Up In Flames by Lori Foster

Up In Flames: Body Heat\Caught in the Act            

Grade-B+
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kate
368 pages

The book is split into 2 novellas.  Up in Flames is about the first third of the book, with Caught in the Act taking up the rest.

Up in Flames-Melanie and Adam went to high school together.  She was a rich girl, he was poorer than dirt.  Although they both were attracted to each other during school, neither made a move.  Now, years later, they find themselves on the same party boat.  When they go overboard during a storm and end up stranded on an island, things really start to heat up.  I will be honest and say that I love the whole stranded together on a deserted island plot line.  That’s pretty much a sure fire way to get me to read a book.  And this one did not fail to dissapoint.

Caught in the Act-Mick, a police officer, has fallen for a lady he’s never met.  He’s seen her jogging before and just knows he needs to meet her so he follows her into a jewelry store.  When the store is robbed, he protects Delilah and takes a bullet.  Delilah offers to let him recover at her place.  And while he does need time to recover, he’s also beginning to suspect that someone is after Delilah.  So he moves in with her to keep her safe.  Caught in the Act had just the right amount of suspense for me. Delilah is such a unique character and Mick accepts her for what she is.  There was a lot of secret keeping, especially on Mick’s side, that I didn’t appreciate, but otherwise I enjoyed this one a lot.

This is the first book I’ve read by Lori Foster but I’m looking forward to checking out her back list. I especially want to see if there are stories for the secondary characters (Mick’s friends) from Caught in the Act.

The combination of these 2 novellas made for a quick and enjoyable read.  Fast paced and engaging, I did not want to put this one down.  At one point I found myself mad at my 7 year old who interrupted reading to ask when supper would be.  Then I looked at the clock and discovered that it was already 7:30pm.

The Secret Heir of Sunset Ranch Charlene Sands

       
Grade-C-
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kay
192 pages

The Cast

Justin: Ass-hat who lost a bet and had to pretend he was Brett for a weekend-and while he was at it, decided to sleep with Kat as Brett. Son of the wealthy Slade family.

Brett: Justin’s soldier buddy who died in the line of duty, was raised by his Aunt Mattie. Had never met, much less slept with Kat.

Kat: Slept with Brett (who was really Justin), then found out she was pregnant. Was raised in an extremely poor and abusive household. Wants better for her son. A reformed gold digger. Currently living with Aunt Mattie.

Aunt Mattie: Brett’s aunt. Lost her husband and her nephew-both had been in the military. The news of her nephew’s death caused a heart attack, leaving her in a fragile health state.

Connor: Young son of Kat and Justin. A model baby, always sleeping when the story requires it.

The Plot

Justin returns home after his stint in the military is finished. He heads over to Brett’s aunt’s house to confess his guilt over Brett’s death. When he arrives, he discovers Kat living there with Connor, the son he didn’t know about. Aunt Mattie believes Connor is her nephew’s son. Kat pleads with Justin to not reveal Connor’s paternity as Aunt Mattie’s health is too fragile to handle such a blow. Justin reluctantly agrees, but demands to be a part of Connor’s life.

This was a book about secrets. Everyone seemed to have at least one huge skeleton in their closet. Starting off with Justin’s “Brett’s not my name” secret, it was just one secret after another.

It was also a book about money. How having money or not having money can lead to different motivations. Justin is not afraid to throw his money around. Kat struggles to not chase after money.

Secrets and money are not a good combination for me. I can handle one or the other, but when you put them together, it gets too soap opera-ish for me. And that’s what this book read like. A soap opera. The characters seemed a bit like stock characters. A hero with money and a secret. Check. A heroine with a secret and no money. Check. I just couldn’t connect with either of them and their conflict didn’t pull me in either.

Obviously, secrets and money don’t work for me as a combination. Do you have any combinations that don’t work for you, but are okay individually?

Another Woman’s Son by Anna Adams

Another Woman's Son
Grade – C+
Hotness Level – ember
Kink Level – None
Genre-Contemporary, Harlequin

Reviewed by Kate

Okay, get your pens and papers ready. Take notes — there’ll be a quiz at the end (okay, not really, but you still might want to take notes).

Best friends Will and Ben married sisters Isabel and Faith. Will and Isabel. Ben and Faith. Got that? Keeping up? Good. One more person to add to the mix. Tony is Ben and Faith’s toddler son.

When Isabel presses Will to have a baby, he admits he already has a son with — wait for it — Faith. That’s right, little Tony is really Will’s son, not Ben’s. Isabel leaves Will. She decides not to tell Ben about Tony’s true parentage.

Three months later (where the story starts), Will and Faith have decided to run away with Tony. They are in an accident with Tony being the only survivor. Faith had left a note for Ben, so he now knows Tony is not his biological son.

Ben is terrified Isabel will tell her parents that Tony is really Will’s son and they will want to take custody away from Ben. He decides the best course of action is to keep Isabel close to him, so he invites Isabel to stay with him while she is cleaning out Will’s house — the one she hasn’t lived in for 3 months.

Isabel is a great big ball of internal conflict. She feels guilty for not telling Ben about Will and Faith’s affair. She knows the best home for Tony is with Ben, but worries Ben might refuse to let her family visit Tony. She doesn’t like lying to her parents, but doesn’t want to ruin her parents’ memories of Faith with the truth of Faith’s infidelity.
This story has a fast timeline. Four months from start to finish. Ben and Isabel’s feelings for each other started within a few days of the funerals. I can usually overlook a quick sprint to being in love, but this felt a little off. To top it all off, the epilogue was a bit too hunky-dory for me. It was an okay read, but I don’t think I’ll be rereading this one.