The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
6 blisteringly hot stars!
Here's my confession:
It was the the last day of 2012, and I was looking for a quick, fun read to tide me over until a book I had pre-ordered was released the following day. The reviews for The Pleasures of Winter were all over the place, but I decided to give it a shot anyway after watching an entertaining interview with the 2 Irish authors who co-wrote the book under the name "Evie Hunter".
All I can say is, holy yowza, batman!
Yes, this book falls firmly into the "What to read after Fifty Shades of Grey" category, but in my opinion...and pay attention to me here, people...This book blows Fifty Shades out of the water.
That's right, I said it.
Meet Jack Winter.
A Hollywood badass, who's life growing up in Ireland is as murky as a London fog. Enter hard-nosed journalist Abbie, who manages to awaken the 'darker' (aka kinkier) side of Jack's personality. One that he is desperately trying to keep hidden as he attempts to land the movie role of a lifetime.
Throw in a plane crash, a danger-filled trek through a jungle, enough sexual chemistry to light up Manhattan for a week & some mighty interesting new ways to use ice chips and ginger root, and you have a recipe for one helluva sexy ride!
Jack Winter...oh, let me count the ways in which I love thee.
Simply put, Jack is everything I wish Christian Grey had been, and so much more. All wrapped up in a cross between Colin Farrel & Hugh Jackman looking package. I mean, seriously? How the hell could you go wrong with that?
The D/s relationship here is sooo much more believable and intense than in FSOG. Jack and Abbie's BDSM lifestyle, while still more 'vanilla' than most (*cough* or so I have been told.), is much more realistic than the uber-watered down version found in FSOG and most of it's clones.
Jack picked her up and set her on her feet. He pulled her against his chest, using one hand to tilt her head back. "Did I hurt you?"
"No, you didn't hurt me."
A wicked grin dispelled his serious expression.
"Would you like me to?"
Now, as to the aforementioned chemistry between Jack and Abbie?! Off. The. Charts. I have read my fair share of erotica in 2012 (probably a lot more than my fair share to be honest lol), but I can honestly say, the scenes between these two were probably some of my all time favorites. These Irish gals know how to write some intense love scenes, let me tell you! And not just the actual sex scenes, but the flirty banter as well. One of my absolute favorite parts of this book were the IM discussions. It starts off as Abbie wanting to talk to a Dominant to try and understand her submissive side, and these 'D/s counseling sessions' are incredibly fun and sexy...even before Abbie finds out that she has in fact been chatting with Jack the whole time. All of these scenes make the reader well aware of the fact that when these two finally do hook up....look out!
Yes, the whole b-story involving the drug lords she was digging into for an article and their pesky habit of trying to kill her was a bit silly and unnecessary. But you know what? I don't really care. Because there were so many other things that I absolutely loved about this book that it's easy to overlook something minor like that. Where as in a book I enjoyed a lot less, it probably would have had me rolling my eyes into the back of my head. But here? Eh...whatever.
So, as you might have guessed...I unabashedly adored this book. While I do enjoy finding an awesome stand-alone book, I have to admit...i kind of wish I had more kinky adventures with Mr Winter to look forward to. ;)
There is a super-short novella (that is more like an extra scene) called
A Touch of Winter which should be read after this book. It's hot & sweet and i recommend it as well. :)
Some of my favorite highlights:
"I'm Jack Winter. I've been sleeping with Abbie for the last four night. Who are you?"
"Bad girl." Jack withdrew his fingers and pressed them to his mouth. "Hot, sweet little Abbie. I can see that you're going to need a lesson about who's in charge here."
"Oh, Ms Marshall. You are a sight for sore eyes". Jack's Irish accent made her nipples peak. "I'm going to taste every inch of you."
"I am not your girl."
"oh baby, you will always be my girl."
"Abbie, if you come in, you know what will happen? Tonight won't be feathers and velvet. It's going to be leather and bruises and hard fucking. If that's not what you want, go away now. Come back tomorrow."
"Jack," her voice shook. "I want that, too."
"I'm yours? In your dreams."
"He grabbed her and pulled her tightly against his chest. "In my dreams," he agreed, his voice dropping to a growl. "And in every waking minute too."
At heart she was a vanilla and feathers girl, and he was leather and steel.