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Friday, January 2, 2015

Hot and Bothered by Serena Bell ~~~ ★ ★ (DNF 69%) ~~~

I'm not sure what I expected this one to be, and well, I didn't even read the synopsis before I pre-ordered it, but even after reading what this one is about, I wanted, I expected, to absolutely love it since it's Serena and I already KNOW I love her novels. Yet I somehow forgot the one novel I DIDN'T like, also by Harlequin Blaze - Still So Hot! - I didn't even think about the similarities in the name.. yep, I was fooled.. by myself, since I was the one not paying attention..

So this one is like a sequel to "Still So Hot!" we actually met Haven in that book, she's into changing self image / publicity, back then she was working with Celine. In that book Elisa (the matchmaker) goes on a coaching trip with Celine that doesn't end as expected.. Here we meet Elisa again as Haven's friend and also match maker (the worst! since as usual she doesn't do the matching.. just looking over and see it happen before her and against her judgement).

In this one, there is another celebrity "on the table" for Haven - Mark. A musician that used to be a part of a known pop band which broke apart 10 years ago but now want to go on a tour together. Their manager has a real problem when it comes to Mark. He isn't "presentable". Not with the drinking, womanizing, bar fighting bum he became. It's up to Haven to "fix" him and better do it soon or they would use a look alike instead of him.

The first thing that annoyed me in this book was the unbelievable OTT attraction between Mark and Haven. I get it, sometimes you look at a guy and your jaw sorta drops, metaphorically speaking. But as Mark announces to Haven he is about to kiss her so she should "prepare" herself and be "relaxed" (as apposed to her uptight and always in control self) this is what happens - 

"It was hell. It was heaven. She was shaking all over, her panties soaked. Her nipples were over-sensitized, too keenly aware of the rough lace of her bra, yearning for his touch. Each breath felt like effort. The surface of her skin prickled, as if she were packed too tightly with all the sensations, all the emotion inside her. She ached for more everywhere his body touched hers, and everywhere it didn't. "Please". "

I ask you - REALLY? I know I'm reading a fictional novel but still I expect to be able to relate to the characters SOMEHOW. This was absurd!  

Though Haven has her good qualities - the way she is in-tuned with Mark, being understanding when needed, yet bossy when he "misbehaves", knowing when to ask a question and when to push or not to push for answers. For me it was her professional self here even though it has to be a personal trait (that might have lead her to this job). On the personal side, she is a total bore. I understood what Mark saw in her, since she was really there for him, yet she is the most annoying person when it comes to HOW MUCH she needs to be in control of every situation and every cloth she wears, her hair and what not. It was WAY too much. I get that the whole theme here was for both of them finding a balance yet it made her look a bit pathetic.. 

Mark is a total sweet heart. Like all of us he has his bad days and good days and yet he feels sorry for himself way too much. I think with a little guidance (not necessarily from Haven) he could have found himself YEARS ago not needing to partake in a tour he has no desire going on. His reasons for "self destruct" are childish when you think how many years have past from the "problematic event", the band breaking up and all that mess.  

About half of the story is about the attraction  between these two with a few slips from both their sides. Naturally Mark doesn't see any problem with being with Haven, but she has to keep her name as polished as possible from the media. Another big deal is a band member named Pete who is a long time rival of Mark and since he is the most successful of the former band members he has the most to lose (or not so much to gain) from going on the tour. It's up to Mark to suck it up to him, apologize, so Pete would accept taking part in the tour. I hated every aspect of Pete and any connection in the story to him. 

I read about a third of the book while being tattooed (finally finished a cover I started a few months ago). So even if I was annoyed by certain things I kept on reading (focusing on the book and not the pain). Back there the book sort of held me, yet when I came home every chapter I would find insignificant things to be done around me and distract me from reading. So when I got to the middle of the book I realized the characters and the plot just couldn't "hold" unto me. I was, well, bored of them and I wasn't sure I WANT to know what happens (especially with Pete) and I could already guess the way it would go with Mark and Haven so somewhat regretfully (yet not that much) I put it down, finally, at 69%.

I'm not even sure how is it possible to be so annoyingly disappointed from these two while I LOVED everything else by Serena. But it's a (sad) fact. I'll be looking VERY carefully at more books by her from Harlequin Blaze line to see if it doesn't have the same theme. That's the only conclusion I can make and feel sort of okay with since Serena is STILL a favorite!




Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 224 pages, 1 January 2015 / On GoodReads

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