Tevyn Moore isn’t exactly a playboy, but he is definitely known around the sports arena as a guy who likes to sleep around with no strings attached. Male or female, it doesn’t matter because Tevyn is just a fun loving guy who happens to be an Olympic medalist snowboarder. What many don’t see is that Tevyn is actually in love with the very man who fronted the money for his career and continues to support him unconditionally. For five years as Tevyn rose to fame, Mallory Armstrong has watched his investment pay off and his heart become more and more attached to the risk taking Tev.
When the two meet up this time it’s for Mallory to deliver the news that the one person Tev counted on to always be there for him is dying. As they take off in extreme weather, wind shears carry the helicopter into dangerous territory and the crash leaves Mallory and Tev trying to keep their friend and pilot, Damien, alive. As the blizzard rages on, both Tev and Mallory realize they may never get another chance to admit their feelings for each other and the time to say something is quickly running out.
Amy Lane has released Warm Heart, her first in a new series. With their lives on the line, we watch Mallory and Tev admit the feelings both have kept hidden and desperately hope are returned in kind. With some fairly intense survival conditions motivating their every move, these two men realize that they either must come clean about how they feel or could potentially die without ever uttering those three magical words. As the basis for the new series, the author does a good job setting up who will get the focus in the next novel and creating the additional two characters with enough mystery surrounding them that I must admit I will want to be reading about them in the future.
As for Mallory and Tev, their romance was rather lovely with both knowing that while there may be bumps in the road ahead with Tev at the peak of his sports career and Mallory taking care of his other clients, they still want to try and make a happy ever after for themselves with each other. The chemistry was palpable between them and the way they cared for their friend, Damien, gave the story even more emotional impact. I think it bears weight to mention this is a Dreamspun Desires selection and as such there were definitely times when the love speech turned rather schmaltzy and unrealistic—essentially incredible flowery and overly romanticized. I understood these guys had been burying their feelings for five years and they were in a high stress situation, but still it got to be a bit over the top dialogue-wise for me.
The other thing that I felt was a bit strange was Tev’s insistence on how he knew Mallory would take care of him. For a twenty-five-year old sports star who had traveled nearly all over the world and admittedly had many affairs, I thought his constant insistence on Mallory promising not to leave him was a bit naïve and made Tev seem immature. Again, this had more to do with Tev needing to hear Mal say the words than the fact that they were stranded in a blizzard. I can’t say for certain why this began to bother me, but I kept thinking if Tev couldn’t trust Mallory to be speaking the truth about not leaving him then how could they build a relationship once they were safely back home. I’m sure this was just something I found difficulty with and others may not, but still I felt it really made Tev both dependent in a clingy way and seem awfully young.
I think Amy Lane fans will appreciate the romance and the lack of any real angst in Warm Heart. It was meant to be a love story, plain and simple, and the catalyst for future installments in the series and, as such, it hit both notes quite well.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.