One Hot Weekend
One Hot Weekend is a book that either takes place in an alternate universe, or one where the author didn’t bother to do any research. It’s definitely not a book for readers who are bothered by factual and logical errors. Anyone who doesn’t care about those kinds of things might enjoy it. Maybe.
Sophia Deltonio and Mitch Hollaran were young lovers when they both attended Harvard Law School. But when Mitch was about to propose, Sophia betrayed him by purposely misleading him and stealing a prestigious internship out from under him. As Sophia tells it, “She knew that she’d done him wrong in the worst way a woman could.” Well, that’s bad, but I’m fairly certain that there are worse ways a woman can betray a man. Framing him for murder and having him sent to prison, cheating on him, or killing him all come to mind. Needless to say, Sophia’s a little melodramatic.
But then, Mitch is too. He never got over her betrayal and has been unable to trust another woman since. They meet again in a Florida courtroom. Sophia is the assistant district attorney prosecuting a Hollywood star accused of having sex with an underage girl. Mitch is defending the actor. All Mitch wants is revenge. (Readers who enjoy booze with their romance might find it fun to start a drinking game where you take a shot every time one of the characters uses the words “betray” or “revenge.”)
Mitch starts to send her little reminders of their time together and to flirt with her. Sophia gets all hot and bothered by his attention. In order to get him out of her system, Sophia makes a bet with him that whoever loses the trial will be the other person’s love slave for a weekend. This doesn’t make much sense except that people in Blaze books are always making deals like this. Needless to say, one of them wins the trial (the obvious one) and the One Hot Weekend ensues.
It’s not a terrible book, but it’s not a good one either. The first half is the weaker part, with the silly bet and overblown revenge/betrayal angst. Worse, it reads as if the author decided to write about the trial of a Hollywood star without knowing anything about the law or Hollywood. Garbera tells us that after Sophia betrayed Mitch, “he had scored a position at a very prestigious firm in Los Angeles and had recently been named an associate of the firm.” No, sorry. An attorney doesn’t “make associate” after being at a firm for years. He would have joined the firm as an associate. It would have made sense if the author had said he’d made partner.
Despite Sophia’s ambitions and that much is made of her graduating “in the top five at Harvard Law,” she doesn’t seem the brightest bulb. At one point she tells the family of the “victim” something so obviously wrong that you’d only have to watch one episode of any legal drama to know it. Meanwhile, at one point the defendant whines, “I think this is going to hurt my chances for an Oscar this year.” If he’s a 22-year-old “blockbuster action star” making movies with titles like “Maximum Exposure,” his chances for winning an Academy Award anytime soon seem pretty slim.
The second half of the book, once the trial is behind them and their One Hot Weekend gets underway, is better. It’s essentially nothing but sex and some conversation, but with all that pesky legal stuff out of the way, it’s not as dumb. Once they stop the coy banter and actually begin communicating, the romance starts to click and the story finishes on a nicer note than I would have predicted at the beginning.
Readers who can overlook errors and unrealistic elements may enjoy this book more than I did, but that still means putting up with the overwrought melodrama and the unprofessional behavior of both characters. There’s also a minor subplot involving a childhood friend of Mitch’s that amounts to nothing. There are worse Blazes out there, but also much better ones too.