Published by Karina Halle on November 16, 2016
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact comes a new standalone romance with a tropical (and forbidden) twist.
They say when life closes one door, another one opens.This door happens to lead to paradise.And a man I can never, ever have.
Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica "Ronnie" Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.
The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:Logan Shephard.It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.What does matter is that he’s a grump.Kind of an asshole, too.And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.
But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.
There’s just one major catch.
The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.
Forbidden, Illicit, Off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.
The romantic pairing in Heat Wave seemed doomed from the very beginning, and continued to be problematic as the story unfolded. In the prologue, we get our first encounter between Ronnie and Logan. They have a moment, only to be disrupted by something shinier in Ronnie’s sister, who Logan chooses over our heroine. After a lot of heartache, the pair find their way back together in paradise and try to love again. I just couldn’t forget – Logan didn’t choose Ronnie when he had the chance. He saw something prettier, and opted for that rather than someone he shared a “moment” with. We learn all these jagged pieces about the characters, and they stop being redeemable or worthy of our optimism as readers for their eventual pairing.
“There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know. Maybe […] it’s a glimpse at a future you don’t recognize or a hint at the past, a life you’ve lived and forgotten. Whatever it is, you know that moment, that person, is going to shape you for the rest of your life.”
I may be immensely vanilla, but the added taboo of a main character falling in love with her dead sister’s husband was not something that I could fully get into. If one of my sisters did that, I would haunt the shit out of them. It doesn’t matter how dreamy he is, or who saw him first, it was just a bit icky for me, and I kept mentally having to remind myself to either get on board with the plot, or DNF this thing. The characters seem to struggle themselves with this issue, drawing out an incredibly frustrating bout of not telling the other about their feelings. All the while, the sister is dredged back up time and time again.
Karina Halle’s writing is always stunning, especially in its observation of simple human truths. Those bits around the romance where we follow Ronnie on her journey of starting over, self discovery, shaping her wants and desires for her new life – those are so delicate and lovely, and ultimately the most relatable aspect for the book. The little gems are what Halle does best, and it makes for a book that is intensely readable. Sadly for Heat Wave, Halle’s writing couldn’t this disastrous couple.