July 17, 2014

REVIEW: Winter's Heat (Titan #1)

Winter's Heat (Titan #1), by Cristin Harber
Published September 25, 2013 (audio released June 6, 2014)
Publisher: Mill Creek Press
Format: audiobook, provided by Inkslinger PR for review
Genre: adult suspense/military romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 STARS

(From Goodreads) A WOMAN ON A MISSION
After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.

Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.

When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret—he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.

Reviews like this are hard for me to write. I listened to Winter's Heat on a business trip out to Pittsburgh last month. It was an audiobook, and I do find sometimes that it's hard for me to separate my feeling about the book from my feeling about the narration. If you're an audiobook fan, do you have the same problem? If the narrator doesn't do it for me, it sort of taints the whole thing a bit. 

In Winter's Heat, we meet Colby Winters who is a member of The Titan Group, a bunch of beefy military-esque secret operatives who go out on dangerous and near-impossible missions. Colby's mission is an easy one - take possession of an envelope before the bad guys get it. Except Mia Kensington gets it first. So, Colby takes both Mia and the envelope, and now he has to protect them both. As they are holed up in his house, they connect on many levels, and when Mia is taken, Colby enlists the help of his whole team to get her back. 

The narration of Winter's Heat was performed by Jeffery Kafer. I don't listen to many books read by male narrators. It's not done on purpose - it just seems like, since most of the books I read have a female MC, the narrators of the audiobooks are usually female. Mr. Kafer's voice is deep. I'm talking Barry White deep. It's extremely manly and sexy and perfect for how I picture Colby. 

The problem is, when you have a very deep voice, it's got to be difficult to inflect enough to tell the different characters apart. All the guys in the Titan group sounded exactly the same, so when they were all in a room together talking, it was confusing and hard for me to tell who was speaking. And, a guy with such a deep voice trying to sound like a female... honestly, it made me giggle more than once. Not the desired effect, I'm sure. Especially during the super sexy parts. 

Overall, I found the narration rather flat. 

As far as the actual plot went, the first 75% of the book was great. It was exciting, and I enjoyed learning more about what was in that envelope and how Mia came to have it in her possession. I liked Colby's alpha protectiveness toward Mia. Although I think the love and sex between them came on really fast - it was very instalovey - the sexual tension between them was really good. 

The last 25% of the book was just a little far-fetched for me. Admittedly, military type romances like this are not books that I read a lot. Perhaps they are all like this? But, the parts that took place in Colombia just had me scratching my head a bit. It felt like, it was pathetically easy for Mia to be taken from this supposedly impenetrable home, then equally as easy for her to be rescued. 

My dislike of the audio version seems to be affecting my ability to objectively review the book. I'm wondering if I would have a different opinion if I read the PB version instead. Perhaps for book #2...


LRAtRandom said...

The cover definitely gets a thumbs up from me. :-P

I think I may add it to my tbr...just not as an audio...although I am curious about this deep, sexy voice.

LRAtRandom said...

The Kindle book is free! Perfect!

Val said...

I read Sweet Girl recently and wanted to go back and read the whole series. Now I'm wondering if that's a good idea. And I agree about the narrator. I cannot listen to Obsidian on audio because the breathy narrator can't say Daemon name correctly and sounds like she needs to get laid.

Krista said...

I've heard that about the Obsidian audiobook, Val. And getting the name wrong - not cool. I wouldn't be able to do it.

Krista said...

Let me know what you think!