Review: The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter (Original Heartbreakers #2)
Note: This ARC was provided by Rock Star PR and Literary Agency via Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.
"Do you know what I remember about those women?"
She shook her head, not sure she really wanted to know the answer.
"Nothing. And do you know what I'll always remember about you?"
Melting into the mattress while somehow dissolving in to him, she scraped her nails down the plane of his back and said, "Tell me."
Beck Ockley has one policy when it comes to being with women: once he's done, he moves on to the next one. It's something he makes clear from the very beginning, but it seems that there'll always be some who think they'll be the one woman that changes his mind. The thing is, Beck's only committed relationships are with his two best friends, Lincoln West and Jase Hollister. Anything else is purely temporary. And then he finally meets Harlow Glass, the young woman whose box of photos have sparked his imagination for months. He wants to know more about her, but she's hesitant to trust and keeps each of her secrets close.
Harlow Glass has tried to find a regular job, but no one wants to hire her, not that it's much of a surprise. That's what happens when you're the most hated woman in Strawberry Valley. She had her reasons for acting out when she was younger, but she doesn't make excuses for her once-abhorrent behavior. All she wants is a chance to prove she's no longer the person she once was, and it surprisingly comes in the form of Beck Ockley, one of the three new owners of the Glass House, the home she grew up in. His generosity overwhelms her and she'd love to get to know him better, but he's wary about sharing details of his past.
As they earn each other's friendship and trust, the heat that's been simmering between them refuses to cool or be ignored. Beck instinctively knows Harlow is the kind of girl who believes in forever and deserves to have a man who can give her the dream of a husband and children. He also knows he isn't that kind of man. On the other hand, Harlow knows all about Beck's reputation with women and he certainly can't give her the commitment she needs. Will they be able to resist the temptation the other represents or will they finally allow what they're feeling to consume them and let go of the past to be able to make a go at forever?
The Hotter You Burn is the second full-length novel in The Original Heartbreakers series from bestselling author Gena Showalter. This book represents a first in my reviewing experience since it's the first advanced reader's copy in hard copy that I received via snail mail, all thanks to Harlequin and Rockstar PR and Literary Agency. While I love my ebooks, traditional paperbacks and hardcovers will always hold a special place in my heart and remain my preferred reading method. I also happen to be a fan of this contemporary romance series, so the ARC now holds a special place on my already crowded bookshelves.
The prequel, The One You Want, was pretty good and the first full-length novel, The Closer You Get, was really good, but this second book was such a joy to read and has to be my favorite among the books that have been released in the series. Harlow Glass was barely a blip in the prequel but she certainly became something of a mystery in book two's predecessor. She was the former high school bully who was barely seen or heard from after her junior year. She certainly piqued Beck Ockley's curiosity and they had more in common than either realized, having been rejected in one form or another by their fathers as children.
Beck and Harlow were the epitome of sass and spunk with an equal balance of sweet and spicy that had their relationship constantly ready to breach the boiling point with every encounter. Beck doesn't believe he can give Harlow what she wants and Harlow actually concurs, but they can't help the fact that they're drawn to one another. There were moments that I was grinning at their back and forth, but there were a number of times that my heart squeezed in empathy as they struggled with their thoughts and emotions, deciding whether they should fight for the possibility of being together or just let go and concede defeat.
I loved Harlow and Beck as a couple, but as individuals, they both exuded strength of character and courage, rising above their circumstances and trying to be more than what their pasts would have dictated they should be. There are lighthearted moments that evoke a smile or even laughter, but there are also instances that brought about a fair amount of sadness, but the book always remained enjoyable and I read it cover to cover in one go. This is definitely a book I wouldn't mind recommending it to my fellow contemporary romance lovers. The Hotter You Burn is a 2015 favorite and I'm giving it five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 28 July 2015
Date Read: 26 July 2015
Learn more about Gena Showalter here.