The Heart of Winter, 4
Romance writer Winter Wells has found her new life with Hollywood Hottie, Cayden Cain, a blessing and a curse. He is the blessing. His career is the curse. Involved in an unprecedented web of strange events, and wound in a string of lies about to break with devastating consequences, Winter must battle ghosts from her past that threaten to harm Cayden.
Faced with a choice she always knew would be inevitable, can the fairy tale of their relationship beat out the odds of their reality and really come true?
Note: The Heart of Winter is a 4-book continuing series. It is best read in order.
Wednesday evening had arrived, and I was standing on the balcony of my bedroom when it started to rain. I lifted my chin to the heavens, toward the dark night sky, and felt the cold drops hit my face, cheeks, lips, and hair. It didn’t take long before I was soaking wet. The ivory long sleeve shirt I wore was plastered to me, and my jeans were beginning to soak through, but I didn’t care. All I could think about was Cayden. How could I ever live without him?
In the distance of my mind, I heard Cayden’s voice calling out to me.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Winter. It’s too cold. You are going to get sick.” Cayden’s arms wrapped around me. He pulled me from the rain, into the warmth of the bedroom. He let loose of me, and almost sprinted into the bathroom. I saw him pull one of the large fluffy white towels from the cabinet. He turned with a sense of urgency, and immediately came back to me. “What are you thinking?” Once he reached me, he unbuttoned my shirt, peeled it from my wet skin, and threw the soaked garment to the floor. Cayden whipped the towel out. It made a snapping sound before he wrapped the dry warm towel around me. “Winter, baby?”
Cayden stared at me. The expression upon his face, one of pain. He rubbed my arms with his hands as if the friction would warm the coldness I felt in my heart. It hit me. I wasn’t speaking.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Love, what were you doing standing in the cold rain?” He glanced down at my feet. “And you don’t have on any shoes.”
“I don’t know. I was just thinking. I guess I stopped paying attention.”
“Take those wet jeans off, too,” he instructed before he headed back into the bathroom for another towel.
I peeled the jeans off and left them in a wet lump in the middle of the floor.
“I love you,” I said when he came back.
He threw a new towel over my hair and started to rub it dry. “I love you, too. Tell me what is wrong?”
I placed my face to his chest, burying away my pain and taking in the scent of him. “Nothing is wrong.”
“Winter, tell me,” he pressed.
“Nothing, it’s nothing. I go a little crazy when you’re gone, but you are home now. We are together. That’s all that matters.”
“I have missed you,” he said. He wrapped his arms around my waist and picked me up from the floor. My feet dangled. “Do you know how much I hate to be away from you?”
“I know how much I hate being away from you.”
The towels fell to the carpet when I wrapped my arms around his strong neck and my legs around his perfectly tight waist, hooking my ankles behind his back. Cayden laughed his low musical laugh and brushed his nose into my hair. “I love how your hair smells. It’s like flowers and fruit, peaches.”
“I have missed you so much, Cayden.” I kissed him. It was a long time before I released him from my kiss.
Cayden’s eyes, silver-gray, flashed. “I think maybe you did miss me. But never bet it is as much as I have missed you,” he assured with his brilliant bright white smile.
I shivered. Whether from his eyes, words or touch I do not know, but probably from the combination of all of them.
“Cayden, make love to me.”
“You’re still cold,” he said. “Come on.” He carried me into the bathroom.
“I don’t care how cold I am. Please, make love to me.”
Cayden put me down. My bare feet felt the cool tiles beneath them. Cayden walked over to the stereo. He pulled back the glass wall panel and turned it on. He bent down, took off his black Adidas, and stripped off his socks. He placed them inside his shoes. With an underhanded toss, he threw the shoes out the bathroom door. They made a dull thud on the carpet in the other room when they landed.
There I stood. In the middle of the bathroom in my bra and panties, my hair tangled and wet, goose bumps covering my skin, mascara running down my cheeks, and probably looking pathetic, but I could not keep my eyes from Cayden. He walked over and turned on the steam and hot water in the shower. He placed his hands under the stream of water that was shooting down from overhead. He turned around, smiled tenderly, and closed the glass doors. The water hit the glass of the shower and mixed into the sound of the rain that pelted the roof. Everything melted into the music that played, becoming a symphony of rain.
“Please,” I said.
Cayden looked at me intently. He raked his penetrating gaze over my body. “I have every intention of making love to you, but I need to get you warm first.” His fingertips traced down my cheek, over the surface of my lips, down my throat then over my right shoulder. The warm water that was still on his hands trickled over the surface of my skin in every place he touched me. I trembled with his touch. Softly, he rubbed the mascara smudges from my cheeks.
“Cayden…,” I whispered.
“You are so utterly beautiful.” His lips skimmed over my shoulder, and his fingers made their way to the front of my bra. “I can't believe how beautiful you are.” With dexterous skill, he unhooked the golden clasp, sending my bra sliding down the surface of my skin until it hit the tiled floor at my feet.
“Cayden, I need you,” I murmured against his chest.
“Baby,” he whispered against my neck. “You have me. You know I’m yours.”
Throwing myself into him, I wrapped my arms around his neck; my mouth frantically searched for his lips. We kissed with an aching in my soul. I wanted every part of Cayden to touch me. Needed to feel the exquisite sensation of his warm skin upon mine. Desperation surged through me. My hands slid down his shirt. Gripped it. Ripped the buttons free, and exposed his flesh. The buttons bounced and tapped across the tiled floor. One pinged off the glass of the shower door. My anxious fingers explored the length of his stomach until I came to his jeans. I unbuttoned them, allowing my right hand to drift lower. Cayden was fevered and firm inside my hand.
Cayden picked me up again, his lips eager against mine, his mouth moving with my mouth as his breath warm in my mouth found its place. Cayden’s tongue tangled deeply with mine. He never let loose of my body, shedding his jeans by stepping on the bottom edge of his right pant leg, yanking his legs free.
“Cayden,” I moaned. I stroked his manhood. “I need you so much.”
“God,” he groaned.
Cayden fondled my waist, outlining the top of my panties with his fingers. He brushed so lightly over the canvas of my skin that it sent shivers over my entire body. His hand rested for a moment on my hip before tucking fingers into the top of my waistband. Cayden grabbed the material firmly.
“Do it,” I said, placing my mouth to his.
Other Books in the Heart of Winter series:
Posted by Unknown on 1st Dec 2012
This review is for the entire series:
London Saint James created a sweet story of happiness from beginning to end.Over the course of four books, readers follow Winter as she loves, suffers loss, and loves again. There's some magic to the story and you will need to suspend your skepticism just as Winter did. And despite there being two different lovers for Winter, this really is a single love story about two people finding their soul mates (even though that doesn't mean there isn't pain in their lives).
The series begins with a book that is almost too good to be true and for that, it was a bit boring. Austin and Winter are a dream couple. Everything happens easily and it is very sweet. I kept waiting for something to happen. When book one ended, I wondered where the "big moment" was.
Well, that moment happens at the very beginning of book two. Despite there being slow development of Winter's character, here's where readers come to know her best. She may appear fragile in disposition but she clearly has a backbone of steel. Some may criticize her method of coping with loss but I found it to be very realistic and became more connected with her.
While there's no doubt Austin and Winter belonged together. there's also no doubt that Cayden is equally suited to her. The crux of the plot lies in the fact that Austin and Cayden are so much alike. The way their lives were intertwined was masterfully created, like stitches of a quilt, perfectly. As Winter reaches towards her well-deserved HEA, she undergoes a lot of trials. These trials make the last two books the most interesting and fast-paced of the series.
This series is well written and draws readers right in.The plot is fascinating, characters are engaging and the story's pacing is well-balanced. However, I would've enjoyed it more as one book. The flow is too broken up as four books - one book is all happy, one mostly all sad, and then it seems to take off with most of the real story rolling out in the final two books. But admittedly, London Saint James tells a beautiful love story. After the first book of the series, I was hooked and had to follow Winter's story.
Posted by Unknown on 18th Nov 2012
Winter is in love with a movie star. He is fifteen years younger than her, and he is the hottest thing to grace the silver screen since James Dean. And, amazingly, he is in love with her, too. They were meant to be together, and while circumstances may pull them apart, nothing can keep them that way.
Eternal is the fourth book in the Heart of Winter series. It is a wonderful story about love overcoming all obstacles…even death. The characters are great, if a little overly affectionate towards each other, and the setting is vividly described. There are quite a few typos and grammatical errors which should have been edited out, but overall the story is heartwarming and poignant. I would love to hear about Chandler finally finding his own woman.
Posted by Unknown on 31st Aug 2012
Winter is about to find out that sometimes to get what your heart really wants, you have to give up what you always thought you wanted. You can love someone with all your heart but it may not be enough to hold a relationship together, you have to sacrifice and compromise. Is she willing to compromise herself?
The fourth and final book. This is an author that I will continue to follow as she has proven once again to be a diamond in the rough, an all out original author.
I loved the plot, the vivid imagery, the heart rendering emotions and the anything but generic cast that make up this book but these things are nothing new to us, they are the genetic makeup of this series. What makes this book a five star is actually it’s differences to all its other predecessors. For instance despite being sad to leave the main characters I especially loved
finally having a solid ending. Another majorly, enjoyable difference is we finally see Winter completely blossom into adulthood and while I enjoyed her as a teenager and enjoyed seeing her in her adaptation this was even sweeter.
I was torn how to rate this because in all honesty, I’m still not happy about how these books were broken up. I understand that this is not the author’s fault but most likely the choice of the publisher, however that doesn’t change my feelings that many of the books in this series should NOT have been broken up and didn’t deliver the quality of the amount asked for it. However, rating this book by itself and from what I read, it could stand alone, it full out deserves a five and so I gave it such and so comes the end of my reviews for this unique, enjoyable, slightly controversial series. Many thanks again to the author for ride.
Posted by MA on 7th Jun 2012
What an ending to a great series!