Book #4 was The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. The back of the book reads:
From the bestselling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.
Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.
She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets–what turned one to ice and the other to fire.
A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.
This isn’t the type of book I would normally enjoy. The narrator/main character is rather depressing, and I spent a good part of the book wanting to slap her and yell "get a grip, would ya?". However, her initial state just makes her transformation more compelling. And if you ask me, the key to it isn’t Lazarus Jones — it’s her sister-in-law. Lazarus, despite his interesting story, is just another repeat in the pattern of her life.
In my opinion, this book is worth the read if only for the touching end with her brother. It was well worth the frustrating first half.
Page count: 211 | Word count: 59,933