A Summer Storm by Robyn Donald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A life-threatening storm brings Oriel into the world of larger-than-life Blaize. He is the one she runs to for help when her cousin is seriously injured when their camping site floods. Forced to stay at his house until she recovers and the storm passes, she realizes she's in way too deep as her feelings for the bossy, yet very attractive man turn into love.
Blaize convinces her to be the governess for his young niece, a good use of her excellent teaching skills, but dangerous because the more time she spends with him, the more she loves him.
Blaize definitely has charisma. I could see a woman falling under his spell. He wasn't always likable, but at the same time, there was something that makes a woman want to let him take care of her. Oriel is a down-to-earth heroine whose very ordinariness makes her relatable. She's got some self-esteem issues because of her unusual height and gawky, angular frame--the fact that her mother never let her live it down that her only child isn't small, blonde, and delicately beautiful like she is. In my mind, I could see Oriel having a gorgeous dark-haired beauty like Angie Harmon (except with blue eyes and pale skin). And a big and tall man like Blaize would probably appreciate having a tall drink of water with legs for days.
This book doesn't have that much going on. Just an intense relationship drama. Donald has definitely written meaner heroes. Instead, Blaize just comes off as a tough, authoritative alpha who is used to getting his way all the time. I enjoyed his sense of being perplexed that the seemingly meek Oriel doesn't roll over for him like all the women he's known. He falls hard for her, and this book is just about Oriel and Blaize coming to terms with their feelings for each other and realizing they are mutual. Readers who enjoy tropical scenery will like the descriptions of the New Zealand island flora.
I would give it four stars because I enjoyed reading about Oriel and Blaize falling in love, and there are pretty good sparks although not a lot of on the page, descriptive love scenes.
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