Author: Serena Bell
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Lily McKee’s life took an unexpected turn – she should be pursuing her dream of cooking in a prestigious restaurant; instead, she’s working in a small town diner, which serves crappy food and provides no inspiration whatsoever. Her plan is to safe enough cash to be able to return to Chicago and get a job in a restaurant. That way, she can make good on her promise to her family who supported her in culinary school.
The only bright spot at the diner is the man who always sits in the back. He’s big, burly and usually has his head stuck in a law book. He’s mysterious and his blue eyes seem to see into the heart of Lily.
If Lily’s life isn’t agreeing with her, Kincaid Graves’ life is in complete free fall. Out on parole and determined to keep his head down, Caid knows it’s better not to form any attachments that could land him in trouble. His mission is to find his grandmother’s will and make the man who made her life miserable pay. Lily could be trouble and he doesn’t have the luxury of courting trouble. However, when she looks at him like that, and when it becomes clear they have the same appetites – will he be able to stay away from her? Will she be able to look him in the eye once she knows his secrets?
Why you should read it: One of the main reasons I love reading books by the likes of Serena Bell is that the stories are always grounded in reality and are always smart. I loved Turn up the Heat. The description of small town Tierney Bay was evocative. I had a clear picture in my head of the seaside town and its inhabitants. Caid made me swoon. Like properly swoon. I wanted to make everything better for him. He was manly but not over the top in his masculinity. He battled his demons but didn’t dither or whine. The action and pace of the story was spot on and I loved the chemistry between Caid and Lily. Lily was great too. A woman coming to terms with her sexuality and trying to accept it, rather than feel defective. It was all done in an understated way.
What you might hate: Nothing to hate on here! It was well-constructed sexy as hell and an absorbing read. Nope, nada to hate. You don’t like a well-built ex-con with a heart of gold? What’s wrong with you?!
Rating: easy – 5/5 for this one. It’s always a relief to read books from smart writers like Serena Bell, Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein. You know you’ll get quality every time.
Turn Up the Heat is out 14th July.