Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
I rub my lips together, taking in a deep breath. "I'm not afraid," I tell him.
"You are," he says. "And that's okay. I'm afraid too. Deep down. About what the world will say. But in the end, it's not going to matter. The only thing that matters is us. I don't want to hide us anymore. Veronica, I want you. I want all of you. All the time, every day, until the end. I want to tell the world just how much you mean to me because you are my world."
Karina Halle is one of my favorite authors and she never ceases to amaze me with her talent for taking words and putting them together so her readers can easily picture in their minds exactly what her characters are seeing and experiencing. With her latest contemporary romance standalone, Heat Wave, she takes us to Kauai, Hawaii and gives us the story of a love story that never really had a chance to begin until the main characters are brought together again by mutual necessity seven years after they first met. There is nothing easy or simple about Logan Shephard and Veronica Locke's story. It's one that is tested by their past and present, and if they are to have any chance at a future together, they're going to have to let go of their inhibitions and deeply rooted fears and bask in the heat rather than allow it to burn them. This is, in my humble opinion and after having read twenty-five of her books--both novels and novellas--that this twenty-sixth Karina Halle read of mine is the author at her current best.
Veronica Locke saw him first and there was a palpable connection that she had with Aussie Logan Shephard. But that wasn't enough to keep him. No, Logan took one look at Ronnie's older sister Juliet and that was all it took. She had lost him...but then maybe she never really had him. After all, they had only spoken for several minutes, and while he had shown more than a passing interest, Ronnie never really measured up to the perfect Locke daughter that Juliet had always been. Logan marrying Juliet proved that. But Juliet's been gone for two years, and now Ronnie finds herself at the Moonwater Inn, the hotel that her late sister and former brother-in-law took care of together. She's there to do her job and become one of Ohana Lounge's chefs, not reminisce or reconnect with Logan, not after Juliet shared with her family what kind of husband Logan was. Yet the connection that was once there still exists. Can Ronnie and Logan go on pretending it doesn't exist, or could fate finally now be on their side?
Where do I begin pointing out what I adored about this book? The taboo element behind it was damn enticing and then there was the age difference between Ronnie and Logan. She's twenty-seven and he's thirty-seven and there was all this unrequited love that they had going on and seven years of questions and what-ifs. Gah! Admittedly, Logan was somewhat of a jackass during Ronnie's first few weeks at the hotel, but after one incident that becomes their turning point, I swear, the guy was absolutely swoon-worthy. The Aussie accent, the Hawaiian backdrop, and all the other aforementioned things made for a novel that I was fully invested in. Heart-thumping encounters and exchanges were the norm and I swallowed it all up with gusto. Logan and Ronnie were backed by a crackerjack cast of supporting characters, but I confess that I was most curious by Kit Shephard, Logan's younger brother, who wasn't even a major player here. Maybe a future story set in the Land Down Under? Five-plus stars for Heat Wave. ♥
Date Read: 18 November 2016
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