Review: Melt by Natalie Anderson

Filed in 4 Stars , featured , Natalie Anderson , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on February 7, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 3 comments

Format Read: ebook
Genre: contemporary romance
Release Date: December 19, 2011
Length: 97 pages
Publisher: Entangled
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon US, Amazon UKBarnes & Noble

Book Blurb:

When two frozen hearts collide…

Emma Reed closed her heart to love years ago after a lifetime spent getting kicked around foster homes and bad relationships. Now she’s on a mission to prove she deserves her recent award to paint a mural for a research base in Antarctica. Nothing and no one is going to get in her way.

After months working in recovery zones around the world, Hunter Wilson planned to escape everything this holiday season by rebuilding a lab at the Kiwi Research Base. Alone. No to family, no to fun. It’s isolation not intimacy he’s aching for. But when he sees the determined artist, that ache becomes an urge – after all, shouldn’t someone show her what two people can do with twenty-four hours of brilliant sunlight?

In the coldest place on earth, even the most frozen hearts can melt.

Excerpt (Chapter One)

My Thoughts:

When you think of places in the world that inspire romance, does Antarctica come to mind? I admit that, to me, it definitely does not, and never has. But after reading Natalie Anderson’s Melt, I’m left to wonder why it’s never previously occurred that it’s a great place to set a contemporary romance.

So I’ll begin this review with the setting used for the majority of the tale: Antarctica. Anderson’s descriptions of the location are so detailed that I was wondering whether she’d actually been there before! ^_^ From the methods of transportation to and in Antarctica to the facilities on location to the social activities that the inhabitants partake in…it all felt alive and lived-in. It felt like the kind of place that the two main characters could realistically develop a romantic connection. It was also pretty fun to note how numerous aspects of the book reflected the setting. The cold, barren landscape perfectly reflects the seeming emotional deficiencies of the main characters. It’s small considerations like that that make me smile. ^_^

Rather than the setting being the preventative to romance, it’s the characters themselves. The two leads are very much flawed and scarred when it comes to emotional connections and interpersonal relationships. As the author notes during the story, “[Hunter] cared deeply about humanity, yet caring so deeply for another person was foreign to him.” And Emma has spent a lifetime being left behind by those who were supposed to love and protect her. Unsurprisingly, the two characters being shoved together in a very limited space leads to amusing scenes, given that they share an immediate attraction.

I’ve found that stories of novella length must necessarily leave out some elements of the storytelling–back story, in-depth character exploration, complex plot, something. I’m always particularly concerned when a novella is a romance, because so much of the believability factor–when it comes to the romantic entanglements of the main characters–relies upon careful, sometimes lengthy development. In this story, I thought the connection between the two protagonists was crafted well through dialogue, both within each of the two and between them. There were a number of scenes that seemed like inconsequential bits of conversation, but actually brought out important elements establishing the deeper attraction between Emma and Hunter. It also helped that this story zeroes in on the two characters, not adding a secondary cast and subplots that would just take up valuable space.

And speaking of space….I’ll just say that, if there’s any place to have seual tension between two people, it’s in a confined space. This book uses that tension extensively, but the payoffs are hot enough to…well, to melt ice!

There were little details here and there that made the characters feel real, and others that gave slivers of insight into the emotional make-up of Emma and Hunter. Emma, seemingly serious and “all-work,” has her e-reader loaded with steamy romance. Hunter, supposed playboy, gravitates to Emma at a party to avoid having to interact with the “interested and available” women seeking him. She loves hyperrealist art; he uses flirtation as a crutch. Like I said before…it’s the little things!

So, can a story set in the coldest place on earth be hot stuff? That would be a solid yes. Melt is a good choice for a quick, uncomplicated read that sports a little something different from the usual contemporary romance tropes.


I give Melt 4 stars!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha

Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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Join the Discussion
  • Jules February 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I want to read this now! The story sounds amazing and I do love things set in Antartica, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.

    Great review and thanks for the recommendation! 😀

  • Tamsyn February 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I come from a warm and sunny country so the Antartica is out for me. Unless they invented a way to pipe hot water and heating there!

  • aurian February 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

    It sounds like a great story, thanks for the review! But I do avoid short stories if possible.

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