Wednesday 14 November 2012

A Review for The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter + Author Interview + UK/IRE Giveaway

The Pleasures of Winter
Posted by Donna
Release Date: November 1st, 2012
Finished Date: October 31st, 2012
Publishers: Penguin Ireland
Source: ARC, For Review  
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

The Pleasures of Winter is a steamy erotic story of romantic obsession and explosive sexual chemistry for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.

When reporter Abbie Marshall needs to escape Honduras, a private jet carrying a Hollywood A-lister is her only way out. She has a ride home with Irish actor Jack Winter - notorious womanizer and all round bad boy. Abbie is shaken to the core by Winter's blazing beauty and provocative mind.

After the plane's nose-dive into the remote rainforest forces them to fight for survival, Abbie catches tantalizing glimpses of the complicated man behind the image. And the more she sees of him, the more he touches some primal part of her that she is determined to suppress. But after a devastating encounter with Winter's shadow side, Abbie's detachment is shattered.

On returning to normal life, Abbie cannot forget what happened, nor ignore the shocking rumours about the star's private life. Her struggle to make sense of her torment leads straight back to Winter, who is just as obsessed by her. But if they are to have a relationship, Abbie knows she must embrace his hidden desires ... and accept her own.

No longer caring about anything but their intoxicating love affair, Abbie is drawn deeper into the dark heart of Winter - and the secret that threatens to destroy everything ...

The Review: I’ll be honest when I say I’d never heard of The Pleasures of Winter before the publishers approached me to review it. It’s a debut novel by two authors who use the pseudonym name of Evie hunter and it’s being advertised for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You – both which are a favourite of mine, and I have to say, the marketing on this book is spot on. The Pleasures of Winter is high up there with my favourites!

Abbie Marshall is a risk-taking reporter who travels all over the world looking for dangerous stories to uncover. While on the run from her current story, Abbie needs to flee Honduras and the only way to get out of there is to try and talk her way onto a private plane which is carrying Jack Winters, a famous movie star. However things don’t go to plan and the plane crashes into the rainforest and Abbie is stranded with Jack and his crew. As they battle their way out of the rainforest – Abbie and Jack try and fight their attraction for one another but Jack does things to Abbie that no other man has ever done and makes her feel things that she’s never felt before. Soon Abbie and Jack are in deep with each other but can they survive the secrets that the other hides?

Wow did this book take me by surprise. I’ve been looking for something similar to Fifty shades and Bared to You for a while and this book is definitely up there with them. The story oozes with sexual tension, passion and heat and, let’s not forgets the hot and steamy scenes. With BDSM being theme of this story, I felt it was done very well. It wasn’t at all over powering and nor did it scare me. I sometimes find BDSM a little scary because it can sometimes be taken to the extreme sometimes but this wasn’t the case with this book. It was very tastefully done and it was very entertaining. There was also some laugh out loud moments too – which I loved because it gave the story the humour it needed. One of the funnier moments within the story was when Abbie and Jack were talking online to each other – I loved it! 

I really loved both Abbie and Jack. Both are great characters that bounce off of one another and really complement each other’s personalities. What stood out for me was how willing Abbie was trying to find out about her submissive side – most people, I think would shy away from it but not Abbie. She was really strong to push that side of her – even if in Jack’s words, Abbie’s the worst submissive he’s ever had but still they manage to make it work. Jack’s dominant side isn’t as bad as I was expecting. He does like some hard-core stuff but his feelings for Abbie take priority. I loved how both were willing to try new things that were usually out of their comfort zones and I really did think they made a great couple. 

The Pleasures of Winter really was a pleasure to read and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of adult books. And once you finish don’t forget to check out, the short story called “A Touch of Winter” involving Jack and Abbie which is available as an eBook. You really don’t want to miss a very special moment that happens in it! 

Thank you to Penguin Ireland for giving me the opportunity to review this book. 

Author Interview with Caroline McCall & Eileen Gormley aka Evie Hunter

Tell us a little bit about yourself(s)
Caroline McCall: My name is Caroline McCall. I live in Dublin with my partner and several spoilt, ungrateful felines.  I’ve been writing for about ten years, mainly non fiction pieces for historical and genealogical journals. I started to write fiction about three years ago. Now, I’m addicted to it.

Eileen Gormley: I'm a mother of three, who works as a breastfeeding counsellor, and likes bodybuilding, skiing and cycling. Plus reading and writing erotica. And who really loves research.

 How did you first meet each other?
CM: Eileen and I met at a creative writing workshop in UCD in 2010, run by the wonderful Patricia O’Reilly. Eileen had missed the first week of class and I lent her my notes.  The following week she returned them, along with a naughty book.  Sadly, I had already read it.  We quickly discovered that our taste in books was scarily similar.  By the end of the academic year, we had decided to form a writer’s group so we started  The Corner Table, which now has members from Europe to LA. 

EG: We met at Patricia O'Reilly's creative writing class in UCD. Patricia had told me that I'd get on really well with Caroline, so I was all set to dislike her on sight. I was surprised when we got on so well together.

How did you decide to write a book together?
CM: We had spoken about writing together, but both of us were busy with other projects. Eileen writes Regency romance and I love writing paranormal and urban fantasy.  In March 2012, a submissions call came from Ellora’s Cave for their tattoo themed series of books called ‘Pricked’   We put our heads together and wrote Angels Demons and Doms, the story about a 39 year divorcee who decides to explore her kinky side.   Angels was the book which brought us to the public eye.

EG: We'd always joked about writing together, because our taste in books is so similar, and had even plotted out a couple of stories while we were walking to the bus after class, but we never had time. Until Ellora's Cave had a submission call for stories with a tattoo theme. We decided to go for it, even though we only had ten days until deadline. Ellora's Cave liked it, published it, and the resulting publicity caught Penguin's eye.

Are you planning on writing any more books together?
CM: We have drafted a second novella in the Angels series – working title Models Demons and Doms – but with all the excitement of The Pleasures of Winter, we  haven’t had time to edit it. Lots of readers have asked us to write a sequel to Pleasures, but at the moment, Eileen and I are working on separate projects. .  

A Touch of Winter (A Short Story)EG: Oh yes. In fact, we have written another book which is waiting for an edit, and we would love to write another long book for Penguin.

Can you share a little of your current work with us together or separately?
CM: Earlier this year, I finished a paranormal romance called Tanglewood. It’s a ghostly tale of sexual obsession and blackmail set in 18th century and present day Cornwall. What was really special about writing this one, was that I got to write in  such a beautiful place and also do some research in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle.  Tanglewood is with my agent, Madeleine Milburn at present. I’m also working on a series of shape-shifter romances for Ellora’s Cave.  Apart from that, I’m writing a Viking romance.  Mmmmm Vikings. 

EG: We have a novella written, but it needs editing, and I'm buzzing with ideas of how to edit it into something special. And we have three more planned after that. As for the Pleasures of Winter, we want to write another story with a new couple but where Jack and Abbie's story continues in the background.
*Questions relating to The Pleasures of Winter*

What was your inspiration for writing The Pleasure of Winter?
CM: The Pleasures of Winter was plotted out in a café on Dawson Street, on a disposable napkin with a pen borrowed from the waiter!  I think I still have it somewhere. I’m not kidding. (laughs).   We had twenty four hours to brainstorm a pitch for a hot romance for Penguin, and we came up with two. The Honduran setting in The Pleasures of Winter came about because my cousin Ian was just back from there. We had written a BDSM themed story with Angels and we wanted to explore the whole dynamic of how a D/s relationship evolves.    

EG: For me, it was an erotic version of Romancing the Stone. I wanted to write a story where the hero and heroine had lives that people could relate to, even while they were having adventures and a passionate
love story.

 Was there a message you want readers to grasp?
CM: A D/s relationship is based on a power exchange where control over certain aspects of a submissive’s life is given freely to his or her Dom, and that ultimately, the power lies with the sub.   

EG: I hate stories with morals, but if The Pleasures of Winter has any message, it's to know yourself and be true to yourself. All the problems that Jack and Abbie had were because they wouldn't admit who they really were.

Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
CM: I’m a hopeless romantic. So, there are lots of pieces in Pleasures that I’m particularly fond of, especially Jack and Abbie’s early encounters in the jungle where they really spark off each other.  Of course the sex is pretty hot too (grins).

EG: There was one scene in a cave in the jungle that I really loved. And I loved when Jack crashed the East Meath Hunt Ball.

Can you tell us how you went about choosing Abbie and Jack's names?
CM: Jack was originally Jack Green.  From the beginning we planned to make him an Irishman.  Then, when we knew that the book would be released before Christmas, we decided to change his surname to Winter. Abbie’s name clicked right away.  It just popped into my head and it stuck.

EG: Does it sound like a cliche to say we didn't have to think of names, as soon as we thought of our characters, they already had names?

Who would play your dream cast if your book was optioned for a film?
CM: Eileen and I have regular arguments about who should play Jack. I want Hugh Jackman (who doesn’t, lol)..  She wants Colin Farrell.   Neither of us is giving in an inch.  It will end in tears, I just know it will…. As to the other male characters,  I’d love Irish actor, Aidan Turner to play Kevin.   I’ll let Eileen do the girls – in exchange for Hugh..

EG: Oh, Jack would be played by Colin Farrell (but with a flavour of Hugh Jackman) and Abbie would be Gemma Arterton.

Are any of the characters most like you?
CM: Abbie, definitely.  There’s a lot of me in there.

EG: I'd like to think I was like Jack, but probably there's more of Kevin me.

What's your favourite quote from the book?
CM: There are some very naughty one liners, especially in relation to Jack’s bad language, which I won’t repeat here. I love some of the dialogue between Abbie and her friend Kit.  There’s a piece where the girls break out the wine late one night and Kit tries to interrogate Abbie about exactly what went on in Honduras. 
 .  . 
‘I didn’t sleep with him, exactly. Well, what I mean to say is that we did sleep together, in a hammock.’
‘And was he— I mean, was there any activity in the horizontal salsa department? Oh come on, Abbie. I’m a visual person, I need details.’
’Is that a clinical term – “horizontal salsa”?’ Abbie asked. ‘Is that what you ask your clients – “How are things in the horizontal salsa department?”? 

EG: “F—k is not a safe word.” 

Thank you for joining us Caroline & Eileen! 

Author Bio: 
Evie Hunter is actually two authors, Caroline McCall and Eileen Gormley, who met at a creative writing workshop in Dublin in 2010.

On discovering that they shared a passion for erotic fiction, they became the best of friends. In early 2012 they got a chance to co-write a series of erotic novellas for an American publisher. When they completed the second one without killing each other, they decided to take on something bigger.

Eventually, they emerged into daylight, clutching THE PLEASURES OF WINTER, saying ‘Never again’ … until the next time.

Find out more on or follow the authors on Twitter @eviehunterbooks
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Siobhan @ Totally Bookalicious said...

Love it. This book was amazing. Love that sees Collin Farrell so do I I even mentioned him in my review. Lol.

Fantastic review.

Danny Bookworm said...

While I sooo didn't like 50 Shades, I LOVED Bared To You! Those are totally my guilty pleasure reads so I am definitely adding this to my list! THANKS!

Caroline McCall said...

Thanks so much for having us!


(one half of Evie Hunter)

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