Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Review: Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

Sun Kissed (Snow Queen #2) by Laura Florand
Publication date: May 20th 2014
My rating: 4.5 stars
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They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?

Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

My Thoughts:
Sun-Kissed was another heartfelt, beautiful romance by Laura Florand, and as usual, I was awed by her writing talents. She makes you feel so profoundly with her words that I always come away from her stories moved emotionally.  I swear, every time I read one of her books I’m tearing up at least once because I’m overcome by feelings.  

Mack Corey is a character I’ve met through his daughter’s, Cade and Jaime’s, stories.  He’s a fifty-three year old widower, but also the owner of Cory Chocolates, the monster chocolate company worth billions. With both his daughters marrying and moving to Paris, he feels a little bit off kilter and unnecessary.  Yet, he has Anne Winters at his back.  They’ve seen each other through the best of times and the worst, and Mack is finally ready to make a move on her, no longer worrying that it may ruin their friendship. Breaking down Anne’s walls will definitely be a challenge, because they don’t call her the Ice Queen for nothing. Fortunately, Mack’s not afraid of a challenge; in fact it ignites some fires and spurs him on!

“I don’t know if I’ve told you this in the past twenty years, but since you’re already at the point you’re ready to knee me in the groin, I might as well go for it.

You’re hot, Anne.”

Anne Winters is sort of a younger version of Martha Stewart, with the same icy, perfectionist reputation as well.  She survived a failed marriage, became a single mother, and still managed to create a multi-million dollar business. Anne’s come to rely on Mack and his friendship over the years, because he’s always been there for her.  She is shocked at his sudden advances, but also very thrilled!

I wouldn’t have guessed that we’d get a story for Mack because it’s not often you find a romance between fifty-somethings these days. Now before you start thinking that fifty is old, let me give you a few examples of how sexy a fifty year-old can be: George Clooney is fifty-three (thanks, Andrea @The Bookish Babe for that example), and oh my, does he ever exude male sexiness!  Dana Delany is fifty-eight!! I still can’t believe it, but I’ve always thought she was beautiful and classy. Anyways, I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Fifty is the new thirty, lol.  Plus, with that age comes the knowledge of what you want, what works for you, and the confidence to go for it.

One of my favorite types of romances is friends to lovers, so seeing Mack and Anne’s enduring friendship shift into a steamy romance was very gratifying. And it was such wicked fun! I loved Mack’s boldness, and Anne’s stunned reactions.  Mack was something else! Yum!

“Told you that you’d run,” he said, with that glittering challenge in his eyes. “Of course, the problem with running is that then somebody can catch you.”

I feel like Sun-Kissed was partially a reward for loyal readers, giving us a glimpse into the continued HEA of other beloved couples. Jaime and Dominique’s wedding was the primary setting for this story, and I felt like I was a guest as well, overflowing with happiness for these two, and yes, of course I cried. 

Sun-Kissed is a must-read for all fans of Laura Florand, or any romance junkie out there. Her prose is gorgeous and always manages to touch me profoundly. Plus, they’re utterly HOT!! If you haven’t taken the opportunity to pick up one of her stories you are missing out. Seriously, do something about it!

Snow Queen Series:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Snow-Kissed (Snow Queen #1)   Sun-Kissed (Amour et Chocolat, #7; Snow Queen, #2)
Amour et Chocolate Series:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

The Chocolate Thief (Amour et Chocolat #1)  The Chocolate Kiss (Amour et Chocolat #2)  The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)  The Chocolate Touch  (Amour et Chocolat #4)  

The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5)  The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat, #6)  Sun-Kissed (Amour et Chocolat, #7; Snow Queen, #2)

About the author: Laura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have been translated into seven languages, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.

Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!

Connect with Laura Florand:


Carina Olsen said...

Aw :D This sounds like a sweet book. And such a gorgeous cover. Sigh. Amazing review sweetie. <3 I'm so glad you mostly loved this book :) "heartfelt, beautiful romance" sounds pretty awesome. Thank you for sharing. <3

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I think Brad Pitt is nearing his fifties too! I have no trouble imagining a.steaming hot 50-year-old! I wouldn't expect this to affect you so strongly emotionally, but it's very good to hear.
Wonderful review!

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

This woman really has a way with words, doesn't she? *sigh* I want to dive into all of the lovely sweeties she describes -- and the love stories. Yay for an older couple's romance! Love isn't just for the young. :) And, even though 50's seems beyond ancient when you're in your 20's or younger, as you get closer, you realize it's not *that* old!

Melanie said...

The cover for this is gorgeous. I saw a review of the same book a while ago and this is the second favourable review. While I don't think I'll like this, the writing sounds beautiful, and I will definitely check it out on GR later.

Lovely review, Rach! <33

Anonymous said...

I know Andrea really loved this book too and I'm so glad you did as well. I'm not sure if I would enjoy reading about characters this old, probably because it would remind me of my parents and that's just not how I want to picture my characters when I read a book. Still, this author sounds like her writing is amazing. I need to try something by her soon.
Great review, Rachel.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

How is it that I've yet to read something by Laura Florand? I tend to shy away from reviewing books with adult characters, but I read them in my own time, as well. I think this might be one I need to try! Thanks for the great review, Rachel :)

Michelle (A Thousand Lives Lived) said...

Oh my! This cover looks gorgeous and so does the book! I have to get it ASAP. Great review, Rachel!

Joy said...

Great review, Rachel. You're like, my go-to now for adult contemporary romance. For real. I'm dying to get started on the rest of these books!

Jenny said...

I fail at life for not having read any of her books yet. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME RACHEL! I kind of like that the characters are a bit older in this one - and a huge yes George Clooney. 50 can still be very, very sexy:)

Tanja - Tanychy said...

Like Jenny, I fail too! But I know they are amazing. I trust you and Keertana so I'm sure of it. I just need to crack this mental block I have. I'm not sure about this book though as I'm not really into older guys (sorry George). Anyhow I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Jasprit :)

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I need to finish the chocolate series by her, I love her writing as well so I am certain I would like this new series.

Keertana said...

Rachel I have to agree that this installment is particularly rewarding for readers of the entire series because of the cameos and I really loved the way this romance was written. I didn't connect with/feel for it as much likely because I'm so far removed from the age group of these characters, but I still adored this novella. It's impossible not to love Florand's writing, really. Fantastic review, dear!

Unknown said...

Your review made me so happy, Rachel! I, too, loved Mack and Anne and wasn't the slightest bit put off about their age. (Possibly bc I'm about to be thirty-*mumbles* in a few weeks. Love is love and it can be beautiful and endearing and, honestly, sexy at any age.
And thank you for being one of the two blogger/friends to encourage me to give LF a try. Forever grateful!

The Bookish Manicurist said...

I hear nothing but good things about this author, Rach, so I don't know why I haven't given her a go yet! I also love how emotional her writing makes you, it's really nice to be so moved once you've finished a good book

Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

The Readdicts said...

That is so true! Finding a romance between an older couple is hard because I actually can't think of a single one I've read where the hero was in his 50s. Thanks for sharing your review Rachel! :)

Janhvi @ The Readdicts

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle said...

I'M SO BEHIND ON THIS SERIES!!! But I cannot wait to get to this set. I love that Mac gets a little loving as well. I do enjoy the friends to lovers as well, and I like that you get a glimpse of previous characters -though I need to actually read that story. I want to meet Cade's sister and that other sexy chocolatier. Great review!

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