BLOG REVIEW: Melting the Ice by Jaci Burton

28y.o. designer has no time for anything else but her new fashion line.
So she's trying really hard to keep things professional with her new model 30y.o. hockey player and her brother's best friend Hero, who wants a 2nd chance with her. 

He regrets how he treated her the morning after their 1 night together in college 10 years ago and he can tell she's still feels hurt by it. 
His constant presence in her life and his flirtatious seduction soon chips away at her defenses.
She succumbs to their mutual attraction,
which made for some hot times
that defy any other experiences they've had.
Her time crunch for the impending Fashion Week
and his reputation for short-term affairs keep her from not expecting much from him. 
However, his hints that he may want more from her pull her in another direction.
Until he let his career get in between them.
What will make him choose her this time?

This was a steamy read like other Burton books. But the steam factor is pretty much the only above average aspect of this book. The romance was so-so. It's their second go around together but the first time was hardly a romance. It was a one-night stand with  virgin 18y.o. heroine who had a big crush on Hero and who seduced him during a college party. He succumbed to her seduction like he did with other women. She was really no one special to him. He was a man-ho who let his drunken state excuse him from doing what he knew he shoudn't have: have sex with his friend's younger sister.  He hightailed out of her bed the next morning just as he did with other women. The only guilt he had was that he was his best friend's sister and he shouldn't have used her like he did other women who wasn't any of his friends' sister. Not a great consolation. A point on Hero's part, though, was that he admitted and apologized for his jerk behavior then and tried to be a better man with her now. 

Regardless, Hero never struck me as sorry enough or cared enough for heroine to voluntarily seek her out and apologize or make amends. He could've easily found out where she lived (especially since they both lived in New York City) when he saw her again with her brother a few months back. But he didn't.  It was convenience and physical proximity of working with her as her model that made him consider a romance with her. Additionally, he'd recently  been thinking about his age and settling down. And heroine had some of the criteria he was looking for in a life mate: smart, attractive, independent, and wants him. His arrogance that she still wanted him, despite he desire to resist him, irked me. He seemed really cocky that he could make her respond that way. It was as if he thought she was so lucky that he'd choose her among all other woman who want him. Very reminiscent of Gaston's view of Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The ego of this guy!  The way he reacted because he was frustrated with his team's losing streak was worrying.

     -----------SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details------

He blamed heroine for his inability to focus on his hockey games and, thus, attributing their losing streak during their away-from-home games unto her. As a result, he planned on avoiding her. And it was the worst possible time because Fashion Week was just around the corner and she needed to see him for the photo shoot and fittings for his runway fashion show. All he agreed to do and knew were very crucial for her career. So he avoided her calls and texts, most that were about his modeling work for her. He was a no-show for the photo shoot and planned on being a no-show for the fashion show, where she was clear that he was going to be the star model. And his reason? Because he didn't want to look like a loser in public since he felt like one because of this team's losing streak. He was a selfish jerk to blow her off and not have the respect to tell her about changing his mind re: being 1 of her models. He was sabotaging her budding career by passive-aggressively saying "no" to her via avoidance. 

He would've continued his passive aggression with her if he didn't get some sage advice from his mentor. That made him see that it was his game plan that was off and not heroine at all that was caused his team's losing streak. Imagine that! So he made it just in time for the fashion show, apologized for being a jerk to her, and did his modeling work. It makes me wonder though how he'll respond if he's frustrated about work or some other matter in the future. His putting the responsibility on heroine for his team's losing streak was so far-fetched but he truly believed it. Will he blame her again for some external matter she has nothing to do with? Maybe. And that's what worries me. 

     --------------------------------------------------END SPOILERS-------------------------------------------

Hero wasn't a bad sort really. He had his good points, including being supportive of her career, growing out of his man-ho ways, and being able to admit his mistakes and try to amend them. I just would've liked him to love heroine a lot more than he loved himself.I think maybe with time and more experience being in a relationship with heroine he'll become more selfless.

Heroine had her good points also. She was independent, smart, and caring. But she had some characteristics that really bugged me. The main one was her playing hard to get with Hero. She was so fickle with him, saying one thing to him but meaning another and often caving in to do the opposite of what she said she wanted. For example, she'd often initially refuse Hero's offer to spend time with her, using her need to work as her excuse. But with just a mild repeat or 2 his offer, she'd relent and blame him for making her go out with him/have sex with him/etc. After a while, he'd just wait a few seconds after her initial rejection because she'd inevitably changed it and accept his invitation. Her playing hard to get antics quickly got tiring. It made her seem pathetic since it was obvious to Hero that she really wanted to be with him and that her protests were a sham. Heroine had always been the one who cared more for Hero since they were in college and it hadn't changed. The sense that he was bestowing her with the good fortune of being with him was clear from the beginning. She had a hard time saying "no" to him and not eventually giving in to him. It doesn't bode well for their future. All he needs to do is to continue either seducing her to change her "no" to a "yes" or just wait long enough until she'd change her mind. 

I moderately recommend this book.
2.5-star





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