Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: A Hot Winter by C.J. Lake

Posted 05/12/2014 by Isabelle MBTL in review / 0 Comments

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: A Hot Winter by C.J. Lake

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I received this book for free from Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: A Hot Winter by C.J. LakeA Hot Winter by C.J. Lake
Published by Snow House Books on December 2, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 240
Source: Wordsmith Publicity
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*Story contains explicit/steamy scenes that are intended for mature readers.


Emma Slate married her high school sweetheart at twenty and lost him at twenty-two. Now she has built a cozy, safe life for herself that includes everything but romance.  When Matt, a handsome young contractor, begins work at her house, she tries to ignore the spark between them and keep her feelings in check.


Matt Winter should know better than to get involved with a girl who is moving out of state in a few short weeks.  Especially one who is so guarded.  There are so many reasons why he shouldn't go why can't they stay away from each other?

A sizzling love story from the author of Constructing Us.

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 We’d love for you to join us in celebrating the release of A HOT WINTER by Author C.J. Lake

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Emma Slate become a widow far too young and life has taught her that fate can be brutal and painful. She has learn how to fend of for herself and provide for her boys. She has also leaned how to be independent. Sometimes independence can take us too far. Is she taking her Ms. Independence act too far? Can she see beyond her fears and take a risk again?
Matt Winter may only be twenty three, but he has more responsibilities than many forty years old out there. When he falls for a single mom of two kids, he is not expecting to be considered too young or immature. How can he make her see behind the stereotype? How can he tell her to give fate a chance, when she has been hurt before?
A Hot Winter is one of these reads that plays with your emotions. This book has taken me into different directions every few chapters. Sometimes, I could see myself in Emma and could totally agree with her. Then I would totally hate her for a second. After that, I would love Matt to death, but pretty soon I would wish for him to be more pro-active. Really, I live this emotional roller coaster almost through the end. It was a bit unexpected, because I was thinking about a fun read with some good passionate scenes, and a true romance. It was and more!
Ms. Lake’s characters are so easy to connect and relate that readers end up having almost cathartic experiences while reading her books. Matt and Emma are so real, that they could be any of my friends or myself, even though I’m more than a decade older than them. They are not perfect and they are really frustrating at some points, but they are believable with great depth of character.
I love Matt’s group of friends and I believe I would really enjoy both Bardo and Pellican’s book. Each of them is a bit of a odd character, and I believe it would be fun to explore their world also. One is not very lucky with the ladies, but has the best comments ever and the other, is so insecure that has a big act in place to mask it. Really amazing secondary characters!
Ms. Lake has created a strong plot within this group of friends that are people like all of us. They all have normal lives, with normal jobs, some struggles and some good moments. They all have pretty nice families and none of them seems to be a really big screw up, which seems a big plus at the moment when most books out there have someone with obscure pasts, or totally dysfunctional characters.

You may read this book because you have read book one; you should read this book because you enjoy true romance stories; but you MUST read this, because you are looking for a down-to-earth refreshing couple!

“I’ve fantasized about you putting me in your mouth,” he admitted, his voice raspy. “Me, too. Though…in my fantasy I didn’t know you were so big.”
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Wordlessly, she handed him the check.  Folding it, he shook his head.  “Man, I’m so glad nothing happened between us last night,” he muttered as he stuck the check in his pocket.

Emma’s face crumpled.  “What?” she said, feeling insulted and hurt (even though she’d basically given him the longer version of the same sentiment).

With a short, humorless laugh, Matt said, “I don’t need this drama.”

“No one has ever accused me of being overdramatic.”

“If you give me this big of a hassle over a bill, God knows what you’d do to me in bed,” he said.

“I wouldn’t do anything to you!  Wait–I didn’t mean it the way it sounded…” she fumbled.

“You’d probably tell me I’m doing it wrong.”

Rage boiled inside her, as she struggled for a comeback.  “I’d only tell you that if you were.”

With a cocky laugh, Matt leaned his face toward hers and said, “I do it just fine.”

She pasted on a patronizing smile.  “Well good for you.”

“It could have been good for you, too,” he remarked plainly.  “But that ship has sailed.”

At first, Emma’s mouth dropped open.  Then she let out a shocked sort of laugh.  “Oh my God!  I hope you’re not seriously trying to use reverse psychology to get me to sleep with you?”

Impatiently, Matt said, “Emma, aren’t you listening?  I don’t even want to sleep with you anymore.”

With her fists balling at her sides, she said, “Good.  Actually, that works out well, because I really don’t want to sleep with you.”

“Uh-huh, sure, okay,” Matt said briskly.  “Well, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up now.”  He turned toward the door, adding, “Now it won’t have to be unclear when I cross paths with you again someday.”

“Don’t worry, you probably won’t cross paths with me anyway,” she called after him.  “I’m leaving remember?”

At that, Matt paused, looked back at her.  His expression seemed more solemn.  “Right, I forgot, well…good bye, Emma.”


With his hand on the doorknob, Matt turned.

Impulsively, Emma reached for the stack of envelopes that was sitting on hutch by the stairs.  She flipped through it and pulled out the one with Matt’s name on it.  “Here,” she said, walking toward him.  At first he just eyed the envelope, confused.  “It’s a Christmas card,” Emma explained offhandedly.  “You might as well take it now.”

Wordlessly, Matt shifted his gaze from the envelope to Emma’s face.  His dark eyes burned into her. She swallowed feebly, still holding the card out for him.  “To hell with this,” he uttered gruffly, and slid a hand around her neck, pulled her to him and kissed her.

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$15 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of CONSTRUCTING US


About C.J. Lake

C.J. Lake is a storyteller who is passionate about art, surfing, and skiing/snowboarding. Residing near the coast of Massachusetts, C.J. is currently working on a new book. Meanwhile, readers can check out her first novel, Constructing Us, which is the story of Andy and Tragan.

Readers can get in touch via email ( or follow C.J. on Twitter @brightbluesurf.

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