Review: Heat Wave of Desire
HEAT WAVE OF DESIRE - Yahrah St. John
Harlequin Kimani Romance
PRINT | EBOOK
June 2015
CATEGORY ROMANCE
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell | RATING: C
REVIEW: HEAT WAVE OF DESIRE is the first book in the California Desert Dreams trilogy - a collaborative effort by Yahrah St. John, Lisa Marie Perry and Pamela Yaye.  In this installment, strong-minded Kimberly Parker is the new general manager of her family-owned Belleza Resort and Spa. Her staunch rule to not fraternize with guests is in jeopardy when she meets Jaxon Dunham a.k.a. Jack Scott.

Kimberly is hired as the general manager of the Belleza after her father’s retirement. A degree in hospitality management and years of shadowing her father qualifies her as the best candidate for the position at the dismay of her older brother Sean. Needless to say, her position at the resort creates tension in the family with her mother and younger brother aligning with Sean.  This unusual family dichotomy turns Kimberly into a rigid work-a-holic feeling the need to continually prove her qualifications for the job.

Beverly Hills playboy, Jaxon Dunham, assumes the identity of Jack Scott to escape the firestorm created in the media by his ex-girlfriend/wannabe fiancé. Because she didn’t get the marriage proposal she thought she earned and was promised by Jaxon’s parents, she is maligning him in the media.  Jaxon’s plan is to relax at the Belleza Resort and lay low incognito until the furor subsides. His promise to clear his head and avoid involvement with the opposite sex fizzles when he spies Kimberly on her daily rounds at the resort.

Kimberly and Jaxon are believable as a couple and connect almost immediately because of common family issues. The setting for the story is Belleza, a resort town two hours outside of Los Angeles, which is ideal as Jaxon’s hideout. Unfortunately, this is where the idyllic assessments end.  After a while, the impact of Kimberly and Jaxon’s frequent love scenes diminish and add no value to the storyline. The storylines involving slander, arson, sabotage and family feuds meander through the story and never quite connect at the end. I skipped pages at times because the pacing is very slow. This unsettling practice continues until the last two chapters when the story improves significantly and adds a needed boost and actually salvages this novel.

Kimberly’s friends are an integral part of the storyline.  They provide great moral support as good girlfriends should, but sometimes they cross the line and are too intrusive. Regardless, I hope they are included in future installments because they were this novel’s best asset.

1st August 2015 | romcol@caribsurf.com