Review: Love Like It's Hot
LOVE LIKE IT'S HOT - Various Authors
Amazon Digital Services
BUY
July 2019
Contemporary Romance
REVIEWER:  Shirley Fleming/Leslie Whitfield | RATING:  B+
REVIEW: Each story in this antology surrounds the Fourth of July holiday and brings passion and heat to life.

Mia Gerald is the owner of MG Events and is desperate to find a venue for a client. Russell Jackson is the owner of The Independence Hotel. When these two meet their fiery attraction ignites. Every word, every gesture has a double meaning that they both understand. They know what they want and go after it; together. Donna Hill's SUMMER SIZZLE (A) is an apt title for this novella. When Mia and Russell come together, passion explodes. It’s like spontaneous combustion! The two of them realize that this powerful attraction is worth building on. Even when Mia’s past rears its ugly head, she stamps it down quickly. No one is going to get in the way of her promising future with the man she loves. A misunderstanding on Mia’s part causes a brief rift between them. But when she realizes the mistake she made, she moves swiftly to make amends. This short story is fast-paced but lacks nothing. It flows smoothly with interesting characters, and there are no hiccups along the way. SUMMER SIZZLE is a sexy summer read you don’t want to miss. Whether long or short, Ms. Hill always does a great job with her stories, and this one does not disappoint. (SF)

When two people truly love each other, they will make whatever changes necessary to be together. That’s what happens in
SWEET HEAT RISING (B+) by Nicki Night. Erin Isaacs and Noah Lucas find themselves in a no-win situation. They want to be together but don’t see a way to make it possible.  Erin works for the PR firms representing Noah’s company, and they have a strict rule against fraternizing with clients and employees. That rule had never bothered Erin until she accidentally bumps into Noah during a visit to her office. The electrical charge is so powerful it jolts them both in ways they’ve never experienced before. The attraction is so strong, but they know nothing can ever come of it. Being assigned to Noah’s account puts Erin in direct contact with him and, therefore, increases her chances of breaking the rule and putting her job in jeopardy. When they finally come together on a work assignment in the Bahamas, all bets are off. But Erin still can’t afford to lose her job and neither can she imagine her life without Noah.  Where there is a strong will, there is always a way. This well-written novella is another example of how true love conquers all. (SF)

Jayda Bowman is the founding principal of Flatbush Academy, an alternative school for at-risk kids.  The school is going to be closed during the summer for renovations.  Her friend, Lisa, talks her into taking a much-needed vacation before she burns herself out. Her destination is Eve’s Adult Island. Eve’s is a resort exclusive to only owners and guests. While there, she meets the owner Kade Grant. The two of them start a relationship of sorts. They are very attractive to each other and therefore spend a lot of time together. Jayda can’t understand why Kade hasn’t tried to push the relationship any further than a few kisses. Kade is keeping a secret from Jayda. He is afraid to tell Jayda the truth for fear of losing her. When Jayda finds out from someone else, she is devastated and feels as though Kade made a fool out of her. She packs her bags and heads to the airport to fly back home. Fortunately, Kade was able to stop her from leaving.  Once he explains everything, Jayda forgives him, and all is well.
THE FOURTH SCHOOL DAYS (B) by Xyla Turner is a well-developed short read with very likeable characters. (SF)

HEAT AT FIRST SIGHT (B), by Barbara Keaton is a good short read, depicting Mensah who loves women. He is not ready to settle down but is being forced to marry in 30 days. Mensah is a wealthy Prince and next in line to be King. He is not ready to settle down but is being forced to marry in 30 days by his father. Trinity is a marine biologist doing aquatic research on Libertad Isle to London, England. While attracted to Mensah, Trinity feigns disinterest when she is in his presence. Mensah’s playboy reputation is a turn off for Trinity. Mensah decides to take things slow in order to gain Trinity’s interest and trust. The descriptions throughout are well-written in relation to the characters, the dog Cousteau the beach and ocean. Trinity’s friend Lemuel is a colorful character and adds lightness to the story. It seems like the turning point or climax and end of HEAT AT FIRST SIGHT all happened at the same time and a few scenes apart. (LW)

BEST LAID PLANS (B), by Deatri King-Bey, is a good short read, Abisola is ready to start a family and does not mind getting help from her parents to find a husband. Max and Abisola work at Max’s family business and they are friends. Due to the friendship between Abisola and Max as well as the friendship between their parents, they decide to partake in an arranged marriage. The two friends decide to start dating when she returns from vacation to see if they are compatible. Before going on vacation, Abisola meets Thomas and sparks fly between them. An interesting twist in BEST LAID PLANS was the self-hate exhibited by Thomas’ mother that was directed toward Abisola. The supporting characters were well-developed and the various settings were realistic. It was good to see that Thomas’ mother realized the error of her ways and was getting help. (LW)

LOVE LIBERTY (B), by Ann Clay, is a good story, with realistic characters. Liberty is the mayor of Versa and has plans to improve the village through upgrades to public works, power sources and telecommunications. Liberty faces opposition from the council. Businesses are concerned that they will be negatively impacted by Liberty’s public works project. Rani Brooks is a councilman who heads the budget committee and is also romantically interested in Liberty. The name “Rani” distracted me because I kept thinking “Rani” was a woman. Overall the settings are well written and I can visualize Liberty in her office and surrounded by the business owners as well as Liberty’s visit to her friend Rochelle’s shop where she enters the kitchen. Liberty tries to keep her relationship with Rani professional but he continues to pursue her. A misunderstanding between Liberty and Rani quickly arises and just as quickly it gets resolved. LOVE LIBERTY is a nice story that moves quickly through scenes. I felt the emotions of the characters even though I thought some of the reactions were a little over the top at times. (LW)

16th July 2019 | romcol@caribsurf.com
(B+)