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Ralston is already famous for writing several of her novels. More or less, all of her novels are written in the same way. This is definitely a good thing, especially if an author ‘discovers’ the winning formula. My opinion is that Ralston did a fantastic job with this book. I liked it and I believe that many others, especially her ‘older’ fans, will share similar opinion. Fantastic work.
Xander felt there was more to the title given to his new employer, “Ice Queen”, when what was being told. And the unusual clause in his contract with her almost made him decline the job asked of him. Yet he needed this contract to reach potential clients in her society. CJ Bostworth was hurt badly by her ex-husband and he tore open her wounds every chance he was near her.
I loved that this was written about my hometown area. But I enjoyed the family unit portrayed in this novel and the importance of supporting those you love most.
Completely flawless in my opinion, the plot is exquisite and the characters are excellent. Finally there’s a much needed change in the formula, there’s no broken girl who finds the perfect rich guy and hook up, we have two people tired of always looking for ‘that’ person, and of course after they find each other, it’s not as expected, but the journey to overcome every obstacle between them is amazingly real and engaging.
And there’s even more meaningful messages, remember no matter how hard can it be to fall in love, if you fail, your family will always be there for you, friends also, as they are another part of this amazing book. I may overreact a little, but the pacing is a little uneven at times, it can get bored in some chapters but not to the point of drop the book, so don’t worry, it’s an amazing journey from start to finish.
Much of the message this novel conveys is gelled in a statement by Kristel – ‘Emotionally codependent relationships are not healthy. If you remain in a toxic relationship which does not make you happy you will only find unease. Love is not suffering. The happy ending is in your hands.'
Kristel establishes the personalities of her characters quickly so that by the first few pages we know the outward appearances as well as the psyches of the all. ‘The contract he had with C.J. Bostworth seemed promising from any point of view. The only item Xander thought absurd was the confidentiality clause. Whoever C. J. Bostworth was, he must be rather paranoid to believe that an architect might be interested in talking about a client to third parties or even to his own team beyond what is strictly necessary. “A golden opportunity,” said Erick Danes, the architect team chief, while examining some drawings to restore a small church which used to congregate immigrants of different nationalities. “Why are you thinking so much?” “Something doesn’t feel right,” he replied. And it was true. He didn’t like that confidentiality clause at all. If anyone should need a legally ironclad clause with something so simple, quite a lugubrious secret must be hidden. Erick burst into laughter. “What’s so funny?” he asked. He had been living in America since he was 2 years old, but had doubtlessly inherited that slightly harsh tone of voice from his Russian father. “I can’t believe you don’t know who C.J. Bostworth is.” “In a nutshell,” he said sharply. “He is not a man but The Ice Queen. That’s what she has become known as. The woman has a reputation for being ruthless and without feelings, heads will roll when things don’t come up the way she wants to…” he shrugged with a cunning smile, while folding the drawings and putting them into a plastic cylinder to preserve them. “I’ve heard her ex-husband dumped her for being a frigid…” For some unknown reason, Xander felt awkward by the way the architect spoke….’ Etc.
The synopsis provided captures the essence of this rather short but highly sophisticated novel – ‘She is known as the Ice Queen in the corporate social circles of Nashville, Tennessee. Those who gossip about C.J. Bostworth are unaware of what lies behind her cold and distant façade. After a dreadful marriage in which deception and pain were the main ingredients, C.J. shows herself merciless in a business world managed by men. She won’t let anyone take advantage of her anymore. She is ready for any challenge, but she never thought she would have to face the untimely arrival of Xander Zhurov to her life. He seems able to disrupt her organized world with an overwhelming strength and the most beautiful greenish-blue eyes. An architect and son of Russian immigrants, Xander Zhurov is the owner of a company strongly founded and has an impeccable reputation. The least he expects is to feel dazzled by a woman who is as beautiful as cold and who insists on looking at him over her shoulders. His competitive vein will drive him to conquer the will of the heir, C.J. Bostworth, but on his way, he will find out that behind that cold façade hides a warm woman that makes him, unthinkingly, reconsider his bachelor life.’
Kristel Ralston moves into the category of solid romance novels with strong characters with this, her first novel published in English. Hopefully she will offer some of her popular works in Spanish in English translations soon. Grady Harp, February 17