by Eden Bradley, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-847-5
This version of Eden Bradley's Winter Solstice is, according to the publisher website, an expanded and revised edition. A quick search on Google suggests that the original edition was published by Cobblestone Press in 2006.
It's not exactly the happiest holiday season for our heroine Destiny Walker as she is spending Christmas alone, away from her family members for the first time. When the short story opens, it is raining and our poor darling is already drenched when she manages to find shelter in front of a store that offers "psychic readings". After experiencing what she believes to be a sign from her late grandmother, she decides to walk into the store for a reading.
The reading with Madame Anna leaves her shaken because not only did the old woman (who resembles her late grandmother quite a bit) suggests that Destiny will meet her soul mate soon, Madame Anna also seems to be acutely aware of Nana's final words to Destiny. What is going on? And then, on her way home, she bumps into a gorgeous man with the most beautiful eyes she has ever seen, and the rest, as you know, is fated to be. Destiny doesn't believe in love and she is pretty adamant that Reece Kallan is going to be just another bloke to enjoy and walk away from, but sometimes, you can't just fight these things.
It's a bit of a cliché to have Destiny being a shrink and yet being a bit whacked, emotionally, at the same time. But I have to admit that I cannot look away for even one second while I'm reading Winter Solstice. For one, the sex scenes are hot. Okay, I'm not that shallow - much - I also think that the author has done a very good job here setting up the romance as one fated to be. Reece is actually a very nice guy and the Clark Kent comparison is quite apt. Take off his glasses and clothes and he turns from cute Silicon Valley hunk into a Superman in bed. Destiny could have been an annoying heroine in another story, but here she is pretty fine as a likable heroine who just takes a while to believe in the possibility of romance.
Reading stories like Winter Solstice sometimes wish that I can appreciate BDSM romances better, because Eden Bradley is very fond of writing those stories. I have to settle for the occasional "vanilla" stories from her now and then to get into my fangirl groove, and that doesn't happen often, sigh.
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