This is a quick easy Harlequin story that readers who want a pretty even-keeled romance will like. Business owner and caterer Maya Hartney’s latest job is to cater a charity function for Will Thomas’s company. During their first meeting, Will’s enthusiasm for Maya’s cooking is lackluster and humdrum. However, Will’s boss will pull the plug on his work with Julia House charity if Will doesn’t at least pretend to enjoy something outside of work. So on ‘recommendation’ from his boss, Will signs up for one week of Maya’s cooking classes.
I wasn’t really sure why Will’s boss was so concerned about his health because there was never an explanation – like maybe he’s Will’s mentor, friend etc. So other than convenience, it didn’t resonate with me. Both characters had their own version of the tormented childhood – it was almost a competition to see who had it worse. I wanted to like this story much more than I did because I liked the author’s debut story and I expected good things with this. (I’m a fan of dialogue; I’ve always been. The more talking, the better I’ll like the story. Even a bad story can be made better with dialogue, not that I’m saying that this is a bad story because it’s not, but it could definitely benefit from increased dialogue.) Back to Will; he’s a nice enough guy but I didn’t really like him. He was really standoffish with Maya, to the point I questioned his interest in Maya. I didn’t feel the attraction on either side actually.
Maya’s childhood fear of rejection kept rearing its ugly little head and after a while, I didn’t really care if she felt rejected or not because I didn’t know why she would even care what Will thought about her as a person when she just met the guy (and he wasn’t interested in the beginning). Yeah, he’s the client, but since when did personal feelings getting hurt come into play when you’re trying to run a business – isn’t it time to build that bridge? By the time she decided to woman up, the end was near.
There was a little side story with Will and his past that I thought would be explored a bit, but that wasn’t to be. That left me feeling left out because it was told to me that everything was resolved, but I didn’t see it happening and I didn’t like that – I wanted to be taken on a journey. There’s no great up and down with Maya and Will – their actual romance happens very quickly and the ‘I love yous’ were even quicker. Even Maya’s as non-descript as she was, I expected to get something other than the bright clothing from her that really made her stand out.
Maybe because this is a Harlequin ‘Romance’ there was no sex and just a tad bit of lackluster kissing. Again, this isn’t a bad story but I think that it could be tightened up and be so much better with a bit of better editing.
Happy Reading folks!
*Book provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss
by Ellie Darkins
Release Date: September 2, 2014