Sunday, 21 August 2016
#CBR8 Book 90: "Frozen" by Meljean Brook
Rating: 2.5 stars
Olivia just wants to go home to her family for Christmas, preferably before the snow hits, but her boss has made her go out of her way to deliver some important papers to his son, a man she's been studiously trying to avoid for over a year, after they kissed and he declared it a big mistake. Turns out that dear old dad had ulterior motives, and while Erik Gulbrandr does his best to get Olivia far away from him (even though he seems to be brewing on a fever or something), she's not going to be able to go anywhere, as something has torn her car to pieces.
Erik is forced to admit why he wanted Olivia to leave and while he's been avoiding her so aggressively. While it tends to skip every other generation, the men of the Gulbrandr family are under an ancient curse. When Erik kissed Olivia, he discovered that she was his fated mate and the curse makes him lose complete control during the Winter solstice. He'll do anything to get to her and won't exactly treat her gently. There is also a paranormal aspect to the curse, but I won't reveal what exactly happens to Erik, because it's a pretty cool reveal. They are trapped in the house, because rival paranormals have some sort of blood feud going and know that Erik is on edge just before the Solstice. They want to try to kill him, and keeping Olivia snow bound in the house with him provides them with more distraction. Erik wants Olivia to shoot him point blank in the head if the curse takes over (it's the only way he can be stopped, he is otherwise invulnerable). She is naturally sceptical and wants to find a different solution.
Since I stopped reading Kresley Cole books (I just could not anymore, I had completely run out of could's), I don't think I've come across a lot of fated mate pairings in my books. This novella, which I think Meljean Brook may have self-published certainly gave me something different from just your standard vampires, shapeshifters or fae. There's an element of Norse mythology involved, which I liked a lot, but the main problem with the story is that the curse didn't entirely seem to make sense. Still there's a couple threatened by dangerous beasties, all sorts of moral qualms, followed by quite a lot of bonking towards the end of the story. I was not very engaged with the story, and Olivia sure is going to have an awkward time the next time she faces her potential father-in-law, after the situation he knowingly sent her into.
Meljean Brook has written some excellent paranormal fantasies, I can highly recommend her historical Steampunk series, the Iron Seas, which begins with The Iron Duke, also has one of my favourite adventure novels, Heart of Steel, and another great entry (set in Iceland), Riveted. Unless you can get this on sale (like I did) or free, I would skip it and read something else by Ms. Brook instead.
Judging a book by its cover: So many different shades of blue. An otherwise fairly generic cover. You've got your pretty lady in a state of partial undress. Woods in the background. This cover says little to nothing about the contents, which is not unusual for some paranormals, actually. Only the tag line gives you some impression of what the story is about. I don't hate it, I don't love it. It's a cover.
Crossposted on Cannonball Read.