Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When Jolie Vines announces a new book, it causes me to pause. Can she do it again? Is it possible that this book could be the one that might leave me a little disappointed? I know it’s wrong. I shouldn’t doubt these amazing authors who pour their souls and words into their stories, but there is sometimes a little doubt. And I don’t want it to happen because authors bring so much energy and respite into my life. But it’s always there, sitting in a minuscule part of my mind.
And here’s the reality. Jolie Vines has yet to dissatisfy me. Instead, with her newest book, Perfect Storm, she continues to capture my heart and interest. Just when I think I might question her skill, she shows me easily her amazing skill at writing heroes who grasp my heart and cause me to swoon for their love of the heroine. In every single book, Vines writes the hell out of her heroes. Artair, the hero of Perfect Storm, is no different. As such, I’ve decided to coin a new phrase when referring to a Jolie Vines book: the Vines Hero. This writer is writing heroes who encompass a multitude of traits that lead you confidently and carefully through the joys and tensions of their stories: alpha, compassionate, empathic, masculine, and passionate. In each of her books, you can trust, you believe, that her heroes will lead you out to the most glorious of happy endings.
Perfect Storm is the story of Skye McRae (Callum’s daughter) and Artair (a friend of Skye’s twin, Lennox). In the first book of the Wild Scots series (Lennox’s story), it is clear at their first meeting that Skye and Artair exude powerful chemistry. This story begins several months later when Skye and her uncle, Wasp, travel to Artair’s island in order to take photos for Skye’s portfolio of wedding dresses. Skye is prepared to leave Scotland for New York for an internship that will afford her advantages in setting up her future as a wedding dress designer. Like the first time they met, Skye and Artair’s chemistry is combustible, and they engage in a one-night stand with no promises for the future. Separated the next day, the two go back to their lives, but they think back on the other from time to time. Then, one day, Skye shows up in Scotland with a revelation. Are Artair and Skye destined for each other, or will their dreams and aspirations derail their future?
While a Vines Hero is something special, as evidenced by Artair’s devotion and care of Skye (even when his control is stymied), a Vines Hero cannot illustrate his traits without the force of a heroine. Honestly, the heroines of Vines’s books tend to create the complications for a possible relationship. Skye McRae has aspirations and dreams, and a relationship with Artair seems impossible as they live in different parts of the world. Artair also has challenges that cause difficulties for these two to have a relationship. Yet, even though much of the difficulties between these two reside with Skye’s decisions for her future, she is above all else intelligent, compassionate, capable, insightful, and she is trying to carve out her place in the world. Through her characterization, Vines reminds us that Artair is right in falling for her. She is the type of woman who can bring light and life into his world. Without her, Artair cannot become his best self. In fact, when you read a Vines book, you learn quickly that the hero and heroine are two sides of the same coin. Their struggles are similar, and they work together to resolve them. It’s this revelation in her books that hooks you.
I know what I love the most about Jolie Vines’s storytelling: it is safe even when it doesn’t feel like it. This isn’t to say that she doesn’t create the emotional depth necessary to grab her reader’s souls. It simply means that the strife of the story won’t sink your soul. It tinges it for a bit before it lifts you up in the end. Watching these larger than life, masculine heroes love their heroines to the depths of their beings makes you believe that you can be loved completely. This is the trust I find in Vines’s storytelling. Perfect Storm manifests this beautifully, and it offers a message about our futures: dreams and aspirations are important, but living a life loved should be a part of our future too. Our future can change to include the deepest of love because, in the end, it will make us better people. This is the depth of Jolie Vines’s writing soul in Perfect Storm.
In love and romance,