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Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Turn Up the Heat anthology with stories by Lori Foster, Christie Ridgway and Victoria Dahl

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: December 31, 2013

Three sizzling tales from three bestselling authors!

Love Won't Wait by Lori Foster
Brendan "Brick" Carlisle is used to women falling at his feet, so shy waitress Merrily Loveland is a breath of fresh air—and an irresistible challenge. But before he can make his move, Merrily comes to him with an offer he can't refuse. If only their "no-strings" pact didn't leave him wanting so much more….

Beach House Beginnings by Christie Ridgway
She might have avoided Crescent Cove, California, for years, but no-nonsense Meg Alexander is confident she can handle a brief trip home. What she doesn't count on is the spark of desire she feels for Caleb McCall. Can a weekend in paradise convince her to give love a second chance?

Strong Enough to Love by Victoria Dahl
Photographer Eve Hill had always told herself that sexy Brian Stewart was off-limits. But now he's back in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Eve can't resist their long-denied attraction. When the reality turns out to be hotter than the fantasy, Eve might end up getting more than she bargained for.

The only author I was familiar with was Lori Foster and I have to admit that's why I wanted to read this anthology but I was happy to give the other two stories a try.

Love Won't Wait by Lori Foster - Lori Foster delivers both humor and passion in such a short amount of time. Brick and Merrily are great characters on their own but together they really make things interesting. I enjoyed the attraction between Brick and Merrily and of course the quick dialogue that is common in Foster's stories. She even manages to give readers two secondary characters to think about, Jesse and Tonya. I'd love for them to have their own story since it seems that Tonya has a lot of secrets and Jesse really seems to care for her. What I did find a little off putting was the reason Brick had for perusing Merrily, that put him in borderline "asshole" territory.

Beach House Beginnings by Christie Ridgway - I genuinely liked this second chance/near death experience love story. It's definitely a bittersweet romance but that was part of its appeal. I sympathized with Meg and her reasons for leaving her childhood home and her birth name behind. I admired her for trying to move on after such a tragic event as well. Caleb seemed almost too good to be true and I began to fear that he was one of those dull, perfect heroes but thankfully it was just a surface act. He too had secrets and his share of tragedies that changed his life drastically. My one issue was that every thing seemed to fall into place a little too easily towards the end. However I'll chalk it up to the fact that Beach House Beginnings is a novella, not a full length novel.

Strong Enough to Love by Victoria Dahl - I think this might have been my favorite. I love angst ridden stories, the kind where both characters are yearning for each other, they're half way in love with one another yet they feel that there are too many circumstances that are keeping them apart. In this case, it's one big one! I had a few moments of wanting to strangle Eve because of the reason she walks away from Brian but then again, I could understand why she did it. Brian's actions not only hurt her, they made her doubt her self worth. Brian, poor guy, he can't catch a break. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. As much as I wanted to blame him for his choice to leave Eve, I understood and respected him for it. These two were passionately in love and in lust! I'm definitely checking out more of Victoria Dahl's stories.

Final Verdict: Turn Up the Heat has a bit of everything, humor, passion, romance and even angst. It's a great sampler for those looking to try a new set of authors.

Book Rating:

Heat Rating:

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  1. I read this but just didn't review it. It was ok but I just don't think I am an anthology type of gal :)

  2. I've only rad Foster too. But I've had Dahl on my list. I don't remember seeing Ridgway before. These anthologies can be nice to give you an idea of other authors. I've started reading a few ladies because of them.

  3. Yeah I'm not really one either. I really have to be in a mood for short stories because I almost always feel cheated out of a full length romance. I'll read them when I want to "sample" an author but that's about it.

  4. I've seen Ridgway before and Dahl too but neither was on my radar. Now I've got to see if Dahl's romances are as um, steamy as the novella was.

  5. If you find out before me I want to know! lol


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