Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Winter's Heat (Titan #1) by Cristin Harber

Book coverWinter's Heat (Titan #1) by Cristin Harber
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame

First Book in Titan Series by New York Times Bestselling Author

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.

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.

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.

This is another book I started with trepidation because my friend Bambi did not finish it. There have been quite a few like that in the last 6 months or so. I'm also listening to this on audiobook so I think the narrator has an effect on how I feel about the overall listening / reading experience.

When I started this book, I did not like it very much. It started off choppy and disconnected. It would jump from scene to scene unexpectedly and I would wonder how we got from A to B with a bridge of some sort. Very confusing. In addition, Ms Harber's writing style is quite truncated. She wrote in short sentences and her characters spoke in short, very punctuated sentences. It. Felt. Like. They. All. Spoke. Like. This.

I was not certain if I would finish the book and thought I'd give it a 2 star if I did because of Ms Harber's writing style, the characters being unlikable (more on that later) and the fact that I was breaking in a new narrator who was not my beloved Eric Dove.

Let me talk about the narration for a little while. The narrator for this book, actually the entire series, is Jeffrey Kafer. His voice is rough and gravelly, and he does macho asshole really well. His voice tends to scrub across your senses rather than glide over it, though not in a bad way. He doesn't have the smooth sexiness that Eric Dove has, but his voice has it's own appeal. It took me quite a long way into the book before getting used to him. He also doesn't have Eric's versatility in terms of doing different voices for the men and he's quite one dimensional with the women. His voice is too deep to do women's voices well and he doesn't pitch them high enough. If you needed a narrator for an uber bad boy or an alphahole, Jeffrey Kafer is your guy.

This story took me a while to get into due to all the things I mentioned above. I think it finally hit its stride at around about the 50% mark. I don't know if this is a debut novel for Ms Harber or not, but it seems she finally found her groove around there. The story seemed to flow better and I stopped having moments where I'd stop and wonder what the heck just happened repeatedly. I was also starting to understand and like her characters a lot better.

Let's talk about the characters shall we?

Mia started off as a bit of a bitch. I really didn't like her for the better part of the book but as Ms Harber threw more and more at her, she stood up and held up really well under pressure. She was smart and resourceful, and she did one thing which saved Colby's baby which was excellent, because seriously, if the human traffickers had gotten hold of the baby or if anything had happened to the baby, that would have killed the whole story for me. It's like killing a puppy. That's a deal breaker too. Mia has some serious trust and personal relationship issues she needed to overcome, to get to trusting and then falling for Colby, but Colby was persistent and had a way with chipping at her defenses. I'm certainly glad he didn't put up with her rubbish and allow her to psycho-babble her way out of a tough situation rather than deal with it. She was big on throwing up walls and misdirection. Good thing Colby saw through all of that.

I started off thinking that Colby was a lot of a douche canoe. In fact, I thought he fit the definition of an alphahole perfectly. He was gruff. He was rude. He was uber macho. He starts off thinking of Mia as an inconvenience, as part of the job. Then as his feelings change about her, you see a rather introspective, more sensitive side to him. It took a while to like his softer side. His internal dialogue in the beginning was rather comical and at odds with the tough guy persona he projected. Then I find out he's got a several month old baby and he says "I love you" to his mom when he talks to her on the phone, and I thawed towards him. In the remaining 50% of the story, Colby takes on most of the emotional burden of being the braver one in the relationship (except when he was not!) and the one who was willing to face his feelings, and deal with Mia's. For all of this tough guy facade, Colby was really just a big ol' teddy bear.

I ended up liking this story. I think I will continue on with the series and continue it on audiobook. Maybe I'll grow to like Jeffrey Kafer's voice a lot more down the track.

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About the author
auCristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author of the Titan, Delta, and Only series.

All of her series live in the same "world", and are steamy romantic suspense, military romance, and new adult. If you like one series, you'll love another!

Readers voted her onto Amazon's Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her Titan series was both #1 romantic suspense and military romance bestseller, and she was twice awarded an Amazon All-Star. Reviewers have shared such praise as, "If you love Lori Foster or Maya Banks, read this series!" and "Julie Ann Walker and Cherry Adair fans will go crazy for Cristin Harber."

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Titan Facebook Page

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  1. I still haven't finished this one :/

    1. Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would.

  2. Whew that's amazing she was able to pull it off in the end. I have a few friends who LOVE her books but I've not tried them.

    ---> he does macho asshole really well had me rolling. lol

    1. It was very touch and go for me. I'm glad I got to the end. Now I want to read the other books in the series.