Review: Turn Up the Heat by Kimberly Kincaid (Pine Mountain #1)
March 4 2014
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher via NetGalley
Yummy Man – Shane Griffin
Kick Ass Chick – Bellamy Blake
From Goodreads –
“It’s not you.”
There are only so many times a girl can hear those words before she believes that it is, in fact, very much her. Unexpectedly jilted by her locally famous boyfriend and haunted by a boss who makes Attila the Hun look like a lap dog, Bellamy Blake does what any self-respecting girl in her shoes would do. She rounds up her two best girlfriends and makes plans to get the hell out of Dodge.
But Bellamy’s escape plan takes a nose dive on the side of rural route 164 when her transmission self-destructs, leaving her in the middle of a cell phone dead zone with nothing but her wits. Oh, and Shane Griffin, the hottest mechanic who’s ever checked under her hood.
Yet this small-town man isn’t all he seems. Can Shane and Bellamy prove that sometimes the most unlikely ingredients make the most deliciously sexy mix?
Turn Up the Heat is a new contemporary romance book by Kimberly Kincaid and the first in her Pine Mountain series. I will be honest with you here. I like reading contemporary romance books once in a while. They are a good escape and change of pace from my heavier and darker urban fantasy reads – which is my favorite genre to read. I am always looking for something light and fun. So when I went to NetGalley, I noticed this one and read the blurb. It sounded okay. I didn’t look at anything beyond that. No reviews, nothing. I know, I know… NOT the best way to pick a book but really, I think at that time I had just finished reading two very heavy, albeit awesome, books and was desperate for something fluffy and sweet to read.
Unfortunately, this book didn’t turn out to be what I was hoping for.
For me, contemporary romance books need to be strong character reads. Since they are set in modern times and in ‘real-life’, I can’t rely on the world to draw me in. So it has to be the characters. For me, they weren’t enough to help in this book. I believe the author was trying to hold off on some details to create some anticipation and curiosity but for me, it just backfired, making me feel frustrated that Bellamy, the main heroine, was hating her boss but with no real explanation as to why. And Shane, the main dude, owes money and has to sell his baby/car but no explanation as to why. And those are just two of the many examples I could have chosen from. We do get the answers eventually but by then, I had lost interest and didn’t care enough about the characters to feel either happy or sad for them.
That is not to say that Bellamy and Shane didn’t have moments where they were enjoyable and they did have decent chemistry. This author had a solid voice for the genre and she could write good smut. And there were some cute recurring things like “Truth? Of course.” that added to the story’s sweet factor but after a while, even that got frustrating since yes, the characters were telling truths but they were also having trouble being honest with themselves.
And that brings me to the fight/climax of the story.
There is a big difference between lying to someone and not being honest with yourself/someone else. You need to fully understand what is going on in your own head before being able to face it and share it with someone else. If you are in denial or maybe completely unaware of what is going on in there – even if everyone else seems to see it but you – it’s not the same as lying. Can you be frustrated and want to smack this clueless person? Of course! But if they are not 100% sure how they feel about any subject, you can’t be angry at them for being lost. That’s not fair because you are blaming them for something they are not in control over, yet. Once they clue in, if they lie, get mad. But not before that. This entire book was pretty much that. It was a voyage of self-discovery on both characters’ part and neither truly know what they are looking for in life so they have no way of knowing how to achieve it or what they need to do to get it. Don’t blame them for being slow on the boat! I have trouble with characters that get all pissy because the person they are fond of is slow in realizing what everyone else does already. That is a normal thing and something that we have all gone through. Getting mad does nothing. Being patient is key. So being mad then leaving then waiting for the apology and even eventually getting said apology doesn’t sit well with me. So seeing that this book was essentially that, it too didn’t sit well with me.
As you can tell, unfortunately I didn’t click well with this book. It was not awful, it was just lacking many of the things I need in order to truly enjoy my contemporary romances. I don’t think I will be reading more from this series but if the author comes up with a new series down to road, I may check it out as I did find her to have a solid voice and style.