frozenTitle: Frozen
Publisher/Author: Meljean Brook
Pages: 163 pp
Price: $10.99 (paperback) / $2.99 (ebook)

Eighteen months ago, Olivia Martin met the man of her dreams. A construction engineer, Olivia spends her days surrounded by manly men — men who insist on talking down to her and telling her how to do her job. Erik Gulbrandr is different. He treats her as an equal, and soon Olivia is dreaming of a new life with Erik as both her professional and personal partner. Then they kiss — and Erik walks away. He rebuffs all attempts by her to pursue any relationship, even after she takes a position with his father’s firm. Now the Winter Solstice has rolled around again, and Olivia finds herself trapped at Erik’s isolated mountain home by a raging snowstorm, and a strange pack of wolves. Olivia soon discovers that there is much more to Erik than she ever expected … and those aren’t wolves circling closer and closer ….

I love Brook’s Iron Seas series; one of the most original and addictive steampunk romance series I have ever encountered. When I found out about Frozen, I downloaded it immediately. Without giving too much away, I will say that Frozen offers a unique twist on Norse mythology. Erik is not human, but “the son of Odin’s son.” The men of his family were cursed millennia ago by the Witch of Ironwood (e.g., Angrboda), and that curse has placed Olivia in grave danger.

Olivia is no shrinking violet, however. She is made of stern stuff, and — in a twist that takes both the reader and Erik by surprise — she has knowledge of and experience with the paranormal; she knows there is more to the world than meets the eye. Even so, she had no idea that beings such as Erik existed, or that the Gods and Witches and monsters of mythology are real; that takes a bit of adjustment.

I do have a few complaints. Brook writes strong, intelligent heroines. In Frozen, Olivia comes across as “work” smart, but not “relationship” smart. It is patently obvious to the reader that Erik is hopelessly in love with Olivia, and the fact that it takes her so long to catch on is a bit grating.  And — this may sound a bit odd — but Erik is so noble, so self-sacrificing, that he comes across as, well, too noble.

Ultimately, Frozen left me conflicted, but intrigued, and satisfied enough that I definitely recommend it. Recommended to fans of Brook’s other series, as well as Ilona Andrews, Zoe Archer, Cynthia Eden, Seressia Glass, and Kathryne Kennedy.

[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of EHS.]

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