The Heart of Winter, 2
For Winter Shae Perri there is only one man meant for her, Austin Carlyle. That is, until their fairy tale life is shattered the night before they are to be married.
Winter retreats deep within herself, hiding behind her romance novels, until sixteen years later she is startled to life by none other than Hollywood heartthrob, Cayden Cain.
Cayden will have her questioning reality, because when she looks at him, she sees the face of Austin looking back at her.
Note: The Heart of Winter is a 4-book continuing series. It is best read in order.
“Please know I am truly sorry for tonight, and appreciate all of your concern….” I felt my cheeks flush hot from embarrassment, and knew I must seem insane. Unable to stop myself I stared at him, completely mesmerized by the resemblance of Cayden to Austin.
His hair, nowhere near the pitch black color of Austin’s, but so much about Cayden was like looking back in time. The perfection and beauty of my past life became real, once again present. I never imagined, never thought possible, to see such splendor again. Cayden’s beauty rattled through every thought, dislodging long ago memories from my mind. Looking at him became difficult, as if I could not process such images, so I tore my eyes from him only to bring them back.
Cayden appeared to be the same height, his build exact, and his voice was shockingly close in texture, tone, and inflection. If that’s not strange enough, he spoke with the same cadence. And there was the same perfection to his face, but what’s truly unbelievable are those liquid blue eyes. Cayden captured me within his eyes, looking at me, gazing straight into my soul. Cayden’s eyes were haunting, calling to me so much so, they seemed to pull me forward into his heat.
I don’t know how. I don’t remember moving, but I stood inches from him. His warmth crossed over me. My skin tingled. The pulse in my throat thrummed almost out of control. I wanted to touch him. The urge raged through me. The energy that swirled around my body was blatant, alive, charged. For an instant I wondered if he felt what I was feeling. I couldn’t move. His eyes, the pull of his eyes, were not going to release me.
In this moment of complete and total immersion into the never-ending liquid blue of Cayden Cain’s eyes I felt him brush the palm of his hand down my cheek, pressing it firm, cupping my cheek into the warm strong palm of his hand. The experience, like being baptized in fire. Lightning crackled across my skin. Every breath within me halted.
“Winter,” he murmured. I could not answer, but it wasn't as though he wanted me to. It was an awareness between us.
But this just can't be.
“Please, get out of those wet clothes, take a hot shower, and get some rest.” With that he smiled all the while seemingly conflicted, hesitant to exit my room. I stared at him. “Winter,” he said softly, his hand on the doorknob. “I….” He hesitated. I watched him run his fingers through his hair. “I need....” He hesitated once more. His eyes shot to my eyes. We were caught in the moment, locked.
For that second time stood still. My heart screamed out. I know him, somehow I know him but my mind fought against the knowledge.
“I need to see you again,” he said. He opened my door. “In the morning. We will talk in the morning.”
When Cayden left I completely fell apart, flung myself onto the bed then curled myself up into a ball. I wrapped my knees up to my chest, holding my arms tight around them. I crumbled, literally in every sense of the word. My body shook, my head hurt, my voice muffled into my chest. This was worse than any déjà vu I had experienced tonight. I would take the pain of any memories, even the memories of the crash over this current emotion. And it did not matter I was soaking wet or if I got sick. My eyes were overflowing in traitor tears, and I didn’t wish to move.
“Oh God!” I cried out.
I was in more pain than I had experienced since the loss of my love and the ending of my life. My breath had been knocked from me. I could not find my lungs. It did not matter Cayden Cain looked so much like Austin because he wasn’t the man I loved. So for this, I knew those fault lines within my heart, which from time to time would shift and quake had broken open again.
What did matter was the way I felt with Cayden’s simple touch. The kind, reassuring gesture when he reached out and touched the surface of my cheek, set my skin on fire. Lightning struck. It caused a fire which caught. The fire ran the entirety of my body until it found a home between my thighs. For this I was worse than a charlatan, worse than a cheater, worse than a liar. I should not have felt the burn, the desire, the sensation of sin which flowed like an electric current through me. Pure agony riddled my body. Cayden’s touch should be blasphemy to my flesh but God help me, it was not.
“What have I done!” I screamed.
Austin was the only man I have ever loved. The only man who could set my skin on fire yet I felt something in which I should not. I knew I had betrayed the love of my life for the weakness of my flesh. There would be no forgiveness, no absolution. No ending to this disloyal destruction of my deceitful soul.
I cried out in heart wrenching protest. “What is wrong with me? This cannot be possible. Not possible!”
For the desire of my heart, my love, my need for Austin, was in direct conflict to the desire I experienced still burning upon my flesh.
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 thetbrpile.weebly.com on 30th Jan 2012
To say that London Saint James knows how to write an intoxicating romance is putting things mildly. There is no reviewer without being a reader but there are some subtle differences. As a reviewer this was pure gold but pulling that hat off and thinking like a reader and I couln't help but come to a different conclusion. Oh don't get me wrong, as a reader, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story but I had to ask myself, had I paid for the story would I be truly satisfied with the ending and the answer is no. While this story has more to it than the last with the paranormal aspect and yes a bit of suspense it’s still at heart a true romance. I’m not tuning in to find out what next action packed thing is going to happen. I’m reading it for the romance, to know how at the very basics these two characters meet, fall in love, and then how they get their Happy Ever After. At one hundred and fifty-five pages I’m a little lost as to why there is a 'to be continued' ending. This is where the book lost its appeal and really dampered the story. I want a complete book not a 'to be continued'.
Posted by Stacey on 7th Dec 2011
Requiem is the second book in The Heart of Winter Series. I haven’t read the first one and it is not necessary to read Enchanted before Requiem, but I would recommend it just to get a better feeling for the characters.
I don’t want to give a lot away and the blurb really tells you what you need to know about Requiem. I will say that these characters are startling. Requiem is written in first person, which seems rare these days, and Winter is so real I had tears in my eyes several times throughout the story. Her fears, anger, hurt, love all come through the pages and just tug at your heartstrings. Since Requiem is told from Winter’s point of view, you don’t know the thoughts behind the actions of the other characters, but it works so very well.
I don’t think you will be able to put Requiem down once you start it. The first few pages grip you in the love, pain and anger and Winter’s torment doesn’t let you go even at the end. Don’t miss out on Requiem if you are looking for an emotional contemporary love story that will leave you with a mended heart to match Winter’s. I am looking forward to the third book in The Heart of Winter Series.
Posted by MA on 14th Nov 2011
I loved the first book but Requiem, WOW! It is by far the best! I cried, was on the edge of my seat, and loved it. I want more!