ONE WARM WINTER - Jamie Pope
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: In ONE WARM WINTER, author Jamie Pope skillfully utilizes the fake relationship and the protector, two familiar romance tropes, to spin an engaging story. Wynter Bates, the heroine, is adopted by an American couple from an orphanage in South Africa and brought to America to live a very good life in the District of Columbia as the daughter of a tech billionaire and presidential candidate. As a result of a failed kidnapping attempt when she was younger, Wynter’s father hires a bodyguard who takes on the role in this story as the hero. Irish born Cullen Whelan, former military intelligence officer, becomes more than just a bodyguard to Wynter when all hell breaks loose, as her father becomes embroiled in a very public scandal that changes the course of Wynter’s life.
I like this story because it has unexpected plot twists that enhance the storyline. As I mentioned before, a scandal that centers around Wynter’s dad sends the family scattering in all directions. Cullen whisks Wynter away to the Virgin Islands where he resides with fellow ex-spies and covert operators when he is not working. It’s a beautiful setting, and just what Wynter needs to get away from all the negative publicity and tenacious reporters. It is also the setting where Cullen and Wynter’s romance grows and thrives after they agree to pretend to be lovers instead of bodyguard and assignee. Wynter’s father refuses to talk to her about the whole sordid mess which leads her to believe that there is much more to the story she was told about her adoption and early circumstances. When Cullen and his friends begin to investigate the scandal that surrounds Wynter and her family, the information they uncover is so startling that Cullen hesitates to reveal his findings to Wynter. While all this is going on, Cullen is also involved in his own family drama. His backstory is quite poignant. He is reunited after many years, with his siblings and his father, so the scene shifts to Northern Ireland where Cullen was born. No spoilers, but both Wynter and Cullen experience joyous reconciliation with family members as well as drama and distress when long held family secrets are revealed. It is the turning point in the story.
The side characters are a robust cast who help to move the storyline along. Some, like Cullen’s friends and Wynter’s father, contribute to the intrigue of the story. The HEA is delightful. After the secrets are revealed and the haunting past vanishes, Wynter and Cullen make Charleston, South Carolina their final destination and a new beginning. Why Charleston? It’s an excellent choice, and you will discover why when you read the story.
ONE WARM WINTER is a compelling story about trust and forgiveness that grabs you from the opening pages. I enjoyed it, and I recommend it. There is a companion book titled MOSTLY SUNNY. While I read ONE WARM WINTER as a stand-alone, I am definitely adding MOSTLY SUNNY to my TBR list because now I understand the priceless connection between the two stories. After you read ONE WARM WINTER, you will too.
10th March 2019 | firstname.lastname@example.org