Rudy Rein Dear and Jack Frost have been together for 200 years, but it was only a year ago that they went public with their relationship. The two are deeply in love, and Jack would do anything for Rudy, even facing his father’s disapproval over his choice in partner. Rudy brings warmth and kindness to Jack’s cold heart, and although most people are scared of the Prince of Frost, Rudy knows only love from Jack.
Their coming out wasn’t totally uneventful, and when Jack learns that some people have been giving Rudy a hard time, he is angry. And when someone tries to sabotage Rudy’s plane as he does a test run for the big flight, Jack is beside himself. He loves Rudy beyond all else and is determined to do whatever it takes to find out who threatened his life. But the more Jack looks into the case, the angrier he gets, and the more dangerous he becomes. Now Rudy, along with friends Tim and Noel, must race to help Jack before he loses himself completely to his anger and the future between them is lost.
Heart of Frost is the second story in Charlie Cochet’s North Pole City Tales and it continues the story of Jack and Rudy that starts in Mending Noel. Although that is technically Tim and Noel’s story, in that first book we meet Rudy and Jack and learn about their relationship, as well as the impetus for them to come out publicly. Here we pick up a year later as the guys are still dealing with some of the fallout, including Jack’s father’s disapproval and some friends that abandoned them. But the guys are so clearly deeply in love and they are able to put all that aside in their commitment to one another.
This story also follows up on the case of the Mouse King. Jack has been working for years to put the Mouse King away for his evil deeds and he has finally put him in jail. Given these connections with the first story, I think it would be helpful to have read Mending Noel before this one, but it is not essential.
Like the first book, The Heart of Frost takes the story of Christmas and makes it come alive in North Pole City. The reindeer have become the Rein Dear, crack pilots for Kringle’s planes and Jack Frost has powers to control cold and weather. I really love this world Cochet has created and it is so fun and clever. This second book isn’t quite as magical as the first in terms of world building, as we aren’t being introduced to the City quite as widely here. That first book is a bit more of a confection, whereas this one focuses more on the relationship between Jack and Rudy.
I loved these guys together and the devotion and adoration between them comes through so clearly. I love that Jack is this powerful being that is hopelessly devoted to his love. As I mentioned, this is an established relationship, and I did feel like we come in a bit in the middle. Even in the first book, these guys are already together and we don’t get a lot of their back story until late in this book. So I kept feeling like I was missing something in terms of understanding things about their connection. I won’t spoil it here because it is disclosed later in the book, but we get passing mentions of the importance of their bond that it felt like I should understand, yet they are not explained until later. So it just left me feeling a bit confused and I wish the backstory had been rolled out a little sooner.
Overall I am really enjoying this series and the magical holiday world Cochet has created here. It is fun and creative and I am really looking forward to more. I really liked The Heart of Frost and loved Rudy and Jack together, as well as the creative world building.
Cover Review: Love the cover for this one. The style is so striking and Rudy’s red hair and the prominence of Jack’s heart fit perfectly with the story.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.