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If you follow my reviews you may already know that the Star Harbor books and I have an extremely rocky relationship. I have read the first two books (Deep Autumn Heat and Blaze of Winter) and didn’t really like them. You may be wondering why I have chosen to read the third book in the series and the answer is that I am not entirely sure. Despite all my issues there is just something about them and like a moth to a flame I am drawn to them and desperately want to like them.
To my utter surprise I found that I did quite like Long Simmering Spring, a lot more than I thought I would. I actually enjoyed reading it and thought it was much better than its predecessors. So what did this book do that the others didn’t?
Firstly, I much preferred the writing in this one. Elisabeth Barett is a great writer and her world building has been impeccable throughout the series, she really brings the picturesque Star Harbor alive for me. What I have always had a problem with in terms of writing is the unneeded content and detail spread across these books. I found that it made them boring and feel far too long. I am pleased to say that it was not so much of an issue in Long Simmering Spring, there were a few moments that I felt were unneeded but for the most part Barett stuck to the point and I felt this flowed so much better because of it.
The second improvement was the characters. I much preferred Cole and Julie to the other couples introduced in the other books. I really liked Julie, she was smart and sensible and most importantly a lot more safety conscious than other female characters in this series. She recognised when she was working too hard, when she needed to defend herself and when she needed to compromise. She found the balance between being stubborn and being a push over.
Cole was also a vast improvement, he had some real issues to get over and for the most part he worked hard to get past them. He was patient with Julie and kind but towards the end he majorly over reacted which irritated me a little but he made up for it in sweetness.
I liked the romance, it built slowly and both were willing to compromise to make it work. There was some definite chemistry between them and they were fun to read.
Star Harbor is never going to be my favourite series and I am always going to find it a little far-fetched but Long Simmering Spring was a definite improvement, and with my favourite Grayson brother in the spotlight next I won’t be giving up on Star Harbor anytime soon.The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review