Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter's Kiss Antho

Title:  Winter's Kiss
Author: Jennifer Echols & Catherine Hapka
My Rating: A- overall

Genre: YA- Contemporary romance
Main Characters: 2 books in one
Release Date: January 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

The Ex Games 
by Jennifer Echols

My Rating:

Story Overview:
Meanwhile, Hayden and Nick’s steamy relationship has ended in a frosty breakup, and now they’re just friends. But when they decide to go head-to-head in a boarding contest, the friendly competition gets heated….Will sparks start to fly on and off the slopes?

My Review:
What a wonderfully sweet romantic story, but it was so much more than that. This book is about Nick and  Hayden. They dated for a single month in 7th grade and have had a contemptuous relationship in the 4 years ever since. Now it is winter break and they find themselves as third wheels in their friendships of three's because the other two in each respective group of three's have hooked up.

In seventh grade, when they hooked up, Hayden was the new girl in school and had just come off a horrific accident that had caused her to spend an entire year in a wheelchair and rehab. What she didn't know at the time was that their relationship was the result of a bet about the new girl. When she found out, she was horribly hurt and broke up with Nick. It's been four years, but neither one of them has ever recovered from the hurt of that time. 

This book has a wonderful romantic story. I loved both Nick and Hayden's characters and the obvious angst that they are both going through. But this book is about so much more than that. This book is about overcoming fear...something that both these characters are dealing with although Hayden's is more obvious than Nick's. Both of them are terrified of being hurt by the other...again.

The entire book is set in amongst the backdrop of a winter mountain and an obvious passion for snowboarding. Hayden is on the cusp of becoming a pro snowboarder. She just has to find the courage to do the big jump after the lingering fear of heights that is left over from her accident.

I found this book to read easily and naturally. I got caught up in the story and the tension between Nick and Hayden. Their chemistry was so much fun to read about and I was on pins and needles every time they got caught up in another miscommunication.  I thought that the tie in with the snowboarding was incredibly done. I am not a snowboarder, but those parts of the book were intriguing and interesting. Overall, this was simply a fabulous and entertaining read!

The 12 Dates of Christmas 
by Catherine Hapka

My Rating: B+

Story Overview:
Lexi has come up with a master plan to make Cameron break up with her: get him to fall for another girl so she’ll be free (and guilt-free, too). But when the plan goes well—too well—Lexi starts to wonder if she hasn’t made a terrible mistake. Has she let the perfect guy get away? And is it too late to get him back?

My Review:
This is a tough book for me to review. I hated Lexi's actions in the book and the games that she was playing, although she didn't see her actions as a game. She thought that she was justified. But I think that the reason that I had such a strong reaction to her actions is because I recognized them from my own actions in high school. *ugh* Even 20 plus years later that is a difficult thing to look back upon. BUT that is why this is such a good book for teens...call it a cautionary tale. hehe!

What did totally work for me in this book was the setting of this Christmas-oriented little town. I loved that almost all the activities in the book and the town were aimed towards the magical goal of Christmas. Even when they were all freezing in the frigid temperatures, there was a special magical feel to all the events and settings.

Cam...*sigh* Such a nice guy...but maybe just a bit too nice. Again, this is very reminiscent of high school. The problem with being a nice guy is that you can get totally run over by a girl caught up in her own drama about a situation.

Overall, this was an entertaining and fun read. I began to question whether Lexi was ever going to get her act together in time, but no fear...there is an HEA and the book ended very sweetly. It just kept me on pins and needles until I got there.


Aurian said...

The ex-games sound wonderful, and if she really overcomes her fear of heights, wow. I never have managed that.
The 12 dates of Christmas, hmm, not sure that appeals to me. Too YA.

Paperback Daydreamer said...

These both sound fun! I'm definitely putting this one on my TBR list...I think I'm really going to have to dedicate my month of July to Christmas again. :-D