Review: Summer Girl, Winter Boy by #BarbaraElsborg

Jai Winter is trying to do the right thing, even though he knows it’s wrong. Forced to participate in kinky sex games, the renowned model spends his spare moments creating an impressive list of suicide options. Until a snowy day provides a bit of Summer…a pink-haired burst of sunshine with a ready smile. What begins as the hottest sex of his life turns into a ray of hope.

Summer Dey has baggage of her own—literally. Having spent eighteen months in South America trying to escape a shocking accident, Summer finds an illegal nightmare hidden in her suitcase. She doesn’t want to put Jai in danger, but his gorgeous face and killer bod prove hard to resist.
Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, and everything would be perfect if it wasn’t for blackmail, drug dealers and tragic events in both their pasts. Staying together could be their salvation—or their ultimate undoing.

Amazon I Barnes & Noble I Ellora’s Cave

4.5 Stars

I know that this is just one day. A day when winter and summer collide. I know I won’t see you again. We go our seperate ways. But we have this now, let’s not waste it.”

Whenever I’m in a book slump, picking up a Barbara Elsborg book is a no brainer for me. I have yet to find a book by her that I did’t love. It’s always this perfect combination of angst, scorching hot sex, broken yet endearingly quirky characters, scorching hot sex, and some more angst. It’s my favorite book recipe. Seriously. DELICIOUS

Jai Winter is famous model that is stuck in his own living hell. Blackmailed into being pretty much a sex slave, he doesn’t see any other way out but one.

He hates himself, he hates his situation, and more than that he hates the 2 people that are forcing him to do this for the last 10 years. Protecting a secret that he believes would destroy his family, Jai is forced to go along with whatever kinky and filthy thing may be demanded of him. The only thing that makes it bearable, is losing himself in a haze of drugs and alcohol.

But then one chance meeting in an airport changes everything…

Summer Dey is a meteorologist coming back from an 18 month researching trip to South America, where she ran to escape a tragic accident. When she arrives at the airport, she’s shocked to discovered that someone has placed illegal drugs in her suitcase. She’s terrified of the repercussions that are sure to follow. Does she get rid of them and chance whoever wants them coming after them? Or does she take them with and chance being arrested? And then she meets Jai…

I don’t want to give anything away, and saying much more would definitely be a spoiler. This is one of those books you simply have to read to find out on your own.

What I’ve come to love in Barbara Elsborg’s books, is this trademark quirky humor that all her characters seem to have.

I want to take care of you,” he whispered. “I don’t want anyone to ever hurt you.”
“I can fight my own battles.”
“I want to fight alongside you.”
“Will you show me your sword?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Later.”
“I hear it’s a big one.”
“Nothing you can’t handle.”

Both Jai and Summer are broken characters, but they’re each dealing with a different darkness. Jai from his present, and Summer from her past.

I adored Summer and at the same time my heart broke for her and what she’s been through. Her own family treats her like a social leper for something that wasn’t her fault. There were times I wanted to reach through my kindle and throttle her mother and sister.

Jai’s situation was absolutely gut wrenching. The things that he’s forced to do, and the way that he attempts to deal with it was incredibly difficult to read. He’s basically a puppet on the strings of 2 evil and immoral puppeteers. I have never wished for 2 characters to be killed off more that these two.

But the way that Jai and Summer help each other heal was lovely.

I’m not typically of insta-love, insta-lust, or insta anything. And while it may not have been insta-love here, it was pretty close. But in the case of this book, it just worked. You can completely understand how these 2 characters are drawn to one another and need each other. The connections between them was beautiful. I loved how each helped mend a painful emotional hole in the other.

At the end of everything, this was about a beautiful love story between two broken people in the midst of impossible circumstances.

I love you.”
“I am lovely,” she whispered.
“Yeah, you are. You’re my light, my warmth, the summer in my life, the sun in my world. You helped me see possibilities when everything seemed black and hopeless. You brought my heart back to life.”

If you’ve read Strangers, both Kate and Charlie make an appearance in this book. I loved catching up with them and seeing where they are a few years after. I liked how Miss Elsborg managed to fit them into the story.

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