Review: Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet, #1), by Pepper Winters

Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet, #1)Crown of Lies by Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yet again, Pepper Winters has managed to suck me in! In her trademark style, she slowly and meticulously weaved a story of romance, danger and intrigue. Bit by bit, the reader is given morsels of truth, while many facts and details remain elusive enough to keep readers guessing.

Elle Charlston is the heiress to a retail dynasty. Belle Elle has been in her family for generations and she stands to inherit the department store conglomerate. From a very young age, Elle has been trained to run the business. While other kids played with dolls, Elle perfected the window displays and learned how to best present merchandise. When other kids focused on basic geometry, Elle mastered complex spreadsheets and earnings reports.

Looking in from the outside, Elle seems to have a dream life. She leads a life of privilege and has everything that money can buy. Yet, she longs for all the things that money can’t buy.

She’s never had anything in common with the kids that she went to school with. Longing for friendship, she allowed herself to be taken advantage of by those who were only interested in what Elle’s wealth could do for them. Her father and her cat are the only “friends” that Elle has ever known.

On Elle’s nineteenth birthday, she makes an impulsive decision to sneak out into the city. She wants to spend one night experiencing life and exploring, without the protective oversight of her driver/security guard. She’s never been able to be “free” and do the things that other teenagers take for granted. For just one night, she wants to shed the uptight persona that has defined her for the entirety of her life.

Not long into her explorations, Elle finds herself in a very precarious position. Without her security guard, she has no protection against the dangers that lurk in the nighttime on the city streets. Having been sheltered her whole life, she lacks street smarts and is an easy mark for those who would victimize her.

Dragged into a deserted alleyway, Elle is robbed and nearly raped. If it weren’t for the bravery of an unnamed homeless man, Elle would have faced a fate far worse. Her unnamed hero saves Elle, beating her assailants and chasing them off into the night.

In the hours that follow, Elle walks the city with the man. The two form an unlikely friendship and eventually more. Sneaking into Central Park after-hours, they share a night of romance and adventure. Elle and her stranger share a kiss that will haunt her for years before their night is abruptly ended and the man is arrested.

For years, Elle tries to locate her hero unsuccessfully. Without his name, and only a vague physical description, she is unable to track him down. She never gives up though. She is determined that she will find “Nameless”, the only man who has ever sparked any interest in her.

Realizing that he may have sentenced his daughter to a life of loneliness, Elle’s father is determined to find a husband for her to help shoulder the burden of running the business. His repeated match-making attempts are futile. Elle refuses to consider the men that her father tries to shove her way. She is only interested in one man and she knows that she’s unlikely to ever find him.

When she overhears her father again trying to set her up with a stranger at a bar, she is appalled. Never has she met a more arrogant man. She’s outraged by her father’s behavior and this man’s cocky attitude. Drenching him in his drink, she leaves the bar certain that it will be the last time she ever has to face the handsome stranger.

As much as she professes to hate the man, she can’t seem to get him off her mind. It is the first time that a man, other than “Nameless”, has consumed her thoughts. When she runs into him, again, the sexual tension between her and the sexy, Penn Everett reaches an all-time high.

One thing leads to another and Elle and Penn begin a tumultuous relationship. The chemistry is incredibly strong between the two, in a love/hate kind of way. They can’t seem to get enough of each other, even as they each try to keep the other at arm’s length. It was incredibly hot!

While Elle is an open book, Penn is not. In fact, Elle doesn’t seem to know much of anything about the enigmatic man. All of her attempts to get to know him on a more personal level are shut down swiftly. Who he is and where he came from are a big mystery.

As the story progresses, pieces of Penn’s past are revealed. However, each detail only leads to more questions. Who is this man and what does he want with Elle really?

From start to finish, I could not get enough of Elle’s story. Admittedly, this book did start off a little slow for me. However, once I got going, I couldn’t put it down. Ms. Winters’ writing is impeccable and she never fails to hold my attention.

The characters were intriguing and the storyline had just enough danger to keep it exciting. I was particularly impressed with the way that Ms. Winters made Elle a personable character that you almost pity. Lets face it, a billionaire “princess” is not a character that most people can sympathize with. However, her kind demeanor and loneliness made Elle very human and easy to relate to.

Elle Charlston, her unnamed rescuer and the high-handed Penn Everett have completely consumed me. I think I know what happened, but Ms. Winters never fails to surprise me. I’ll have to just wait and see if I’m right.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book and see where things are headed. I am so glad that I won’t have to wait too long for the next book. The minute it is released, I’ll be all over it!

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Review: Until November (Until, #1), by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Until November (Until, #1)Until November by Aurora Rose Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Until November’ has been sitting on my TBR for what seems like forever. I’d been meaning to start this series, but just never quite got around to it. When the audiobook went on sale, I decided to take the plunge with this one.

November has left New York City and headed south to live with her father following a brutal attack. She can’t escape the feeling that she’s being watched and hunted. Even when she arrives in her father’s town, the eerie feeling hangs with her.

Glad to have her in his life, November’s father arranges to have her work at the club that he owns with his brother. He wants November to manage the bookkeeping and financial side of the operation, steering clear of the club during the nighttime. He may own a strip club, but he won’t have his daughter hanging around during the busy hours (hypocritical much?).

When November first meets Asher Mayson, he is a total asshat. He’s rude, presumptive and completely out of line. In fact, he’s pretty much a domineering jerk for most of the book. Luckily, I love an a$$hole and Asher really grew on me.

It turns out that despite being a jerk, Asher is quite the Alpha-male protector as well. That comes in handy when the threats against November start to escalate. It quickly becomes clear that her fears weren’t unfounded. Somebody is out to get her.

Along with Asher, comes a bevy of sexy brothers. Each of them is instantly willing to protect November as one of their own. It seems that Asher wasn’t the only one that had a bad case of “insta-love” when he met November. His brothers are equally taken with her, but in an entirely platonic way.

Despite the rapid pace with which November and Asher’s relationship progressed, I enjoyed this story. Yes, the timeline was a little unbelievable. They had like one date and then they’re moving in together. From that point forward, it’s family planning and HEAs.

To enjoy this story, you have to be able to overlook the insta-love. It wasn’t an issue for me this time. On another day, it might have been a problem. I can be a moody reader like that.

This book introduces a robust cast of supporting characters. I’m sure that most of them will get their own books later in the series. Aside from Asher’s sexy siblings, there’s a brief mention of November’s cousins. Her crazy mother and ex-fiancé also play an important role in this book. (Let’s just say her mother won’t be getting any “mother of the year” awards anytime soon.)

Eventually, everything comes to light and the mystery surrounding the attacks against November is solved. I can’t say I was terribly surprised with the way it worked out. However, it was still shocking in a “how terrible” sort of way.

Although this book is the first in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. It doesn’t leave you hanging with any unanswered questions about November and Asher. It will leave you curious about some of the secondary characters and pave the way for their books.

Overall, this was a good book for me. It was entertaining if you’re in the mood for an over-the-top, controlling Alpha-male type of story. If not, pass on this one until you are. This is the type of story that could swing one way or the other for me, depending upon my mood.

I listened to the Audible version and I have to say that I do not recommend the audio. For me, the narration was terrible. I could barely stand Asher’s voice. If you’re considering the audiobook, listen to the sample. This was one of those times when I wished that I had. I think that I would’ve liked the book more if I had read it versus listened to the audiobook. Then again, I listen to everything at 2x – 3x speed, so maybe it isn’t so bad at the normal rate.

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Review: Black Swan Affair, by K. L. Kreig

Black Swan AffairBlack Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I started ‘Black Swan Affair’, I anticipated a steamy love affair and a fair amount of angst. I had absolutely no idea that this book would gut me the way it did. This book ripped my heart out! Several days later, I’m still trying to get ahold of my emotions and come to terms with what this book made me feel.

The story centers on Maverick DeSoto, who is marrying her childhood best-friend, Kael. Only, Maverick isn’t in love with Kael. She’s in love with his older brother, Killian.

After an intense opening scene with Maverick and Killian arguing on the day of her wedding, I knew that I was in for a hell of a ride with this book. Killian is trying to stop Maverick from going through with her wedding to his brother and she is determined to marry Kael to spite Killian. It was like watching a bad train wreck in slow motion.

For most of this book, my heart broke for Kael. He was so in love with Maverick and she just couldn’t see past her love for Killian to appreciate what she had in front of her all the time. Kael truly did have enough love for both of them.

In contrast, I despised Killian until about 85% through. He seemed to want to have his cake and eat it too. He had married Maverick’s sister, Jillian, without so much as an explanation, leaving Maverick brokenhearted. I doubted the sincerity of his feelings for Maverick right from the start. After all, who would do that if they really loved somebody?

Then, there is Maverick. Jilted by Killian, she sets out to do the same thing to him that he did to her…marry his sibling. Only, she actually claims to love Kael, even if she isn’t in love with him. Kind of cruel, if you ask me. All the while, she pines over Killian.

The longer Kael and Maverick are married, the more he begins to creep his way into her heart. Slowly, she begins to fall in love with her husband. She is determined to push Killian out of her mind and Kael is eager to help her make that happen.

However, there are some big secrets being kept from Maverick. When they come to light, everything will change. Suddenly, the reasons for Killian’s shocking marriage will be explained. The betrayal and lies run deep. Everyone except for Maverick seems to be in on it. She has to decide whether she can get past this deception at all.

I loved every painful moment of this story. It broke my heart, but I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to scream and throw a tantrum so many times while reading this one. In the end, I came to a place of acceptance with the decisions that were made. Yet, I can’t say that I felt content with the ending.

I don’t think that there was any way for this to work out with a perfect happy ending. It just wasn’t that kind of story. I understood why Maverick made the decisions that she did and think it was the right one…but it still hurt so much. This one definitely got me in the feels. I highly recommend any book that can make you feel the way that this one does.

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Review: Capture (Elements of Chemistry, #3; Hypothesis, #1.3), by Penny Reid

Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3; Hypothesis, #1.3)Capture by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this conclusion to the ‘Elements of Chemistry’ series, we again find Martin and Kaitlyn separated. However, unlike the beginning of the second book, this time around the damage done to their relationship will not be repaired so easily. Deep hurt and betrayal have overshadowed what once was so good between these two.

Months after their break-up, Kaitlyn still cannot get over her heartache. Her life has changed drastically, as she made the decision to follow her dreams instead of trying to live up to other people’s expectations for her. Despite the positive changes she’s made in her life, Martin still haunts her.

When she runs into him unexpectedly at an event where she is performing, it all comes rushing back to her. Of course, it doesn’t help that he seems to be doing just fine. After that, the encounters become more and more frequent as Martin pushes his way back into her life.

Alternating between present and past, the pain of their break-up slowly comes to light. If you read the earlier books in the series, you knew how things ended between the two at the end of book 2. However, this book showcases the depth of the emotional pain and betrayal that Kaitlyn experienced. I thought that the alternating timeframes worked well for their story.

Just as Martin did what he needed to do to hold it together, so did Kaitlyn. Mainly, she just avoided all things Martin-related. She didn’t read any articles or news stories focused on his swift rise to success. She refused to hear anything about how he was doing or what he was up to. Out of sight, out of mind was her coping strategy.

The more time that the two spend together, the more clear it becomes that Kaitlyn is unaware of everything Martin has been doing while they were separated. Time and time again, hints that Kaitlyn is the one that broke Martin’s heart are dropped by friends and his business partner. Eventually, she’ll have to find out exactly what he’s been up to while they were apart. When she does, everything changes again.

Overall, this was a nice, sweet finale to this series. I enjoyed every minute of Martin and Kaitlyn’s story. It was fun, sweet and kept me smiling. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, humorous series, this is a fantastic choice.

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Review: Heat (Elements of Chemistry, #2; Hypothesis, #1.2), by Penny Reid

Heat (Elements of Chemistry #2; Hypothesis, #1.2)Heat by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the shocking ending of the first serial, I wasn’t sure where Kaitlyn and Martin’s story was going to lead. However, ‘Heat’ picks up right were ‘Attraction’ left off, so you won’t be left hanging for long. In fact, this book featured one of the quickest resolutions to a big conflict that I’ve ever encountered. It was even a little anti-climactic for me, as I love the grovel.

That being said, I still enjoyed this book immensely. Kaitlyn never gets old. Her quirky, but endearing, antics kept me laughing again and Martin is just the guy to balance out her light-hearted personality.

This installment highlights the change in their relationship from friends to lovers. The intimacy between the two is incredible and there is plenty of sexiness. For most of this book, they are blissfully happy and inseparable.

Then, things go bad. I knew it would happen, but it was still painful to bear witness to. Expect another big cliffhanger that will leave you clamoring for the third installment.

Overall, this is still a fabulous series. I love the push/pull between Kaitlyn and Martin. After finishing this one, I had to dive into the last book immediately. I just couldn’t get enough of these two!

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Review: Attraction (Elements of Chemistry, #1; Hypothesis, #1.1), by Penny Reid

Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1; Hypothesis, #1.1)Attraction by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a light-hearted, fun story that had me smiling from start to finish. I enjoyed every minute of this audiobook. I needed something kind of sweet and this was the perfect story.

Kaitlyn Parker is an introvert and a very quirky girl. She’s been matched as a lab partner with Martin Sandeke for 2 years. Despite the fact that they both come from families of extreme wealth and fame, the two couldn’t be more different on the surface. She’s the studious loner and he’s the resident manwhore.

The two have never spoken outside of the lab, until Kaitlyn overhears something that she shouldn’t have. When she hears the conniving plan of one of Martin’s supposed friends, she knows that she has to tell Martin what she’s overheard. She might think that Martin is a total “jerkface”, but she can’t stand by silently while somebody plans to drug him and have their way with him. That’s taking it too far.

When Kaitlyn approaches Martin to tell him about what she heard, the dynamics of their relationship changes immediately. Soon the two are engaged in a whirlwind romance. Martin convinces Kaitlyn to go away to his island home with him and some friends for a week. Let the fun begin!

One minute they’re hot. The next they’re cold. Both of them have some definite personality quirks and social hang-ups to contend with. Together, they’re absolutely hilarious. Kaitlyn’s inner monologue was enough to keep me in stitches. That girl was too funny!

Martin had plenty of selfish moments, which made for some tense moments. He was certainly used to getting exactly what he wanted, when he wanted it. Kaitlyn was good for him in that regard. She was the first woman that didn’t just throw herself at his feet.

Of course, this is only the first serial installment in the ‘Elements of Chemistry’ series. Accordingly, you can expect a cliffhanger ending that will leave you wanting the next serial immediately. Luckily, I waited until they were all released. So, I didn’t have to wait before diving into the next one.

This was a great, short, and absolutely adorable audiobook. It was sweet and very funny. The narration was great as well. It was a nice change of pace and I was able to jump right into the next one immediately.

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Review: Seducing Virtue (Wicked Trinity, #3), by Courtney Lane

Seducing Virtue (Wicked Trinity Book 3)Seducing Virtue by Courtney Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been a while since I read something as messed up as ‘Seducing Virtue’. This was just the dark, twisted and shocking story that my depraved mind needed. Christ on a cracker! Courtney Lane always messes with my head. She has one disturbing imagination…and I love it!

This is the third book in the ‘Wicked Trinity’ series and the books must be read in order. In fact, this series is so multifaceted and complex that I found myself having to go back and re-read many parts of books one and two in order to make sense of certain events. It was absolutely no bother though, because this series is that good!

If you have already read the first two books, then it goes without saying that this is one dark and twisted series. It is brutal, gritty, gory and offensive. If you can’t handle a really dark read with very disturbing content, then you probably wouldn’t have made it this far in the series. Ms. Lane does not hold back when it comes to the dark content and I applaud her for that.

This book picks up with Keaton back at her parents after recently escaping Noah. She’s still shocked at the revelation of Braeden’s true identity, but inexplicably drawn to him nonetheless. She’s kind of in limbo, trying to do what she knows is logical while wanting to do something that is absolutely crazy but feels so good.

The beginning of this book seemed a little slow to me. However, once it got going it really took off. Buckle up, because you’re in for one hell of a twisted ride!

There were so many twists and turns along the way that I had to clarify and reorient myself more than once. If you’re like me and it has been a while since you read the first two books, you’ll want to have them handy to reference. There were so many intricate details that I had to go back a few times to remind myself where different things had left off.

The layers of deception seemed never-ending. Every time that I thought I knew where the story was headed, something else would happen and I find myself going in another direction entirely. It was definitely a mind-f*@k!

Throughout the book, Keaton and Braeden had a strong push/pull relationship. The two could seem to be together or stay apart. There were many things about their relationship that had me scratching my head. Yet, I wanted them to get the HEA in spite of Braeden’s horrible crimes.

Noah also spoke to me. He definitely isn’t a character that is easy to like, but deep down, I think he loved Keaton in his own messed up way. These two guys are perhaps two of the most damaged characters that I’ve ever encountered. I’d love to hate them, and sometimes I did, but mostly, I felt sad for them.

Eventually, everything does work out for the best. Of course, that is a matter of opinion. This book has the type of ending that will have many readers wanting to pull their hair out, but for me, it was perfect. I couldn’t have dreamt up a more fitting conclusion to this series.

If you love a dark, disturbing story that pushes your boundaries this is a good one. I love the dark stuff and there were times I felt an urge to rock myself in a corner. Be forewarned. If that appeals to you, like it does to me, you don’t want to miss this series.

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Review: Caraval (Caraval, #1), by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Caraval by Stephanie Garber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a surprisingly captivating world Stephanie Garber has created in ‘Caraval’! I listened to the Audible version of this book and I was mesmerized by the beautiful and vivid imagery that ‘Caraval’ contained. I was drawn in by the world that Ms. Garber created and it held my attention right to the very end.

Every once in a while, I love a great paranormal romance. I love to leave reality behind and take off on a journey to a place where magic and fairytales exist. This was the perfect story to do just that.

Scarlett, aka “Crimson”, and her sister Tella have lived under the oppressive rule of their father. His cruelty seems to know no bounds and he takes satisfaction in tormenting his daughters. Knowing how close the girls are to one another, he uses their love against them. When one of his daughters breaks a rule, it is the other one that will receive the punishment.

Awaiting her arranged marriage to a Count that she’s never met before, Scarlett is just biding her time until she can get away from her sadistic father. She’s literally counting down the weeks until she will be married and can take her sister with her to her new home. Unlike Scarlett, Tella is skeptical of the mysterious fiancé that seems to say all of the right things but whose identity remains shrouded in mystery.

Before Scarlett can be married off, she receives an invitation from Legend, the famous mastermind behind the Caraval. Despite writing to Legend ever since she was a young child, Scarlett has never received a response before. Now, with the clock counting down to her wedding, it seems like fate that she would receive her first ever response and an invitation to participate in the Caraval.

With the support of her sister, Scarlett sets off for the mysterious island where Legend has indicated that the Caraval is taking place. Along with Tella, she sets sail with Julian, a young sailor, to participate in the forbidden game. Both sisters know that they are risking their lives by sneaking off against their father’s wishes. However, they are willing to take their chances in order to seize a once in a lifetime opportunity.

From that point forward, the girls are caught up in a magical and dangerous world. Appearances are not what they seem and even time moves differently in this new world. Caraval is a game where the stakes are very high and not everyone will come out alive or unscathed.

I don’t want to give anything away or ruin the surprise for others. There were many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming while listening to this story. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, something else would happen that made me question everything again. This story held my attention and kept me guessing right to the very end.

If you like adventure/fantasy/paranormal stories with plenty of twists and turns, this is a great choice. There is some romance, but it took a back seat to the magical world of Caraval. For me, the adventure and mystery of Caraval reigned supreme. Of course, there is a love story weaved into this fantastical story as well. Just, don’t plan on a super-smutty type of story where the focus on the romance is paramount.

All in all, I thought that this was a wonderful story. I was enchanted by the world that Ms. Garber created and cannot wait to read the next installment. This book filled my head with some beautiful and vibrant imagery that will hang with me for quite some time. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a paranormal/fantasy/adventure to read. It was fantastic!

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Review: Ink Inspired (Montgomery Ink, #0.5), by Carrie Ann Ryan

Ink Inspired (Montgomery Ink, #0.5)Ink Inspired by Carrie Ann Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At roughly 2 1/2 hours, this was an incredibly short audiobook. Not surprisingly, this audio novella failed to foster the type of deep connection with main characters that I crave. It was a quick, smutty listen with a lot of insta-love and a HEA. If you’re in the mood for something that is sweet and cheesy, with a dirty-talking tattoo artist, this may be a good choice for you. Just don’t expect any depth to this story. It just isn’t that kind of story.

The heroine, Shea Little, wants to break out of her conservative, straight-laced mold. She has led a life of a debutante. Familial obligations had her going through the motions of her life, maintaining appearances. She’s spent years trying to appease a frigid mother whose only interest in her revolves around strategically marrying her off in order to enhance their family’s social standing.

Deciding to be spontaneous, Shea sets her mind on getting a tattoo. She’s every bit as nervous as she is determined. It is the first time she’s really rebelled in her life.

When Shepard Montgomery runs into the gorgeous Shea, he has no idea that she’ll be in his shop moments later. Shaking like a leaf, she’s obviously terrified of getting a tattoo. He’s intrigued by this woman, who is so clearly out of her element standing in a tattoo shop.

Telling Shea that he needs to get to know her before tattooing her, Shepard uses the opportunity to date her while simultaneously stopping her from making a big mistake by getting a meaningless image permanently placed on her skin. In no time at all, the two are head over heels.

Overall, this was an “okay” audiobook. It was fast-paced and relatively entertaining. I can’t say that I feel compelled to continue this series, but it was an alright way to pass a little time. I didn’t expect too much, being that the entire story was about 2 1/2 hours long and I wasn’t surprised. Maybe if I had already read other books in the series I would have gotten more out of this, but I haven’t.

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Review: Heat Wave, by Karina Halle

Heat WaveHeat Wave by Karina Halle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have loved every Karina Halle book that I’ve read up to this point. So, when I saw that she had a new, forbidden love story released, I was sure that it would be an instant hit with me. After all, Ms. Halle can write a taboo love story with an anti-hero that you love to hate and hate to love like nobody else. Javier Bernal, anyone?

Unfortunately, ‘Heat Wave’ failed to deliver for me. It elicited plenty of emotions, just not the ones that were intended. Mostly, I was just damn angry! I don’t mean angry in that infuriating, but irresistible, way that I love when a book is tearing my heart out only to piece it back together. Nope, this wasn’t the kind of anger and emotional pain that has me craving another taste, no matter how it wrecks me. This book just made me straight-up mad!

Veronica Locke, aka “Ronnie”, met Logan Shephard at a charity function one night. She was there as a prop for her mother’s political career. He was there to rub elbows with the uber-wealthy with hopes of finding an investor for his dream resort.

Right away, the two seemed to have a connection. They gravitated to each other, bonding over their mutual discomfort at being present at the stuffy, black-tie affair. After a few minutes of light, flirtatious chatter they’re getting ready to ditch the event when everything changes.

When Ronnie’s sister enters the room, Logan drops Ronnie without a second thought. The next thing you know, Logan has married Ronnie’s “perfect” sister, Juliet. The two move to Hawaii where they plan to live happily ever after. Nice, right?

To say the least, this guy really made a bad first impression on me, as did Ronnie’s competitive, self-absorbed, selfish sister. I don’t believe for a second that Juliet didn’t know what she was doing when she walked over to Ronnie and Logan. Sadly, there was no coming back for either of them in my book. I hold a grudge that way.

Speaking of which…Juliet ends up dying when her car drives off a cliff. Of course, Logan is heartbroken and bereft. Boohoo. As if she wasn’t irritating enough, “perfect” Juliet only becomes more “perfect” in death. I wanted to throw up! Maybe I’m mean, but I call it karma.

Years later, Ronnie’s career as a chef is in ruins and she is desperate to find a job. With the loss of her last job after her affair with the head chef, she had to move back in with her parents. Constantly reminded of how she’ll never measure up in her parent’s eyes, Ronnie knows that she needs to get out of their house ASAP.

Begrudgingly, she takes a job that her parents have arranged for her. As much time as she’s spent trying to avoid Logan, she knows that she will soon be face to face with him for the first time in years. She feels equal parts hate and lust for the man that she blames for her sister’s demise. Now, she’ll be working for him as the chef at his resort in Hawaii, a place he built with her sister.

From that point forward, the story revolves around Ronnie’s forbidden desire for Logan. Meanwhile, every time she turns around accounts of how perfect Juliet was are thrown in her face from everyone she meets. She pines over Logan and he seems to pine over a ghost.

Finally, Logan seems to have a change of heart. I knew it would happen, but I expected something more convincing. Nope. With the exception of one or two very weak professions that “it always should have been Ronnie”, Logan seems to continue to view Ronnie as second-best.

He actually explains to her that he ditched her the first night they met because he found her sister more attractive. I think it went something like, “Juliet walked in and well, just look at her”. He’s a guy and couldn’t help himself, etc., etc. This guy made me feel very stabby!

As much as I love Ms. Halle’s work, ‘Heat Wave’ didn’t do anything for me aside from making me seriously consider seeking out anger management counseling. I hated Logan…and not in a good way. This guy was really a piece of work! I wanted Ronnie to grow a spine and date somebody that actually placed her first. That didn’t happen. This book left me with heartburn.

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