Review: Turn up the Heat – Lori Foster, Victoria Dahl and Christie Ridgway

Posted 13 May, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 4 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Turn up the Heat – Lori Foster, Victoria Dahl and Christie RidgwayTurn Up The Heat by Christie Ridgway, Lori Foster, Victoria Dahl
Published by Harlequin HQN on 31 December 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

4 Stars

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…

*I received a free ARC of Turn up the Heat from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Turn up the Heat is an anthology of hot contemporary love stories written by Lori Foster, Victoria Dahl and Christie Ridgway. The stories are long enough to make you sizzle and get a good feel for the characters, but short enough that you can read them in a day.

Turn up the Heat first features Lori Foster’s Love Won’t Wait, and wow, Brick and Merrily are both hot! They are also very likable and fun characters that I would love to read more about. Merrily has just moved to town, and she has some things in her past that she’s trying to get over, mainly that her dad was killed in an accident when she was seventeen, and then she was alone to take care of her disabled mother for years. She still managed to start college, and even get a boyfriend, but she never went all the way with him, and in the end he left her because she didn’t have sex with him. Now, she’s a twenty-five-year-old virgin, and Brick catches her eye the first time he walks into the diner where she works.

Brick is a self-proclaimed heart-breaker who never wants to settle down. However, there is something special about Merrily that makes him not try to pick her up as soon as he usually would, and when he hears about her being a virgin, he wants her even more. Of course, he still gives her his whole spiel about having fun for a while before they go they’re separate ways when he finally gets her alone – and she is the one who propositions him for sex. He soon finds out that a woman like Merrily is not one he’ll be able to leave behind, though.

Love Won’t Wait is both sweet and hot, and as the first story in Turn up the Heat, it definitely made me want more! Much more. ★★★★★

Damn it, around her, he had to constantly fight off a boner. Insane. At twenty-eight, he didn’t lack control. But she affected him – and that was reason number one why he’d hesitated to ask her out.

Brick liked her pets, and he especially liked seeing Merrily with them. he’d never thought about it much before, but a woman who loved animals was somehow more trustworthy and far more likable than a woman who didn’t.

The second story featured in Turn up the Heat is Beach House Beginnings by Christie Ridgway. The beginning of this story is pretty bitter-sweet, because Meg goes home to her childhood home for the first time in ten years, and it’s clear to the readers that something bad happened when she was 19. This story is shorter, and it mostly features Meg, Caleb and the dog Bitzer. It’s oh so very hot when they flirt and even more so when they have sex – I frankly  thought my kindle would melt! The ending was a little too convenient and quite anti-climatic, but I’d still pick up some other books in this series by Ms. Ridgway, because she has mastered how to write a steamy scene! ★★★★☆

Meg didn’t dare look in that direction, herself. Growing up, her mother had told Meg and her little sister, Skye, that merfolk lived in those waters offshore, protecting the cove with their supernatural powers.

Meg watched him, a little buzz of joy rolling through her. Something had survived of that summer. Bitzer was his outgoing, all-accepting self. Sliding

“I’ll give you a chance to buy me a drink,” Meg said. The sun broke from behind the clouds. Really. Not that it was uncommon for it to finally shine after being held back for most of the day, but the warm, yellow blast of it against her face felt like a benediction.

The third and last story in Turn up the Heat is Strong Enough to Love by Victoria Dahl, and it’s also my least favorite. The plot is basically that Eve has been broken-hearted ever since Brian left Jackson Hole to try to fix his marriage for the third time. Nothing had happened between the two of them, they worked together and were very good friends, and there was a ton of chemistry and sexual tension. Then, out of the blue, Brian shows up, and Eve doesn’t want to talk to him. But then she does, and accords him one night. Which, of course turns out to become their happily ever after. The writing is good, but the plot was too flimsy, even for such a short novella, in my opinion. ★★☆☆☆

God, she missed sex. She missed good sex. […| Someone she could laugh with between orgasms.

Which was more than he could say for himself and Eve. He’d hurt her badly. But he’d make it up to her. She’d forgive him. She had to, because what would he do if she didn’t?

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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4 responses to “Review: Turn up the Heat – Lori Foster, Victoria Dahl and Christie Ridgway

  1. Turn Up the Heat sounds like my kind of anthology, Lexxie! 😉 I’ll have to add it to Mt Tbr, at the very least. I’m sad that Dahl’s story wasn’t your favorite. I’ve only read 1 series of hers, but I quite enjoyed it. I do understand what you’re saying though…flimsy plot = meh. 🙂 So I’m glad the other two made up for it. I haven’t read either of the other two, so I do think I’ll give this a try so I can see if I like their writing. (what am I saying? of course, I will! 😉 )

    Have a wonderful day, my dear!! *big hugs*

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