Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review: Flames of Summer by Kate Merrill

Flames of Summer by Kate Merrill

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Rating: 2



Cole Montgomery has it all…success, women, and a brilliant future as a physician in Birmingham, Alabama. Yet he is restless and incomplete. Seeking the happiness that eludes him, he returns to his tiny hometown of Millville to work in the cotton mill and search for the father he never knew, the man who caused him to be born a bastard.

Amelia Mansfield has an agenda. After graduating with an advanced business degree in Philadelphia, she seeks to fulfill her empty life by returning to Millville. Her goal is to wrestle control of her family’s mill empire from the hands of her ruthless father, proving once and for all that a woman can be more than just a pretty face.

From the moment of their first meeting, Cole and Amelia seem star-crossed. Their attraction is immediate and passionate, and in one magic summer their relationship deepens to love until Fate intervenes. A bitter corporate struggle and long-buried secrets erupt in greed, jealousy, and finally flames as one man’s shameful past conspires to pull the lovers apart for all time.

Clare C's Review

Merrill’s writing is superb. I could feel the breezes rustling through the trees. I smelled the jasmine and honeysuckle. Water pelted my face and rocks scraped my arms when Cole saved Amelia from her accident at the rapids, their first meeting. Ethereal, otherworldly forces made me understand these two were soul mates. For all the divine imagery, the story leaps out, grabs the reader’s heart and digs in.

Cole and Amelia are both complex characters. Each fight demons from their childhood. Like their lives, their demons are also intertwined. Laying them to rest might very well tear them both apart, but caught in fate’s webs, neither have much choice. This kind of heartfelt drama doesn’t rely on erotic scenes for effect, though there is a healthy dose of romance and sex.

This novel, and these characters, captivated me from beginning to end. The several chapters devoted to the points of view of peripheral characters would normally bother me, but in Merrill’s capable hands, they only add to the richness of the story. While there were no surprises in the way the plot unfolded, it didn’t dampen the quality of the story one bit. Instead, it allows the reader to focus on the poetry of language, the dance of heartache, and the artistry of love.

5 Tea Cups!

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