I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Heat by Chris Quinton & RJ Scott
Series: Salisbury Stories, Book One
Release Date: October 23, 2014
Pages: 141 • Format: eARC
Published By: Love Lane Books Limited
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Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.
Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left – working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realises sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.
* * * * *
Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he’s had to sell to Trelawney Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn’t all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.
Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels’ potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.
What a lovely story this was, a truly lovely and well paced romance that sucked me in and made me so comfortable among the time, place and characters, I didn’t want to leave.
Lewis is a man of honor, he is a man of noble intentions and he is man drowning under responsibility. He has been betrayed financially by an ex-boyfriend, left orphaned and has become the care taker of his now disabled sister. When an American company buys his family’s restaurant and sends over an employee to assess the fate of the restaurant, things get hot in and out of the kitchen.
I fell hard for Lewis right away. He is this soft man at heart and only wants the best for those he cares about. The reputation of Laurels, the restaurant that has been in his family for generations only comes in second to his devotion to his sister Rachel. Lewis wants to right the wrongs caused by Peter, his ex-boyfriend, save the restaurant and live a decent life. But when Devon Trelawney shows up with his arrogance and attitude, emotions collide and arguments happen. We know that when folks find each other attractive and argue, it’s all really foreplay. Am I right?
I am a true sucker for redeemable assholes and that is how I classify Devon. From the first meeting his is rude and all he looks at is the profits that Laurels is no longer bringing in because the establishment is so far in debt. He wants to turn the place around in a weeks time or shut it down and move on. He doesn’t have time for feelings or relationships but what we think and what we want aren’t always on the same page. Are they, Devon?
This was a slow paced and light type of romance and just what I was looking for. There are sparks and a decent amount of UST between the men and their chemistry was believable. I like how Devon went from this jerk to his true self with the help of Rachel. Rachel herself was a wonderful addition to the story as Lewis’ sister who suffered trauma from the accident that killed their parents and left with her with the emotional capability of a child. Her love for the Aristocats movie melted my heart and her telling Devon he was doing things wrong made me smile every time. She truly was a piece that brought out the man from the business with Devon and allowed him to be open to possibilities.
The romance was oh so romantic. First kisses are my favorite and I loved the first kiss with Devon and Lewis. I loved how Lewis made Devon apologize for it and how Devon promised to apologize for each kiss. *sigh* It was sweet and adorable and yes, sexy but you felt that these men were always going to be more than just a one off. There was too much between them before anything physical happened to deny the attraction would eventually lead to more.
The deal with Stan was creepy and though I figured out what he wanted before Lewis did, the revelation of the letters was pure ick for me and I can’t say I am sorry how that all turned out. It was a rough patch for the men to get over but how they get over it was pretty worth it because these two together makes me smile.
Heat was more than I planned for. I thought I would read a book and just like it but I fell in love with this. I knew there was another book in the series but it wasn’t until I finished this that I took a peek at the blurb and really hope that Jon’s story gives us a bit of Devon, Lewis, Charlie, Rachel, Em and GA to let us know how they all are doing.