Heat Wave, by Karina Halle


 Grade: A

Doing it at: 57%

Catnip: May-December Romance, Older Man, Aussies, Calgon Take Me Away, Dead Ex, Mild Hardship Porn, Forbidden Romance, Food Porn, The Other Sister, My Dead Sister’s Husband, Ocean Sex, #DISP

Shame Scale: Why are we even rating this anymore? You know we’re completely shameless. Plus this one has a gorgeous cover.

Fantasy Cast:  Hugh Jackman, Brie Larson

What does he feel like?: Like velvet steel, and silky to touch

Book Description:

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Mary: Hey there! How’s your 2016 going? Anything like ours?


We wrote a little ditty about it. Just hum ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’:

Prince died, Mrs. Brady, Phife Dawg, David Bowie
Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali
George Michael, George Martin, Nancy Reagan, Gene Wilder
Miss Cleo, and my dad, Leia and Harper Lee
Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Gary Johnson, Conservatives
Endless wars, Police shootings, Brexit, Misogyny
Diarrhea, Raging Periods, Alzheimers, Christmas Plagues
Gawker’s Gone, Rats in cars, Fuck off 2016
We didn’t light this dumpster
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t light this dumpster
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it


M: What a fucking shitty year this has been, amiright?

C: My 2016 has actually not been as bad as my 2010-2015, but I feel physically scared to say that out loud-like the 2016 boogey man is lurking for me.

M: If ever there was a year to lose yourself in some romance books, 2016 would be it. So let us tell you all about this dreamy book set in Hawaii, inspired by paradise and Hugh Jackman at his hottest. And to those who have tried to tell me that Hugh Jackman isn’t hot, I counter with Australia.


M: I would do terrible things for some of that fresh creamery butter.

C: Heat Wave is Karina Halle’s latest. We are unabashed and giant KH fan girls. We met her and I think creeped her out with our rabid love. But whatever, we are just enthusiastic people! Hi Karina!
M: She bought me a glass of wine in a Shake Shack, and we told her how much we love all the nonchalant butt stuff in her books. ❤
C: The book is the story of Veronica, going through a bit of a 2016 curse year herself, and her ex-brother-in-law Logan. Or her current brother-in-law. I don’t know how these things work. But whatever, they’re family but not *blood* family, and there has always been a spark between the two of them.
M: Veronica met Logan first, but he picked her older sister, Juliet.
C: The sister that outshown her. The good sister. The one that was “perfect”.
M: Her sister was a Serena van der Woodsen and everyone knows that Serena is the freaking worst.
C: After losing her job, her boyfriend, and whatever grudging love her parents had to give her, Veronica ends up in Hawaii, to live and work as a chef at the hotel that Logan owns and runs. He used to run the hotel with Ronnie’s sister, but she died. And frankly this reviewer is glad. No one has any time or love in book land for that girl.
M: We Book Shame girls are unanimous in our animosity towards all fictional dead girlfriends/wives. They’re always just so revered and saintly and ughhhhh we can’t stand them.
C: The hotel is actual paradise, and the book is full of imagery of the green island, the beautiful clean waters, and volcanic mountains. Karina was a travel writer, and that always shines through in her books. She writes so evocatively of locations that you feel like you are right there. Incidentally, the Book Shame girls would like a vacation to Hawaii, please and thank you.
M: Right now would be the perfect time for that vacation actually. But I guess a beautiful book about Hawaii is almost the same thing. Not really. But it’s the best we’ve got right now.
C: Logan and Ronnie start out on rough footing, their relationship has always been fraught, for some reasons that I will not get into because: spoilers. BUT I will say that there is a history of sexual tension between the pair, and their sudden close quarters and constant togetherness amps it up by a million.
M: There’s a lot of smoldering animosity, and even a bit of wilderness adventuring and hardship porn – total catnip.
C: Heat Wave has a slow burn that had me flipping pages frantically to get to the good stuff. It also used some of my favorite romance tropes to build the tension: flirty lessons that involve a lot of hands on teaching, the couple becoming stranded together and having to innocently sleep together, and a lot of hate to love you sparring. Karina knows how to write a romance that holds your attention, and makes you root for the characters.
M: Truthfully, I was afraid that the ‘Dead Saintly Ex Wife/Sister’ would put me off this book, but it so so so didn’t. I was really into the drama in this one.
C: We would be remiss to not mention the ALWAYS stellar doing it in this book.
Logan Shepherd just fucked me on his rug. From behind. My head pressed- no, held– to the ground. He fucked me like I’d never been fucked before and I’m starting to think I need a new word to describe that because “fuck” just isn’t enough.
 M: KH writes the sex we wish we were having.
“There’s a lot more where that came from,” I tell him, wiping the rain from my eyes. “As soon as my mouth get used to the size of your dick.”
C: Heatwave also acknowledges what a dumpster fire 2016 has been, it gets a Golden Boner for truth telling.
 C: Karina never messes us about, we know that her books are guaranteed to bring the heat, the turmoil, and the heart.
M: And Heat Wave is just perfect if escapism (and praying to the gods that John Goodman and RBG take their vitamins and stay somewhere safe for the next five days) is your plan for suffering out the last of this horrible fucking year.
C: This garbage year is almost over, and to avoid any further catastrophes I think the best plan of action is to lock yourself at home with a pile of books. Start with Heat Wave, give yourself a sexy island vacation without ever having to brave the departure terminals at holiday time.

Check it out:

Amazon • iBooks

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