I have loved every Karina Halle book that I’ve read up to this point. So, when I saw that she had a new, forbidden love story released, I was sure that it would be an instant hit with me. After all, Ms. Halle can write a taboo love story with an anti-hero that you love to hate and hate to love like nobody else. Javier Bernal, anyone?
Unfortunately, ‘Heat Wave’ failed to deliver for me. It elicited plenty of emotions, just not the ones that were intended. Mostly, I was just damn angry! I don’t mean angry in that infuriating, but irresistible, way that I love when a book is tearing my heart out only to piece it back together. Nope, this wasn’t the kind of anger and emotional pain that has me craving another taste, no matter how it wrecks me. This book just made me straight-up mad!
Veronica Locke, aka “Ronnie”, met Logan Shephard at a charity function one night. She was there as a prop for her mother’s political career. He was there to rub elbows with the uber-wealthy with hopes of finding an investor for his dream resort.
Right away, the two seemed to have a connection. They gravitated to each other, bonding over their mutual discomfort at being present at the stuffy, black-tie affair. After a few minutes of light, flirtatious chatter they’re getting ready to ditch the event when everything changes.
When Ronnie’s sister enters the room, Logan drops Ronnie without a second thought. The next thing you know, Logan has married Ronnie’s “perfect” sister, Juliet. The two move to Hawaii where they plan to live happily ever after. Nice, right?
To say the least, this guy really made a bad first impression on me, as did Ronnie’s competitive, self-absorbed, selfish sister. I don’t believe for a second that Juliet didn’t know what she was doing when she walked over to Ronnie and Logan. Sadly, there was no coming back for either of them in my book. I hold a grudge that way.
Speaking of which…Juliet ends up dying when her car drives off a cliff. Of course, Logan is heartbroken and bereft. Boohoo. As if she wasn’t irritating enough, “perfect” Juliet only becomes more “perfect” in death. I wanted to throw up! Maybe I’m mean, but I call it karma.
Years later, Ronnie’s career as a chef is in ruins and she is desperate to find a job. With the loss of her last job after her affair with the head chef, she had to move back in with her parents. Constantly reminded of how she’ll never measure up in her parent’s eyes, Ronnie knows that she needs to get out of their house ASAP.
Begrudgingly, she takes a job that her parents have arranged for her. As much time as she’s spent trying to avoid Logan, she knows that she will soon be face to face with him for the first time in years. She feels equal parts hate and lust for the man that she blames for her sister’s demise. Now, she’ll be working for him as the chef at his resort in Hawaii, a place he built with her sister.
From that point forward, the story revolves around Ronnie’s forbidden desire for Logan. Meanwhile, every time she turns around accounts of how perfect Juliet was are thrown in her face from everyone she meets. She pines over Logan and he seems to pine over a ghost.
Finally, Logan seems to have a change of heart. I knew it would happen, but I expected something more convincing. Nope. With the exception of one or two very weak professions that “it always should have been Ronnie”, Logan seems to continue to view Ronnie as second-best.
He actually explains to her that he ditched her the first night they met because he found her sister more attractive. I think it went something like, “Juliet walked in and well, just look at her”. He’s a guy and couldn’t help himself, etc., etc. This guy made me feel very stabby!
As much as I love Ms. Halle’s work, ‘Heat Wave’ didn’t do anything for me aside from making me seriously consider seeking out anger management counseling. I hated Logan…and not in a good way. This guy was really a piece of work! I wanted Ronnie to grow a spine and date somebody that actually placed her first. That didn’t happen. This book left me with heartburn.