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The Chatsfield, Series Two #6

Russian's Ruthless Demand

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Out of the ice, into the fire!

Determined to prove herself to her illustrious family, Eleanore Harrington accepts an offer to create a glittering new ice hotel. The catch? Her new boss is Lukas Kuznetskov, a man as cold and unyielding as the ice she works with.

Lukas assumed that Eleanore would melt to his every command. But his blood is fired by the white-hot embers smoldering between them, and his focus shifts from professional to pleasure! When he discovers Eleanore's body is as pure as the driven snow, the ruthless Russian makes her virginity his final demand…

185 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 19, 2015

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About the author

Michelle Conder

169 books82 followers
After graduating from the University of Melbourne, Michelle Conder took a variety of jobs before packing her bags and traveling and working overseas. When none of the career opportunities she encountered grabbed her she returned to Australia and after more study decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a writer.

Michelle now lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and when she isn’t writing loves to visit faraway places and spend time with her family and friends.

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5 stars
31 (17%)
4 stars
56 (31%)
3 stars
54 (30%)
2 stars
22 (12%)
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13 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,119 followers
June 27, 2015
This is the 14th book in the Chastfield Series but really there’s not much about the Chatsfield Dynasty except that the hero and heroine spend a night of passion in one of the hotels!!!!

I was not crazy about the two main characters, which rather spoilt the story for me…I was really excited about the whole building of an ice hotel but let’s just say that whilst that part was nice, the hard-assed Russian billionaire with a huge chip on his shoulder (yes, he was abandoned as a child and lived in the streets of Moscow as a petty thief until he made his millions!!!!!) just did nothing for me.
In fact he annoyed me every time he made an appearance on the pages!!!

And let me not forget the heroine, Eleanore Harrington, who has spent her life living in the shadow of her successful sisters!!! All she wants to be as good as them!! And hey, she even has a list of her life goals!!!! I would have warmed up to her if she had just been a bit more independent from her family!!!! Hell, she’s talented, even funny at times but she just irritated me…and let me start on how she handled the pain in the ass Russian hero with his “da’s” and all those Russian words he uses in between his English!

He goes from ignoring her and thinking she’s just some silly rich and spoilt rich girl to wanting her desperately when he discovers she’s a VIRGIN!!!! Oh Please Save Me From Slapping His Face!!!!!!

How I managed to get to the END is beyond explanation!!!!!!
Profile Image for Vashti.
1,115 reviews29 followers
June 17, 2015
Lukas,Russian billionaire has met his match in Eleanore,the architect he hired to help him complete his ice hotel in Russia.From the minute these two met,it was sizzling with tension.Eleanore I thought was adorable,these two were like vinegar and oil,and they complimented each other beautiful.There were moments of funny,tenderness,and passion.Loved when after they broke up,2 weeks later ,he follows her back to New York and tells her he loves he and proposes to her on bended knee.I would have loved an epilogue.
Profile Image for Fanniny Moreno Zavaleta.
465 reviews93 followers
February 9, 2018
My first Michelle Conder... overall I really liked it. There was even a rescued kitten!!

Things were going smoothly until he told her: "'[...]And speaking of staff, a few of the key people you need to meet have to leave the building site early today so we need to get moving now.’"
And then she couldn’t wear the coat because it was made of fur and principles and blah blah. Fine, I get your reasons. And so they go to buy a new coat and: 
"‘THIS WASN’T MEANT to be a fashion stopover,' Lukas growled, glancing at the time on his phone.
‘It’s not that easy to decide,’ Eleanore told him from in front of the store mirror.’

He said they had to hurry since they were in the office, they had to waste time to go to a boutique to buy a coat and still she wastes more time! I loathe when people makes you lose your time because they’re busy doing something inconsequent, it’s like they’re throwing at your face that their time is more valuable than your time. If there had been no mention of people waiting on them while she was taking her time choosing a coat she looked good in for his benefit I wouldn't have had a problem and Eleanor would have been in my -heroine-i-loved shelf. But no.
She really was amazing, good at her job, trying to resist him, caring of people and animals, etc., but cranky me can't forget that scene.

Eleanor was thinking:
“But what kind of person made a bet they didn’t care about?
The type who didn’t care about anything at all, a rational voice informed her.”
I differ. If I really care about something I don’t go about betting it. I bet something that the other person wants to lure him/her to bet something I want. Just wanting to voice my opinion, this didn't affect my opinion of the h.

There was a line after the revoking of unicorn-grooming license I would have preferred not to read about the H sleeping in OWs beds before. It wasn't necessary but if they have to go that way then I prefer to know the h is the first woman the H sleeps with and the others were just wham bang thank you ma'am.

For all that you'd think I didn't like the book but I did. Lucky the cat needed more lines though.
My favorite part was their first time:
“[...] when her orgasm gripped hold of her Lukas did something he’d never done with any other woman as his body joined hers in an exquisite release that went beyond the realm of normal: he looked into her eyes and kissed her.”
Poor H was drowning in love and didn't know it.

I have a question for my HP reader friends. Is it a magic v if he’s so obsessed with the h even though the still hasn’t taken her unicorn-grooming license?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1,480 reviews
June 22, 2015
4.5 stars. Almost 5 stars.

Plot spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk

Where to begin? I don't know how to review this book really, but here's my shot. First of all I thought the book was really good, enjoying it immensely. I have read a few books by Michelle Conder in the past, and I have liked them, but I wasn't quite sold on her as an author. An author that would be an automatic auto buy, but from this book I can say that I will be paying more attention to Michelle Conder in the future. It was a great story filled with an interesting plot and equally interesting characters. Plus a whole lot sexual tension throughout the book between Lukas and Eleanore. Their desire for one another just wafted off the page and was presented for most of the book. That was very entertaining to watch and just see the whole story play out. I really liked this book.

Now this was part of the Chatsfield mini-series that has been part of the Harlequin Present line for two years or so with this book being number 14 in that series. This is actually part the second half of the Chatsfield saga and the first one that I have read thus far in part 2 of the saga, deals with the whole Chatsfield vs. Harringtons rivalry. Two competing hotel chains with Spencer Chatsfield and Isabelle Harrington going head to head, and are seemingly enemies. Can you see where there story is headed in the last installment of the series? And the rivalry was displayed in this book that featured Isabelle sister, Eleanore. It was presented when Isabelle made an appearance, but made more of a splash wave and was pertinent to this story was when Lukas threatened to go the Chatsfields and give them the job on his big hotel project if Eleanore didn't agree to work for him. Basically he blackmailed her into the job. It worked like a charm, and the games began between Eleanore and Lukas.

Michelle Conder was tasked with the job of bringing this story to life and make it exciting. She succeeded. She took what Harlequin gave characters, motivations, settings, and basic plot and made the story her own. She did a really good job of it.

I loved how the story began. It started right into the action immediately and didn't mess around. The conflict and the setup was very much present. Michelle Conder didn't mess around, which was great. I was immediately sucked into the story.

Set up: Lukas's architect/designer recently quit on designing his ice hotel that was a project dear to his heart and wanted to see it up and running in a month's time. He didn't plan on missing his deadline, but he knew he had to come up with a designer and fast. His mentor suggested Eleanore Harrington, who just happened to have recently designed her own ice bar in Singapore. At first Lukas was unsure but he was desperate. So he went to the opening of her ice bar and met. And spark flew as soon as their eyes connected in the mirror. and off I went along with them on their passionate journey fraught with lots of yummy sexual tension.

Like all Harlequin Presents books they didn't have any easy journey with many ups and downs along the way while denying their fierce attraction for one another. It was compounded with Eleanore not thinking so highly of the rich Russian and even "hated" him because of his scathing review of her families hotel. She didn't take kindly to that. She tried her best to hate him to the best of her ability but it didn't work out because she was firecly attracted to him. That attraction played out dominantly throughout the story.

In fact their whole attraction/sexual tension was the main feature in the story and their relationship. I liked it. It made the story very interesting and fun to watch. It was the strength in this story because it was presented in a way that I as the reader could feel it. I could feel their excitement. Their blood boiling beneath the surface. Their hearts pounding and just their general need and want for one another. It gave me shivers with every touch they made even if it was innocent because there was such electricity between the two. I mean major electricity and while Eleanore wanted to deny it. Lukas wanted to explore it. No surprise there. It made their relationship very back and forth as well playful. They challenged each other and pushed each other's buttons. I really liked see that and all that playful banter.

Not only was the banter playful but it was sexy too because it was just filled will so much innuendo. A majority of their conversations were double layered with a standard meaning and then the sexual one. It was just fun especially how Lukas played all of it. It was funny and humorous. I just loved how they went back and forth and bounced off of each other while all the tension surrounded them. It was clear that they wanted to jump each others bones, and it was actually was hot.

Another thing that was hot was the bet. The bet consisted of who would kiss who first. The challenge was set and it was on. Oh my goodness was on. They both pulled out all the stops and tried to get the other one to lose. It was fun to watch. And it was really hot of what they need to make the other give in. It set my pulse a racing, and at times I screamed in my head to kiss already. I think I wanted them to kiss more than they did. No, not really because it was clear what they both wanted from the other. It was hot. I can't say that enough. It added another layer to their sexual tension, which was already high to begin with. But with the bet it just upped the game that they were playing. It was great, wondering who was going to win this bet. I was guessing the entire time because I really had no clue. It could have gone either way. When I finally had a inkling of where it was going, I was totally surprised and it went the other way. It threw me for a loop because I really didn't think that was going to happen. But it was very satisfying when the kiss finally happened. The kiss was explosive after all that wrought tension between them. The passion just exploded.

Now they had a few more heated kisses along the way with each better hotter than the last, but I was kind of surprised their love scene didn't happen sooner. I expected it too but it took awhile for their first time scene. It was probably with only a third left, but I will say I wasn't disappointed by it because by that point their desire for one another was established as well as their connection that they developed throughout the book. They were sort of friends. That was nice to see that established early on. Being the love scene happened so late, the first time scene was really the only detailed love scene that they had, which was a little disappointing. But they did have scenes together just implied more than spelled out or detailed.

I will say the first time scene was very poignant and meaningful for both of them even if they didn't want to admit at first. I thought the location for where they did the deed was perfect and brought everything full circle. It was beautiful. Meaningful. I couldn't imagine their first time being anywhere else. It was perfect I thought.

Another thing that I thought Michelle Conder did really well was the setting. The amount detail that she went into on Russia as well as Lukas's ice hotel was absolutely breathtaking. I was immediately sucked in by all the beautiful imagery that she created. I could see it so clearly in my mind. Usually I don't comment on setting, but Michelle Conder was so descriptive that I couldn't help but take notice and admire it like I was really there. It was stunning what Conder did with her words on the setting. I appreciated it yet it didn't take away from the story at all, instead it just enhanced it. I didn't skip it. I knew I needed to read every word because it was just so beautiful.

I liked the spunkiness of the characters. Lukas was just something else and Eleanore was a pistol. She was not going to go down easy and would fight Lukas tooth and nail. He liked that about her. I liked that about her. It just made for an interesting character. Yet at the same time she had that soft and tender side to her that showed she cared for people and was loyal to them when she decided to be devoted to them. Even her sister who she felt in the shadow for most of her life. She was tender with him when she decided to finally let him in and drop her guard and just stop fighting him. She just allowed it to happen. I loved how she pushed his buttons though in the beginning and how didn't go down without fight. She fought until she couldn't anymore.

Lukas pushed her and never gave up on her or their attraction. He had a tough childhood growing up and did some things in his past he wasn't proud of and vowed never to allow other suffer the way he suffered as a child. He was compassionate and loyal. He was tender and caring despite the press presenting as a rich, selfish playboy that just engaged in his own wants and didn't care for anyone else. That's what Eleanore believed about him in the beginning. But nothing was further from the truth. He was never cruel during the entire book. He was manipulative and did want to get his own way (Eleanore) and used every trick in the book to do so. He used his sexual appeal against her. He baited her and wouldn't allow her to pull away. I just found him adorable and completely entertaining. I wondered what he would do next or what he would say to try to win his case. He upped his game every time, never backing down. He was a man on a mission and very determined to win.

I loved all their sexy banter and battle of wills going on. I was so happy whenever they were having a confrontation because it was sexy as it was fun. It made turn the pages over and over again to see what would happen next between the two. Fun.

There was only one little thing that bothered me and was the reason I only gave this 4.5 stars was the emotional intensity wasn't quite there for me. The sexual intensity was off the charts and very cool to watch play out, but I needed the emotional to match the sexual, and it didn't. Which was understandable because there was just so much sexual going on that it was the main focus of their relationship. Not that was a bad thing or it was too much because it totally wasn't. Not for me. But I just needed a little more digging emotionally thing. I needed a little bit more angst or conflict that would prevent them from being together. Something that was a real obstacle instead of just stupidity. Though I felt very surely that they had a bond and a connection, but I just felt something was missing on an emotional front. I needed to feel more of the love if that makes sense. The setup of their sexual tension was great and I didn't feel it was rushed at all and felt very established, but when it came to the emotional not so much. The sexual tension part had a nice pace to it and kept me going. Then once the got near the end it flattened out a bit and dragged. I needed more of the emotional intensity to come through or just a bit more excitement going on. I just don't know if I am describing this well, but basically I needed more emotionally when it came to it. I didn't feel I was on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Overall though this book was pretty great. It was an interesting read that had a lot of excitement throughout most of the book. Between the bet, the setting and the overall sexual tension, it held my attention to a tee. I loved seeing Lukas and Eleanore in the same room together because that was when the book sizzled. I loved all the friction and the back and forth that they had throughout the story. It was definitely a battle of wills. I couldn't wait to see who would end up on top. I was surprised who was the winner, but let's be honest they were both winners because they got their happily ever after, right? I was glued to the page from the beginning especially after their first meeting. I just hopped on the train and took it all the way through without stopping. It was really well written. The imagery was beautiful and detailed to the point where I felt like I was in Russia. I even got some chill bumps despite the fact it's the first day of summer because of the detailed description of how cold it was in Russia. Michelle Conder did a great job to immerse me in the story. The only complaint was that I wished the emotional intensity was upped. I wanted to feel a little bit more. Have my heart break into pieces until it was put back together by the happily ever after it the end. I needed to feel the pain a bit more and get more emotional. If that happened then this book would have been a slam dunk and a definite five stars. Plus it would have just added another level to their relationship and connection. It would have showed how strong it was and why they needed each other so badly instead of just skimming the surface like I felt it did.

Other that it was a really great enjoyable story full of fun, sparks, excitement and lots of passion for our couple. It was a fun journey to watch them on and see how they navigated their intense attraction for one another It was a great ride.

I look forward to reading another Michelle Conder book in the future.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ipshita Ranjana.
308 reviews17 followers
June 6, 2015
Russian’s Ruthless Demand is a well written romance with well matched characters and an enjoyable story-line. Eleanore is an amazing heroine because she is out there proving herself and not backing down anytime. She was wonderfully sarcastic in her dialogues and I found that to be one of the best things about her character. Lukas starts out as a cold unfeeling hero but warms up later with a lot of help from Eleanore. They had an amazing chemistry which made their romance so much more enjoyable. The pace was a little slow initially for my liking but it picks up after the first few chapters and makes up for an entertaining read.
276 reviews2 followers
September 12, 2018
Quite liked this one overall.
I liked the occasional Russian word thrown in the mix, as I quite like seeing if I've guessed the pronunciation correctly (thanks Google).
Hero: Basically Alex Skarsgard, except Russian *swoon*
Heroine: Youngest of three, living in the shadow of the rest of her family. Talented, but underutilised, and a genuinely good person who loves animals.
Favourite side character: Petra. She knows how to handle Lukas! Basically she's the mother he needed.
Profile Image for T.M. Carper.
Author 15 books17 followers
March 4, 2018
Part of a mini-series (The Chatsfield) but can be read as a standalone.

Fairly standard workplace romance with a bit of a slow burn. Quick read.
Profile Image for Yanira.
955 reviews2 followers
March 25, 2017
bastante interesante la historia del Ruso y la arquitecto, una lucha de sentimientos y al final vence el amor....
Profile Image for Xiamera.
396 reviews16 followers
October 25, 2016
This was a classic Harlequin romance. Nothing really stood out for me except Lukas' backstory being a little more tragic than usual. On first reading, that Chatsfield name kept jumping out at me until I realised that I had read a few books from the series. As usual, I was more interested in reading about Isabelle from the time she was mentioned than Eleanore. To me, this was nothing more than a book to read to pass the time.
Profile Image for RomLibrary.
5,726 reviews
Shelved as 'hq-to-read'
June 14, 2021
Out of the ice, into the fire!

Determined to prove herself to her illustrious family, Eleanore Harrington accepts an offer to create a glittering new ice hotel. The catch? Her new boss is Lukas Kuznetskov, a man as cold and unyielding as the ice she works with.

Lukas assumed that Eleanore would melt to his every command. But his blood is fired by the white-hot embers smoldering between them, and his focus shifts from professional to pleasure! When he discovers Eleanore's body is as pure as the driven snow, the ruthless Russian makes her virginity his final demand
Profile Image for Yas.
55 reviews1 follower
October 25, 2015
Part of the Chastfield series of books. It's a series about hotel magnates and hotel life stories. This was an okay read. Was not really into the characters too much. The usual rich, brooding male. And a the architect/designer that will help the Hero build his project. On the way they have an attraction and in the end we know the drill on how this ends. They figure it out.
Profile Image for Elena.
452 reviews8 followers
April 15, 2017
No Chatsfields involved in this one unless one counts being a guest at a Chatsfield hotel? Lust at first sight? Checked. Millionaire hunk? Checked. Gorgeous heiress trying to make it on her own? Checked. Mind you this is a rich girl who has never seen a sleigh. How is that even possible? Yes, this silly detail stood out for me. Eleanore wasn't so bad, but the story wasn't that great either.
Profile Image for Harlequin Books.
16.7k reviews2,806 followers
January 12, 2016
"Exotic Russian phrases and the wintry splendor of St. Petersburg will heat readers’ blood in this beautifully crafted tale. The heroine’s acerbic humor and the hero’s bluntness are both fantastic" (RT Book Reviews, 4 stars).

Miniseries: The Chatsfield
1,508 reviews45 followers
July 29, 2015
Both characters seem to be looking for acceptance and use their own methods of acceptance which in turn leads to an enjoyable romance, Loved it.

Part of the Chatsfield mini series but also a great stand alone.
Profile Image for Amie Doughty.
353 reviews2 followers
April 18, 2017
I've been underwhelmed by this second Chatsfield series as a whole, but this installment was charming. The main characters were witty and there was some nice humor.
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews

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