 2012
Note: I was provided with advanced reader copies of these books by Loveswept via NetGalley in return for an honest review.