Review – Turn Up The Heat by Kimberly Kincaid

Turn Up the HeatPublisher: Zebra
Publish Date: March 4th
How I got this book: NetGalley

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?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Bellamy is working in a job she can’t stand, so when her boyfriend announces on live TV that he is taking a job across the country, before telling her, she doesn’t think life can get much worse. She grabs her girlfriends and heads to the mountains for a much needed vacation, but a freak snowstorm derails all her plans. For the better.

Shane enjoys small town life, although he likes to keep to himself and has no problem holding everyone at arm’s length. Until Bellamy walks through the door of his garage. Suddenly, Shane can’t seem to stop himself from going to town functions, finding a way to spend just another minute with Bellamy. But when Shane’s past starts to creep out, will he be able to keep Bellamy from running back to the city, and away from him?

This was my first Kincaid read, and while I really like some aspects of it, there were some that really didn’t work for me either. One of the things I really liked was the relationship between Bellamy and her two best friends from the city. They had a wonderful bond between the three of them. The jokes were fun and their interactions with each other were hilarious and reminded me of a fun and young group of girlfriends that had been teasing each other for years. I really liked that and can only hope that Kincaid will write more about these ladies in books to come.

I also really liked the small town of Pine Mountain. It was a sweet little small town that seems to have a lot of potential for the series overall. I loved the supporting cast of characters, and I look forward to spending more time at the resort, the garage, and the other quaint places that we got to see briefly throughout the story.

Probably my biggest problem with this book was Bellamy’s reaction to Shane’s secrets. For one, Shane and Bellamy knew each other for about a week total from start to finish in this book, that’s not exactly a lot of time to delve into each other’s secrets. Two, Bellamy knew that Shane had some kind of aversion to the city, and that he didn’t want to talk about it. The fact that she was so blindsided by his past didn’t seem to gel with the rest of the story. Of course he has a past that he didn’t want to share with her. And yes, I suppose she could see his holding back as a lie of omission. But she ran away and refused to even ask him about it, and that was what really bothered me. This woman wanted to make a life with Shane, and instead of sitting down and having a conversation with him, she ran off to pout with her friends. I lost a lot of respect for Bellamy’s character for that.

As for Shane, I liked him, and I liked that his past was something that I never saw coming. I enjoyed the way he was so happy living in a small town, but conflicted regarding his past and his family, and how he was so unsure about what he wanted, and how to make connections with people. I liked his character, but after Bellamy’s freak out, I kinda wanted her to do the groveling instead of him. It seemed a little ridiculous that he would have to apologize for not telling her about his painful past after only a week together. But, that’s just me.

All in all, I found myself enjoying the first three-quarters of this book, but struggled with the ending. I didn’t appreciate the way the heroine ran from the first road bump in their relationship, and to me that makes it all the harder to believe in their happily ever after. On the other hand, I am looking forward to what is next in Pine Mountain.
I give Turn Up The Heat a B-

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