Heirs of Hansol, Book 3
Heat Factor: Some sexytimes, but nothing outrageous
Character Chemistry: Pretty darn good
Plot: Jihae and Colin work together to produce a movie. And have the hots for each other. But they have super complicated families.
Overall: There were some amazing moments, but also some distracting head-scratchers.
First, some backstory. (Luckily, Lee includes all of this information, because I did not remember any of these details from Temporary Wife Temptation.) Jihae Park was engaged to Garrett Song – it was to be an arranged marriage / corporate merger deal. To get out of it, Garrett married someone else, and Daddy Park did some corporate espionage in retaliation. Colin Song is Garret’s cousin – but he’s very hush hush about the relationship because he wants to stand on his own feet rather than join the family business.
When Colin gets the opportunity to work with Jihae, he’s hesitant. He doesn’t really trust her, but a partnership would be a great opportunity for his production company. His (definitely foolproof, definitely not stupid) plan is that he’ll use the partnership as a way to do some light spying to see if he can learn anything about the espionage plot. He does this because he carries a heavy burden of guilt about his relationship with his family (note: he is not estranged or anything, he just didn’t join the family mega-business), and wants to do something to support them.
For her part, Jihae is nervous about working with Colin because she has the hots for him. I would classify her as a grade-A workaholic, but she works a lot because her work is the one thing she has control over. That and her shoes. I kid you not – when she was a teenager and started appearing in public, her parents decided on an image for her. So she is Princess Jihae all the time, which means white clothes and a placid expression. She doesn’t even allow the butler to see her in sweatpants, because that would ruin the image. (Even when he’s bringing her craft beers and a burger, which seems very unprincesslike.)
Needless to say, there is a lot of meaty content here about family obligation, and the way guilt and love (or lack thereof) are all knotted together. Lee handles this side of the story really well. She also handles the beats of the relationship between Colin and Jihae as they move from longing to secret boning to a deeper connection with aplomb. She did it with the little details – like the way Colin noticed Jihae’s shoes, or when Jihae learned something truly devastating and realizes that all she needs in that moment is Colin’s support.
What didn’t quite work for me were the sometimes jarring jumps between scenes. A decent amount of time passes over the course of the novel (basically, enough time to get a feature film from acquiring the rights all the way to the opening), so some jumps are necessary, but there were scenes where characters talk about some thing they’re going to do later that day, and then the next scene will be them doing some completely different thing a week later.
Also, I was always wondering what Jihae was doing with her car! She has a red sports car that she likes very much. (Another one the few decisions she got to make for herself.) Presumably, she drives it to work because 1) she’s rich and 2) she’s in LA. But then Colin picks her up from her work in his car and drives her places and then they go to his house to bone, and I was like, “Jihae! Your car is still at your office! Won’t someone notice! I thought this relationship was secret??? Is Colin driving you back to the office at 3 a.m. so you don’t have to take a cab to work???”
Are these critiques extremely nitpicky? Yes. Did they bother me, like, a LOT? Also yes.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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