Type: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Mill Creek Press
My Copy: NetGalley
A WOMAN ON A MISSION
After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.
AND THE MAN SENT TO STOP HER
Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.
MUST PARTNER TO SURVIVE
When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret—he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.
Winter’s Heat is the first in a multi-book series about a group of elite ex military men who have banded together in order to handle problems more legal channels can’t. Based on Goodreads, I would think this is Harber’s debut novel and so there were some kinks that I hope continued writing will iron out.
I really enjoyed the characters in Winter’s Heat. Colby is a typical alpha hero. Strong. Completely sure of himself until he meets Mia, who throws his entire world off center. He’s used to people falling into line when he tells them to do something. His missions always go off without a hitch and he’s never wrong. He was surprising because of his soft spots and home life and that set him apart from other hero’s I’ve read. He’s definitely one I won’t forget.
Mia was also a surprising character. She comes across as a straight laced professional at first but it quickly becomes apparent she is so much more than that. She’s incredibly strong on her own. Super smart and resourceful, which I LOVE in a heroine, and she loves with her entire heart. Even when her heart tells her to stay away because of her horribly strict and abusive childhood.
It takes a bit of time for Colby and Mia to come together. They each fight their attraction valiantly but the constant adrenaline rush from being on the run finally wears them down. After a particularly good rumble in which Colby shoves two bodies into a trunk of a car, he and Mia find their way into a nearby hotel room and what follows is a nicely done and steamy sex scene. I did have a bit of a hard time believing that Colby would stay the night in the same place as the two bodies he had just dumped. Especially with the villains track record up till that point of finding them regardless of where they went.
There was a couple of other aspects I did not enjoy and it honestly resulted in me lowering the rating. Flowery prose. I could have probably cut half the words out of this book and it wouldn’t have hurt the story at all. The overly descriptive passages annoyed me to no end and I ended up skipping around throughout the book because of it.
Harber also has some strange sayings that took me out of the story. I don’t know if it’s maybe a regional thing or what but here are a few examples:
“Her hands were crossed in her lap, and if he didn’t know any better, she was a tight squeeze away from white-knuckled”
“That kiss walloped a sizzle”
There were tons of sentences like this mixed in with the very descriptive prose. It was too much. It felt like the author was trying way too hard to lengthen her book. The writing was, at times, abrupt and awkward. I’m choosing to chalk this up to Harber being a new author….however…. I wonder why an editor didn’t point some of this out to her. I think, had this all been cleaned up prior to publication that I could have easily given this book a five. Otherwise it had everything I enjoy and at its heart was a book I liked.
I give Winter’s Heat by Cristin Harber 3.25 stars!