July 10, 2015

REVIEW: Turn Up the Heat (Second Chances #1) By, Serena Bell

For readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell teases all five senses in this poignant, tantalizing novel of fantasies long hidden . . . and finally indulged.

Aspiring chef Lily McKee noticed Kincaid Graves the first time he walked into the dingy diner where she waits tables. With his ice-blue eyes and primal tattoos, his presence puts Lily on edge—and reminds her of all the unfulfilled longings she isn’t pursuing while she’s stuck in this dead-end job. Without a doubt, the man is dangerous to her long-term plans of leaving town and hiring on at a real kitchen—and yet, she hungers for him, if even for just a taste.

Kincaid didn’t come back to his coastal Oregon hometown looking for a good time or a good meal. The ex-con has a score to settle, old wrongs to set right. But Lily, equal parts innocence and insight, brings out an impulsive side of him he thought he’d left behind in the past. And it only takes one intense moment of weakness between them to make him consider the possibility of an entirely new future—and the promise of passion beyond either of their wildest dreams.

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Lily can feel the chemistry the minute Kincaid walks into the diner where she waits tables. He brings out the dark desires she hasn’t let herself feel. Their chemistry and tension is papable but neither of them is looking for a relationship. Lily is determined to move to Chicago to be the chef she knows she can be, and Kincaid is on the path of justice for his grandmother. The last thing either of them needs is romance and there is nothing that can stop it from happening.

Lily and Kincaid were definitely interesting characters. Kincaid went to prison for assault and it was completely justified. The author didn’t shy away from this topic or push it to the background. She made it a conflict that Kincaid had to deal with throughout the book. Lily has her own background and desires that she needs to deal with throughout the book. She has a past that she is trying not to let dictate her as well as finding someone who is willing to walk the dominance lines with her. When Kincaid’s past comes to the front I think it was handled realistically.

The story was well written and the plot was interesting. There was definitely chemistry that you could feel through the kindle. Lily and Kincaid had some hot and interesting moments in their story. Most of the moments were handled realistically and truthfully. My problem was the inner monologues. There were quite a few when they were together that made it feel unrealistic. They spent a lot of time in their heads dissectic and thinking about their feelings to the reader. I would have like more interaction and dialogue between the two of them.

Overall the story was a good one. There were some things that I didn’t enjoy but the story was a good one. The romance was fast paced and intense. This is definitely a series I will be continuing with.

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