Tag: elisabeth barrett

Slow Summer Burn by Elisabeth Barrett

Slow Summer BurnBook: Slow Summer Burn

Author: Elisabeth Barrett

Series: Star Harbor #4

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Val Grayson, eldest of the Grayson clan and all-round good-guy, has spent most of his adult life getting things done. Keeping his brothers out of trouble following the deaths of their parents, seeing them through school and working hard meant that there there was very little time for anything other than work. At thirty-five, Val sees all of his brothers settling down and he realises his life is empty. No significant other to come home to, all he has to focus on is his work. Trying to solve the case of who is behind the drugs being imported to the Harbor is consuming most of his time, but when he meets Cameron Stahl, he knows everything is about to change.

Cameron Stahl is a Boston socialite and local businesswoman. She works hard, much to the chagrin of her mother, who wants her to be a society wife, busy with charity work and social functions like her. Cameron once accepted that life, but as she spends more time away from Boston, away from her controlling parents, the more free she becomes. Meeting Val at a social event, she immediately feels drawn to him. He’s not her social equal but she doesn’t care. She wants to escape the confines of the middle-class prison she was groomed for and discover who she is without the trappings of wealth and privilege. Her family is sure to disapprove, but for once Cameron is determined to take the plunge and put her happiness first. Val’s the man for her and she has no intention of letting him go. When a close friend of Cameron’s family are implicated in a case Val is working on, Cameron begins to question Val’s motives for getting close to her – surely he can’t have been using her. Knowing what they have is real, she is determined to prove her love for him, even if that means putting herself in the firing line.

Why you should read this: If you’ve been following the Star Harbor series and followed the Grayson brothers’ ups and downs, then you’ll absolutely adore the end to the series and enjoy getting to know Cameron and Val. Cameron is by far the best of the heroines so far – she’s sweet, unsure of herself but truly likeable. Her journey to find out who she is was an interesting one and I really enjoyed the chemistry between her and Val.

What you might hate: It’s the end of the road for the Star Harbor series! – there’s drama aplenty happening in the Cape, with plots and intrigue. I really enjoyed the mystery subplot and it gave the book depth – it wasn’t just a sexy read – it concluded the series nicely.

Rating: 4/5 for a fun, exciting and sexy read. Val is a sensitive and attractive hero – I enjoyed him finally finding happiness.

Slow Summer Burn is out 12 August.

Long Simmering Spring by Elisabeth Barrett

LSSBook: Long Simmering Spring

Author: Elisabeth Barrett

Series: Star Harbor #3

Review by: Onnica 

Basic Story: Julie Kensington is finally realising her dream as a small-town doctor. She’s returned to her hometown of Star Harbor and is killing herself by working all hours in order to meet the demands of her new practice. She has no time for a social life or being part of the community, but she loves her work. The day her work puts her in the path of Cole Grayson, (the town’s Sheriff and former-hellraiser) she knows instinctively that her work ethic and her plans for the future do not include him. Having known him in High School, she isn’t convinced that he’s changed all that much and is determined not to be derailed by his smouldering good looks and intimidating presence.

Since hearing that Julie Kensington had returned to sleepy Star Harbor, Cole has been keen to get closer to her. Knowing that she still thinks of him as the surly, arrogant boy from High school, it becomes important to him to show her the real him – even the damaged, dark parts of him, which are a lasting reminder of his harrowing time in Afghanistan.

After agreeing to a date with the intense Cole, Julie is surprised by what she finds. Gone is the trouble-making rebel and instead, there’s a responsible and devastatingly handsome man in front of her. Perhaps she can stand to have a little fun – without losing her heart. Cole is happy to oblige, but before long, he isn’t content for their relationship to remain just a fling. He wants the real deal and the only way to convince Julie of that is to let her in on all of his secrets. Will she be able to accept what she finds there?

Why you should read this: Ok, so it’s no secret that I’m loving this series. Sleepy Star Harbor makes me want to emigrate! The Grayson brother series keeps getting better and I felt that this story had more depth to it – Cole is damaged and needs help and Julie is the perfect partner for him. She’s strong; she’s compassionate and makes a great heroine. Some of the other heroines in the series have had me tearing my hair out, but Julie was perfect. Cole is sexy as all get out – he’s my new favourite brother! It’s also a nice change to have a vulnerable hero, rather than a broken heroine for once.

What you might hate: If you’ve been following the series and enjoying it, I really don’t think there’s anything to hate. The pace is fast and there’s an adventure subplot running through the story, which makes it a real page-turner.

Rating: For me, the story keeps on getting better. I give this 4/5 for this imperfect love story between Cole and Julie. Long Simmering Spring is out on 13 May 2013. I am really looking forward to the last in the series (sniff, sniff) Slow Summer Burn, which is Val’s story – out in August 2013.

Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett

Blaze of WinterBook: Blaze of Winter

Author: Elisabeth Barrett

Series: Star Harbor (Book # 2 A Loveswept novel)

Reviewed by: Onnica

Basic Story: Theo Grayson has writer’s block. For the life of him, he cannot seem to make his latest historical novel flow. With his editor keen to see his next work, Theo needs to find inspiration fast. Deciding that a break from San Francisco will help him find that inspiration, he resolves to spend the winter in his childhood home of Star Harbor, Massachussetts. Suddenly, being home with his family – three brothers and lots of friends, Theo begins to re-evaluate who he is and what he wants from life.

Avery Newbridge is facing a crisis. Her career as a social worker has come to an abrupt hiatus, leaving her unsure of her abilities and whether she is capable of helping others. She has come to Star Harbor temporarily in order to look after her aunt, who’s recovering from cancer. She’s not used to the small community and the fact that everybody knows everybody’s business, but she is sure that a change of scene will help her to plan what she’s going to do with her life. She doesn’t want any complications and so when Theo Grayson walks into her aunt’s inn looking for a place to stay, it’s clear he is nothing but trouble to her peace of mind. Theo has her in his sights and Avery must decide whether guarding her heart against pain is worth living a half-life of nothing special.

Why you should read this: A couple of weeks ago, I read book one in this series and I was struck by how vividly Cape Cod is depicted. The same is true of this book – I feel as though I know this community and these characters really well. Picking up the next book in the series is like catching up with an old friend. I thought that Sebastian Grayson was hot, but his twin brother Theo is off the charts! Glasses wearing, chiselled abs, tall, dark and sexy; what more could you ask for in a hero? He’s basically perfect and doesn’t put a foot wrong, despite his bad-boy reputation.

What you might hate: Avery, Avery, Avery. I could have smacked the woman on several occasions. I get that she’s trying to focus on her life and not get caught up in a complicated love story, but come on! She pushes him away constantly, when he hasn’t done anything to deserve it. He doesn’t lie; he doesn’t flirt with other women. From the moment they meet, he makes it fairly clear she’s all he wants, yet she’s too dense to accept it.

Rating: 4/5 Despite a very challenging heroine, I absolutely loved this book – I feel like I’m getting to know these characters much better and I can’t wait for Long Simmering Spring, which will be out in May 2013. How hot are these covers?!

Deep Autumn Heat by Elisabeth Barrett

Deep Autumn HeatBook: Deep Autumn Heat (Loveswept)

Author: Elisabeth Barrett

Series: The Star Harbor Series

Review by: Onnica

Basic Story: Lexie Meyers moved from California all the way to Star Harbor, Massachusetts to build her business, mend a broken heart and begin her life again. She’s successful, well-liked and has big plans for the future. Those plans do not include a man. She’s staying single after the last disaster made her flee the West coast. So when Sebastian Grayson – famous chef, former-son of Star Harbor, ex-bad boy and well-known womaniser enters her diner – although struck by his good looks, his arrogance and rudeness makes for a disastrous first impression. Having put him in his place, she wants nothing more to do with him; but Seb is attracted to her confidence and no-nonsense attitude. Despite his brothers’ warning that he should stay away from Lexie, he just can’t help himself. (Did I mention he had three other brothers, all hunky with a twin thrown in? Well, he has…)

As Lexie gets to know Sebastian better, she realises that there is more to him than his strong physique, arrogant nature and predatory gaze. She respects his work and the feeling is mutual. She is attracted to him, but is determined to protect her heart from what must be for him, just an autumn fling. Besides, she has more to deal with in the shape of a psychotic former-lover who may just have moved halfway across America to stalk her once more. If that wasn’t enough drama, she also has a competitor who is dying to find out what she puts in her famous coconut cake and make it her own!

Why you should read this: This book is the first in the Star Harbor series, featuring the fabulous Grayson brothers. I’ve never been to Cape Cod, but the narration really made me feel as though I was experiencing it first-hand. Lexie, for me is a good combination between gutsy heroine and damsel in distress. When she’s in trouble, she accepts the help! The backdrop of this story was the culinary world and what’s better than good food and sexy times? Sebastian Grayson is hot, arrogant but also a character that shows depth and is capable of changing his ways. I’m really looking forward to reading more about this family.

What you might hate: There’s nothing to hate about this book – there’s a lot of book for your money; there were a few sub-plots I wasn’t completely sold on but overall, the pace of the book was on-point.

Rating: I give this a solid 3/5 – I love Loveswept books and this is a great addition to it. It’s great opener to what will probably be a great series. The cover says it all – hot hero, astride a motorbike. Enjoy the ride. Look out for Blaze of Winter, which is Theo’s story, who just happens to be Sebastian’s twin!