Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Release Day Review of Heat Rises by Alice Gaines

  • Title: Heat Rises: A Cabin Fever Novella
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 144 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Red (July 17, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062210513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062210517
Author's Website: http://alicegaines.blogspot.com/2012/06/im-blogging-fool.html

"We're business people. We negotiate all the time." he said. "We'll make a deal."
"What kind of deal?"
"Give me the time we have here. A few days until the tow trucks show up. Once we leave this cabin, I'll never bring this or six years up again."
"What do you get, aside from the obvious?"
"I want everything you promised me six years ago," he said. "All of it."

Laura Barber was on her way to a job interview when a blizzard struck. She'd attempted to drive the remaining distance to her destination when her car skidded off the road and got stuck. Stranded in an area with no hotels she needed to rely on the kindness of a family in the area to take her in. She was just talking to the store owner about trying to find something when HE walked in. She hadn't seen him in years, not since college and had hoped never to see him again. She'd admired him from a distance in college and on one fateful night, after she'd drunk a little Tequila for courage, she propositioned him in a way most men wouldn't have turned down, but HE did. She had avoided him ever since.

Ethan Gould had never forgotten Laura or the proposition she'd made. She'd always been the shy and quiet type and her proposition of an 'anything goes' night of passion seemed out of character and had left him stunned and wanting all those years ago. It had been obvious to him she'd had a little too much to drink and so he had turned down her offer. He'd always considered her the one that got away. When he came across her that night stranded and in need of a place to stay he wasn't going to let her get away twice.

I got this book from Avon, and I don't normally read erotic romances although I have a few authors whose books are labeled erotic that border on the cusp of being a regular romances that I do read. Basically, the pain/pleasure thing just doesn't work for me and this has a touch of that in it. I have read a couple that do delve into slightly more erotic territory that are part of a series, and you'll usually notice a slightly lower rating on those books. I downloaded this one without even noticing that the publisher stated it was erotic. It was the first erotic romance they'd ever requested I read and so it didn't even dawn on me that it might be one. So while this wasn't exactly my cup of tea romance wise, I did think it was a cute story.

So what did I like? I liked that the two had some history before they got stranded and got all hot and bothered with each other. It makes the romance somehow more believable when they have some inkling who the other is, although I can see how a two strangers meeting and falling for each other would also hold some appeal. I also enjoyed how Laura seemed to take control of the situation and Ethan just tried to go along with whatever she proposed. I wasn't expecting that because he was the one who propositioned her this time. 

I'm kind of on the fence as to how I feel about Laura. In some ways she's a strong and smart woman, but she's a bit wishy washy as well. It's obvious that she's always wanted the kind of relationship she and Ethan have, but basically denounces it at the same time when she declares it to be a one time deal. I found it interesting that Ethan is the only man Laura's ever felt comfortable enough to make this type of proposal to. Perhaps she felt so humiliated by his prior refusal that she'd never dared to ask anyone else? One thing I would have liked to have seen is some sort of inner struggle that was resolved by Laura alone about her wants or wishes. I think that would have added a little more depth to the story.

Overall I gave this one a 2 1/2 out of 5 roses. I felt the author did a good job of packing a lot into this short story, and making sure it didn't have that rushed feel to it that many novellas do. There were some things I liked and other things I didn't. Keep in mind erotic romances aren't really my type of romance and the rating would have probably have been 3 1/2 if they were. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one lives up to the erotic label with a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

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