Monday, June 2, 2014

Blog Tour: Frozen Barriers by Sara Shirley; Christie's Review


Title:Frozen Barriers
Series: Barriers #1
Author:Sara Shirley
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Rating:4 stars

"Live your Dreams, Follow your Heart"

Emily Cameron is America's newest figure skating star looking for her own personal identity. Her high profile life was never her dream, it was her parents.

Jeremy Page is a minor league hockey player who always imagined himself playing for the NHL.

A chance encounter has them crossing paths after several years apart. Which way will his heart lead him? Will Emily embrace his charm?

Just when things finally fall into place, an unexpected event occurs leaving Emily reevaluating everything in her life.

Can Emily escape from under her parent's intrusive ways and take a chance on love? Will Jeremy be able to break down the barriers that have held her back for so long?

Frozen Barriers hit the puck in the goal! For Ms. Shirley's debut book, I was impressed with her ability to sweep me away into the story and these characters lives and become part of their world. I hated her mother with a passion, laughed with her friends, and got teary eyed a time or two at the special relationship between Jeremy's family and Emily. This was such a sweet and delightful book but at the same time sensual enough to deliver the goods for those who need a little more intensity than what's in most chick lit. The heroine was a virgin but the girl was a avid reader of erotic romance, therefore, she wasn't what you would call naive and shy. This girl had a naughty side-and she knew how to use it.

The book starts out with a flashback to when the characters were kids. Jeremy is on the youth hockey team and his parents are loving, supportive, and don't have a lot of money, but they make sacrifices in order for Jeremy to play the game that he loves. Emily on the other hand, is living what many outsiders would see as a pampered life with wealthy parents, but the truth is, her parents are cold, heartless, and only use her as a pawn to make themselves look important. She's trapped skating and training relentlessly to achieve their goal of her making it to the Olympics one day. Nothing is ever good enough for them. She never measures up no matter what she does and all she hears is insults and criticism.

Even at eleven, I realized my life was going to be lonely and controlled, dictated, until I was actually able to make my own decisions as an adult.

Jeremy knocks her down outside the changing rooms and their first impression is terrible. He apologizes and she snaps at him and storms off. To her, he’s just a smelly hockey player who just messed up her hair and brought the wrath of her mother on her head. To him, she’s a spoiled ice princess who looks like a barbie doll and acts like a shrew. But after witnessing her mother’s treatment of her, his heart softens a little bit. After that, they won’t see each other until they’re a senior in high school. They connect again through mutual friends and there’s a spark that’s undeniable. Jeremy wants a chance to spend time with her and get to know her. She’s fragile and sweet under the surface and he knows that he could help bring her out of her shell. But Emily’s been repressed and held down for so many years that she doesn’t have the courage to call him-and they won’t see each other again-for 8 years.

When they reconnect, He's in the Minor leagues and she's a contender for the next Olympics. That doesn't leave much time for dating. But this time Jeremy is determined to break down her barriers and get to know her. There was always a regret in the back of his mind that she slipped away and he's not letting that happen again.

I'm not sure why she's staked her claim on me; it's not like either of us has a shitload of time to spend together. I might have knocked her on her ass years ago, but every time I see this girl, she knocks the words right out of my mouth.

Emily is scared and unsure if they could ever have a chance. She's still ruled totally and completely by her parents. She's never had many friends, dated, or even kissed a guy. She's nervous in social situations and she makes a fool of herself on a regular basis. What could he possibly see in her? Little does she know that he's had a huge thing for her for years.

As they start spending time together, they see something special in each other. He knows she's so scared she's ready to bolt-all he asks is that she's brave and doesn't run. I loved how romantic he could be and how head over heels he was with her. He's never felt this way with anyone before and everyone knows it. His parents and friends know that she's IT for him. I loved how close everybody was, and how they supported each other. His parents grew to love Emily as their own and treat her like she was theirs. The relationship that built between Emily and his mom was so amazing. I loved that for her-having someone loving on her side was something she never had and she flourished with their care. With his family and all their friends on their side, they start believing in a future together. They're a solid couple. Nothing is going to deter them. Not her disapproving parents, their crazy schedules, or their career goals.

I loved this couple together. They were both the perfect blend of sweet and sexy. So romantic, but knew how to get down and dirty when the moment arose. I really wasn't anticipating the sex to be quite so hot, but I was pleasantly surprised in that department. Jeremy was bold, confident, and knew how to bring out her wild side. With him, she could act out all her fantasies and feel strong and finally loved unconditionally. I Loved these two!

Why not 5 stars? There was a lot to love about this book but I based my rating simply in comparison to other similar 5 star reads and it didn't rate quite as high. I tend to be pretty stingy with my perfect ratings so don't look at that as a deterrent. Frozen Barriers had a lot going for it and it wouldn't hesitate in recommending it. It's a sweet and surprisingly sexy book that's not too heavy on the angst. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.


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