Review: The Pleasures of Winter
The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Abbie Marshall is a serious journalist who is a pampered princess. She travels around the world to report on injustices and many times, she's in life threatening situation. Her latest story is placing her a step away from death. Stuck in Honduras, she needs to leave the country quickly before the drug cartels she's researching remove her permanently. Her luck holds out when she catches a ride back to the States with Irish actor Jack Winter. Currently the hottest and one of the most sought after men in Hollywood, his private jet is leaving from Honduras and has one spot for her.
This book is billed as one for those who are Fifty Shades of Grey fans. This is not a positive endorsement for me. Since that fan fiction is a travesty in BDSM mockery and filled with want to be BDSM errors, recommending this book for a review was definitely a leap of faith from the publisher. I'm pleased to say this book is a much better book and should stand on its own merits. I can also concede the publishers are correct. This book is definitely one which would appeal to the Fifty Shades of Grey readers. If only this book could replace it completely.
This book's plot is attention holding. The adventure which brings Abbie and Jack together is entertaining. Their mutual attraction is hot. The storyline flowed without any boring spots. The character building is also good. Jack, while not the best Dom in the world, he was pretty decent. He was amusing and sexy. While he's had a bad experience with BDSM, he wasn't some abused mental case. Abbie is a well adjusted professional female. She's amicable and the reader can admire her tenacity. She's like a pit bull with her reporting stories. Her sexual insecurities are understandable.
The reason why there were some issues for me were some weaknesses in plot. Jack has a big dark secret. It did not make sense that so many nasty paparazzi and filthy gossip magazines would not be able to dig up this dirt. When the secret is reveal and how it was revealed, it only proves the point that this story should have come out earlier. Another point that bothered me was attention to detail. There is one scene where Abbie was attacked by leeches. If the author did her research, she would have known that Abbie wouldn't have felt any burn when the leeches were on her. Leeches secrete a chemical which basically numbs their prey so they can't feel the sucking. Yes, this also includes the leeches which have teeth. While a cigarette is a method to remove leeches, it's a poor one. It's also one that is not recommended. Besides, why waste a match when Abbie and Jack are in a dire situation where having a fire can mean the difference between life and death? In addition, leeches are not like ticks. They can be pulled off or a flat object can be used to rub down them to break the seal from their sucking. Basically, once the seal is broken, the leech will come off. Of course, there are suctions on both ends of a leech. This inaccuracy makes a reader question what else the author did not research. One can argue this is fiction and while this is true, it does not mean a free pass to inaccuracies. It still doesn't mean an author should neglect these details because a reader will catch it and it is distracting.
The sex scenes were erotic and enjoyable. The BDSM was accurate enough to show the author did research BDSM. She didn't just make it up in her head or read other BDSM fiction. The online D/s is similar to what I've experience. The hesitation Abbie felt and her disgust with the lifestyle also rings true. The BDSM scenes between Jack and Abbie were believable. It did leave me a bit dry though. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but the BDSM scenes were almost clinical. This is not a bad thing, just made me indifferent. Still, the sexual tension between Abbie and Jack was delightfully tasty. Overall this book is a 3.5 star for me. I recommend this book to kinky readers who enjoy a good solid romance.
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