Another Season of Sex and Romance: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett
Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett is the second novel in the Star Harbor series following Deep Autumn Heat. In Elisabeth’s first book we met Seb and Lexie, two very competitive chefs who learn they can pursue their own career, but still love each other.
In Blaze of Winter we meet Theo, Seb’s twin, but a very different man. Theo is a famous novelist who writes adventure stories about swashbuckling pirates. He is suffering from writer’s block, living on his eldest brother’s boat, and sharing a cabin with his police officer brother. The arrangement just doesn’t work. While doing research at the local library, Theo shares his predicament with Emma, the librarian, and she immediately suggests that he take a room at the Inn. It’s December, Star Harbor is relatively quiet without many tourists, and having a room to himself should help him relax and hopefully alleviate his writer’s block. Suddenly Emma’s suggestion sounds like a great idea!
At the Inn we meet Avery Newbridge, Emma’s sister, who is in town helping to run the Inn for her Aunt Kate, who is recovering from breast cancer. At least that is what she is telling herself. Avery is a social worker in Boston who counsels drug addicts and assists them on their way to recovery. After a tragic incident with one of her patients, she needed time away. Avery decides a visit to Star Harbor, to be with her aunt and her sister, would be the perfect getaway, a familiar place where she could unwind and reevaluate her career aspirations.
When Theo and Avery first meet she feels the attraction: “The small quaver in her belly told Avery one thing: This man was trouble with a capital T.” She sees him as tall dark and handsome and way out of her league.
Theo is immediately taken with Avery too as she is so different than the women he knew in San Francisco. After a dinner, and some conversation, he’s intrigued: “His titian haired beauty was like one of those wooden box puzzles – one he wanted to solve layer by layer, to find out what was beneath the surface.”
One of the things that I liked about Blaze of Winter is we meet all our friends from Deep Autumn Heat, plus we’re introduced to a few new ones too. The mystery of the shipwrecked Siren Lorelei is still unsolved, and there are strange unexplained noises, and drafty rooms at the Inn that facilitate a suspense plotline throughout the series.
Theo is relentless in his pursuit of Avery, and although this is what she believes she wants too she is frightened he will leave. Blaze of Winter is a heartwarming novel, with a bit of mystery, and, oh yes, some hot scenes in a pantry, car, and, yes, a bedroom or two.
I recommend this novel and series to readers who enjoy small-town stories, with a lot of heart. If you like Robyn Carr you’ll love Elisabeth Barrett’s Star Harbor series!
Ms. Barrett has more Grayson brothers and I’m anxiously waiting for their stories!
Rating: Four Bright Stars