Author: Meljean Brook
Pages: 266 (Kindle)
Release Date: September 17, 2014
For a year and a half, Olivia Martin has tried to forget Erik Gulbrandr, the glacial man who'd scorched her mouth with a single kiss. But when Olivia finds herself snowbound with Erik on the winter solstice, she discovers that the man who set her body aflame is cursed by abominable needs -- and a desire that might destroy them both...
I am of mixed thoughts on Frozen. I was quite excited to start it because stranded together is one of my favorite Romance tropes. But then once it’s revealed what Erik’s curse was, I was ready to throw it across the room, because it’s like Romance authors can’t think of any other kind of curse for a Paranormal Romance. Then again, Olivia starts thinking logically about Erik’s curse, what it means, and is generally just not willing it to take it. I was like…woah. The plot still went in the predictable route, but I felt better about it because the author actually examines it and doesn’t just let it be accepted.
Let’s talk about this curse. Frozen revolves around Olivia who gets trapped at Erik’s home because of a storm. He doesn’t want her there, because he’s in the middle of battling Hounds and himself. Erik is a snow giant and every Winter Solstice is cursed to go into mind numbing lust and rape the woman that triggered the curse, distracting him from the battle and giving the Hounds a chance to win. One of Olivia’s first thoughts is that she’d rather be raped then kill him, because she’s been attracted to him for awhile anyway. Now, you see why I was ready to throw the book.
But, once Olivia comes to her senses, she realizes that this is a problem. She’s a logical woman and tries to think up solutions on keeping Erik away from her, while also not getting murdered by the Hounds surrounding his home. She also spends a lot of time pondering out what the exact terms to the curse are, in hopes of getting around it. But where Frozen really surprised me was when Erik and Olivia do have a moment, she’s aroused and does want to have sex with him. She lets him know this, so he’ll know that if the curse takes over, she’s willing and ready. However, she realizes that he’s probably at least partially driven by the curse in that moment and he doesn’t actually want to have sex with her, and it would be wrong of her to take advantage of that. Consent is acknowledged by him and her, and it made the situation a bit less black and white, and more grey. They do want each other outside of the curse, so does that make what might happened during the Solstice okay? I’m not 100% sure I’d say yes, but the author does show that Olivia does not in fact have to just lie down and take it.
I’m sure you can see what I was conflicted about Frozen. It’s a very sticky situation. Unlike the book that must not be named, where it was shown as romantic and a catalyst for the love interests to fall in love, it’s very clearly stated here that rape brought on by magical lust is still rape. It still made me uncomfortable though. Olivia finds a kind of loophole, and I just don’t know. I’m glad that she did, but it also felt like a way to relieve the sexual tension without it being rape. I don’t know! I really don’t know! I liked it, but I don’t know.