Monday, 17 August 2015

C J Fallowfield - 31 Days of Winter (31 Days #1)

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Susan

Containing sizzling scenes as well as romance, intrigue and humour, the 31 Days duology contains adult themes and is suitable for the over 18’s only.

What would you do if everything you thought you knew about your relationship turned out to be a lie? If your boss made you dread going to work each morning, despite the fact that you enjoyed what you did? If you had a dream that you'd never followed because you were scared of change?

Ellie Baxter is a 26 year old Senior Editor in a Publishing firm, whose relationship is stagnant and she feels unfulfilled and underutilised in her career. Following a shocking discovery, her best friend convinces her to take a month out, to give her time to reassess her life. So she books a twenty-eight day retreat in a cute little boathouse, situated on an island, in the middle of a loch, in a remote part of Scotland. Her intention, to be as far away as humanly possible from any distractions.

The gorgeous caretaker of the island that she has escaped to however, instantly challenges that plan. Sexual sparks fly from the moment he picks her up from the airport. Yet while the mutual attraction is undeniable, he insists that nothing can ever happen between them, they can only be friends. As they spend more and more time together, is it a promise that he can keep? Can a man and a woman with sizzling chemistry really just be friends?

He wants to know Ellie's life story, but refuses to give away much about himself, not least where he disappears to for four hours every day. Ellie is intrigued by him, and becomes determined to break down his emotional walls, as well as tempt him into her bed. But when she finds out his secret, will she still want him?

31 Days of Summer, the conclusion, is due to be released on 26th December 2014.

So I was hooked in the first twenty percent of this book. The circumstances of poor Ellie's struggle to recover some control as she finds out what a sleaze her fiancé is upon returning home from work to be faced with the first of many lies despite their seemingly solid relationship. From drugs, affairs, to financial destruction. She really does find her life is a pack of lies. So when her best friend suggests some time out to "re-evaluate" she does so in Scotland, in the remotest of the remote!

From the first phone call we know there is a man. The chemistry is there from the very beginning and the next forty percent seemed to be a struggle. By no means unenjoyable. But we learn of the stubborn man (and hired help) who sees that Ellie is safe, has everything she needs (well almost everything!) and generally does the professional thing. But lines are crossed not only professionally which we expected given their flirtation. But Dan would be a handful. He holds a secret close to his heart, and being a very personal man is reluctant to share. But would this be to the detriment of their predicament?

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"I needed to try and stay away from her, every minute I was around her my fortitude wilted, the selfish man buried deep inside me tired clawing his way out..."
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The agony he felt he was constantly trying to battle with inwardly was apparent. But he flew between hot and cold and treated her badly on numerous occasions. During her four week stay, it did infuriate me to the extent of yelling at my kindle...get together already!

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"I felt so comforted in his strong arms, like all the crap of my life was behind me and he’d make sure that I was looked after. That was ironic in itself, as in this moment I was sure he was the one person I knew who could hurt me the most."
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But between the pairs two point of views, it was well written. I just struggled to get through the middle. But the last of the book had my hooked right back in again. So I'm glad I persevered. The truth of Dan's true identity would be apparent for us as readers, but leave Ellie heartbroken with a view to returning to London to start her fresh start.  

A truly brilliant winter wonderland fairytale with love, lots of sex ;) and some incredible laughs throughout. The sense of humour I love C J Fallowfield for, is ever apparent and I can't wait to read the next book. So I'll leave you with this final excerpt which for me sums up their story so far...

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"I'm going in eyes wide open. I'm leaving in two weeks and we'll never see each other again. It will be a winter affair to remember."
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You can keep up with CJ and news about her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, or Goodreads.

Get your copy of 31 Days of Winter here (UK) or here (US). Add to your Goodreads TBR here.

Disclosure
I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

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