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?
The story in a nutshell:
Anne Winters and Mack Corey seem to have it all: money, fame (or infamy), family. They’ve proven themselves to the world by being the best at what they do and for owning the world, so to speak, as self-made billionaires. They’re both at the points in their lives where they’ve watched their children marry and have families of their own. They feel nostalgic, a little bit lonely, but most of all, suddenly very aware. Aware that they aren’t alone at all. That they haven’t been alone. Because they have been walking the beach along their vacation houses for the past twenty years. Together. As friends. And maybe now it’s time they cross that line.
What worked for me?
I don’t even know how I would review this book. It just owned me, plain and simple. From that first chapter until the last word of the book, it irrevocably owned me, not letting go. I love practically everything about this book. I love that it is about Mack and Anne. They’ve already lead full lives and here they are, with children already married, finding themselves at points in their lives where changes are still happening and they may have that second-chance in love.
It was such a refreshing love story. I love that they are in this stage of their lives. I love how the relationship between these two just shifts drastically, going from one to another but also that it totally makes sense that it went to that direction. I love how real they both are, how intense their feelings and reactions are for their family and for each other. I love that they’ve been friends for 20 years already, walking that same beach side by side for a long time. I love how steadfast Mack’s love is for his daughters and how focused and determined Mack became when he finally decided to go after what or who he wants. I love Anne’s inner strength, her flaws, her icy demeanor and warm heart.
I really enjoyed that we get to see the whole gang in this book because the opening is Dom’s and Jaime’s wedding and everyone’s invited. We get to see Sylvain and Cade, Philippe and Magalie, Luc and Summer, Patrick and Sarah. It was like a reunion of all of Laura Florand’s wonderful characters.
And I love Laura Florand’s writing. I consider this as one of her best works to date. Her writing was just flawless, spot-on, evocative, and achingly sweet.
What did not work for me?
Not a thing.
My over-all take on it?
A unique and refreshing take on ‘second-chance’ love, the healing power of friendship and acceptance, and the passion of a love that still burns even when you’re not that young anymore. As they say, age is just a number. But love and commitment can be everything. A true gem from author Laura Florand, who keeps getting better and better with every release of her book.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
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:
Other books in the Amour et Chocolat series:
Other book in the Snow Queen series: