Title: Just Jack
Author: Meredith Russell
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages/Word Count: 149 Pages
At a Glance: Wonderfully written characters and a beautiful world where magic exists
Blurb: When the line between fairy tales and magic, and the real world become blurred, can love really conquer anything?
Leo Marsh is having a bad day. He just caught his boyfriend cheating on him, and not for the first time, then he falls, quite literally, for a man who has to be too good to be true…. When Leo slips and falls on some ice in front of Jack, Jack sees something all too familiar in Leo’s eyes. For over fifty years, Jack has existed in a solitary life of ice and bitterness. Just like Leo, he was betrayed by a man he loved, and swore no one would ever break his heart again: he gave up on love, and it seemed love had given up on him.
But if by fate or magic, Jack and Leo find their paths crossing for a second time, and with a little guidance from friends, dare to take a chance on each other. The problem is, Jack isn’t the charming and uncomplicated guy Leo thinks he is. When Jack gave away his ability to love, he became something else, someone cold and unloving. He became Jack Frost.
As Jack and Leo get closer, Jack is left torn and confused. Jack yearns for anything that reminds him of his humanity, but the truth is, he feels nothing, not warmth, not love, and he knows he might never be able to love Leo the way he deserves to be loved.
Review: First off let me just say I love the cover of this novel. It’s stunning and fits the story so perfectly. The color is so eye-catching and really makes me think of Jack’s eyes, which are described often throughout the story and captivate Leo. And the cover model? Gorgeous.
With that out of the way, I have a confession to make. I adore the character Jack Frost and have had a mild obsession with him since watching Rise of the Guardians when it came out. I’m not ashamed to admit it. However, it was nice to see in a recent interview with the author that she, too, enjoyed the character, and this book is a result from that.
I loved it. Jack Frost might be a popular winter character in folk tales, but Russell gives him a new story. This Jack is not the only Frost out there, but one of many. He is a man who finds himself with a heart of ice after he gives up on love and is then doomed to exist forever without love.
The story broke my heart and had me tearing up often. I also laughed a lot, because while heartbreaking, Jack has a mischievous spirit which follows along with the tales many of us are familiar with.
And then there’s Leo. The book opens with him catching his boyfriend of several years cheating. Despite what should be a clear way out, Leo is torn because this isn’t the first time Mac has cheated. It’s the first time he’s caught him, but it has happened before, and he still loves him. After leaving, he runs into Jack—Just Jack—who helps him when he slips on the ice and hits his head.
Totally Jack’s fault, by the way.
While the two of them are attracted to each other and Leo wants more, there’s just one problem: how can a man with a frozen heart love someone? A man who cannot even feel the warmth of a human body? Oh yeah, and there’s one other teensy tiny problem with the whole magic ice thing: Leo doesn’t know who Jack really is.
This book really was fantastic. I loved the reimagining of the Jack Frost story, and what made it special was the idea that many Jacks exist, not just one. In fact, I would love to see more stories about Jack Frost from this author. Some people might think that would be repetitive, considering the characters would have the same name, but really, the possibilities are endless! Russell has taken a well-known story and made it her own with wonderfully written characters and a beautiful world where magic exists.
You can buy Just Jack here: