A perfect summer, sun lounger read or luxurious, fantasy escape in darker times.

Storm’s Heart is a sexy, sophisticated romance with a dark, brooding centre. When Greek lawyer Andreas Lazarides and bistro-manager Kizzy Dean clash over the executing of his mother’s final wishes, he takes matters into his own hands and Kizzy back with him to Ancient Greece. Tension runs high on the sun baked Greek Island of Rhodes amidst the ancient myths and alleyways of Lindos village.

Kizzy Dean is desperate: she’s in danger of losing everything if she can’t get hold of her boss, a very handsome, wealthy and powerful Greek lawyer named Andrea Lazarides. She’s never met him, but she’s already formed a rather bad opinion of him through his business dealings involving the restaurant he owns and Kizzy manages and lives above.

Kizzy has no partner and no family left, her life focuses on this restaurant which Andreas is going to close down. Kizzy needs to convince Andreas that she can save the business; the problem is that Andreas isn’t interested in her ideas, he has his own, very private, reasons for closing the business, and he is completely unwillingly to change his plans.

In return for her co-operation in not telling certain people about what’s going on with the restaurant, Kizzy is promised a job – only she doesn’t get a chance to check what the job will be before she’s whisked off by Andreas to Greece, where Andreas shows that he’s more than a little interested in becoming closer to Kizzy – by making her his mistress. Kizzy knows that she could never bring herself to be just his lover and so vows not to become emotionally attached, but it soon becomes apparent that this is one vow that will not be easy to keep.

Both of the main characters are brilliantly infuriating, and it’s only towards the end of the book that the reader understands completely why they are this way. Andreas is most women’s idea of a tall, handsome, brooding hunk: it’s no wonder that Kizzy falls for him so quickly. Kizzy, meanwhile, is immediately likeable for the way that she stands up to Andreas, determined not to allow herself to become his mistress, despite her feelings for him; she wants to work and be able to support herself, something that Andreas finds hard to cope with.

It would have been nice to have seen Kizzy in her home environment, which might have further emphasised how quickly and dramatically her life changes once Andreas is on the scene. But one of the challenges of writing romance is keeping to the very strict guidelines on length, meaning that it just isn’t possible to include everything

The book contains some truly inspired locations, including a wonderfully dramatic scene on the London Eye. What makes these settings even more spectacular is that Rachel Lyndhurst’s descriptions of the landscapes are so very good; you can practically feel the heat of the sun blistering over the beautiful Greek landscapes.

Romance books are not perhaps my favourite genre, but I have been known to indulge from time to time, and ‘Storm’s Heart’ is certainly one of the best I have read. . Something I particularly loved, and my favourite aspect of the romance genre, is very apparent in this novel – the perfect happy ending! If pure escapism is what you’re after then you really can’t do much better.

And finally, a word of warning to readers: there are some very, shall we say, racy scenes in this book. Be wary of Chapter 6 if you tend to go very red when embarrassed in public places – it even made my husband blush when I read some out to him!

4 stars

Advertisements