Heat of Passion
I often have trouble believing in a one-woman-forever HEA for heroes with a “casual sex only” history, but when the author shows that the hero is truly ready for a change – irrespective of the heroine – I’m able to set aside my disbelief and enjoy the romance.
Holly Lawson’s boyfriend – a man she was certain was the love of her life – has just dumped her after delivering an ultimatum: choose him or her family. Holly chooses her family, despite the fact that they take advantage of her on a regular basis, relying on Holly to rescue them from their various mishaps and “emergencies.” So when Holly’s sister drags her out of the house to a local nightclub, Holly decides to get a little wild and replace all thoughts of her ex with a hot stranger in the supply closet.
Carson Scott is a Navy SEAL who’s been doing the casual sex thing for years, and he’s starting to tire of it. Carson feels like it’s time to grow up and get serious with a woman – he just hasn’t met any woman he’s been interested in. Until he meets a sexy brunette who he just can’t say no to. Unfortunately for him, she doesn’t seem to be interested in getting to know him; she just up and walks out the door after some amazing supply closet sex.
When Carson runs into Holly a month later, he views it as a second chance to get to know the woman he has amazing chemistry with. The only problem is that Holly is determined not to start dating again while she’s still recovering from the heartbreak of her last relationship. She’ll agree to a no-strings fling with Carson, but nothing more. But Carson is determined to change her mind, and if a casual fling is his only way into Holly’s life, he’ll take it.
Heat of Passion is the second novella in Kennedy’s Out of Uniform series, but it easily stands alone. Although for sticklers of following a series in order, I should mention that Carson was a significant secondary character in the first novella, Heat of the Moment.
I can best sum up Heat of Passion as a fun, sexy, uncomplicated read. Carson and Holly have great chemistry – a necessary quality for an erotic romance – and Carson pursued Holly in a fairly realistic fashion. He’s not looking to marry her after knowing her such a brief time; he just wants the opportunity to date her and explore the possibility of a more significant relationship than casual sex.
Holly’s reasons for not wanting a relationship felt pretty realistic, too. She’s just been dumped, she’s working, going to culinary school, and her family “emergencies” add up to a lot of demands on her time. As is par for the course with taken-advantage-of-heroines, it’s a little frustrating to watch Holly be a doormat to her family. Of course, given that this is a novella, the frustration really doesn’t last long.
The only issue I really had with the story was that the situation with Holly’s family is resolved way too easily and quickly for me to find it believable, which dropped the overall grade a bit.
On the whole I found Heat of Passion an enjoyable way to pass the time, and I plan on picking up the rest of Kennedy’s series. If you’re in the mood for quick sexy read, you might want to give it a shot.