BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ARC Review of Deep Autumn Heat by Elisabeth Barrett


Publisher: Random Loveswept
Series: Star Harbor #1
Release Date: July 9, 2012
Buying Links:  Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Random House

Book Blurb (from goodreads):
In this sexy new Star Harbor romance series, featuring the too-tempting Grayson brothers, a celebrity chef turns up the heat for a local cafĂ© owner—and things start to sizzle.

Lexie Meyers decides there’s nothing sweeter than watching Sebastian Grayson’s perfect, wicked mouth devour her coconut cake. He’s hot, he’s hungry, and he’s sizing her up like she’s the best thing on the menu. But she’s been burned in the past and flings just aren’t her thing. Too bad Sebastian can’t resist a challenge.

Worldly, famous, and notorious with the ladies, Seb had planned a weekend of fishing and relaxation with his brothers. Until Lexie, with her kissable lips and frosty “get lost” attitude, makes him want to forget his culinary empire and create some magic with her. After he fires up his charm—including challenging her to a televised cook-off to break through her resistance—it’s now hotter in the bedroom than it is in the kitchen and Lexie isn’t sure whether she’s lost her mind . . . or just her heart.

Teaser:
Typically, whenever Seb was around, women just dropped whatever they were doing to cater to him. It was a bit unsettling to realize that this woman didn't and wouldn't put him first.
 It was also odd to find a woman in the business who didn't worship him because of his celebrity.
Unsettling, but attractive.
Reviewed By: Bea
Bea's Thoughts:
I confess. For a book about Sebastian, I was much more interested in Theo, his twin. He's quiet, reads a lot, is a writer, and seems to lack Seb's arrogance and overbearing behavior. I had a hard time warming up to Sebastian: he's not only arrogant and overbearing, cocky, rude, aggressive and thinks he's God's gift to women. Every time he said or did something nice, he ruined it by being obnoxious: on two separate occasions, he ambushed and publicly embarrassed Lexie in her diner, in front of customers and employees, he bullied his way into hanging around the diner while Lexie was working, even when she didn't want him there, and so on. Yet at other times, he respected her work as a chef and deferred to her in her kitchen, helped her when she was attacked (though he then was obnoxious about insisting he take her home, though she preferred to be alone).

Lexie starts out as strong, determined, skilled, loyal, a bit stand-offish, private, and ambitious. She relocated across country to escape an abusive relationship, threw herself into opening and running her diner, and makes little time for a personal life. She really does need a nudge in that area of her life, but Sebastian doesn't nudge, he harasses and pesters until he gets what he wants. Towards the end of the story, when Seb has actually gotten serious about her, and when her ex shows back up, Lexie's backbone gets a little wavery. While I understand her reluctance to take a chance on Seb, she also treats him poorly, then gets mad because he doesn't call. Huh? She wants her coconut cake and to eat it too? Then when her life is threatened, she gets all "oh help! All I can do is stand here and scream!" before getting her nerve back and standing up for herself.
One other problem I had with "Deep Autumn Heat" is the excessive number of mysteries/crimes happening in the story: 1) Lexie is receiving threatening letters demanding to know her coconut cake recipe, 2) Someone is sabotaging the equipment at the diner, 3) Lexie is attacked by an unknown person 4) the diner's fresh produce deliveries are also being sabotaged 5) there's a drug ring in town 6) there's a mysterious missing pirate treasure. All that in a book billed and marketed as a romance, and not as a romantic suspense or a mystery. Lexie's mysteries get resolved in the story, some in a predictable fashion, some less so. The drug ring and the pirate treasure will be back in future books; they have to be because one Grayson brother is the local sheriff and another is a DEA agent. It was a little disconcerting to have all of thus happening in what I thought was a romance. I enjoy mysteries and also romantic suspense, but I like to know what I'm getting. If I think it's one genre, only to read and find it's a different one than promised, it annoys me and also makes me scramble to re-arrange my expectations.

So, by now you may be wondering if I liked ANYTHING about the book. Why yes, yes, I did. I liked Lexie, came to like Seb somewhat, have a crush on Theo, enjoyed the other secondary characters, appreciated that Barrett resisted the impulse to make all of the small town people cutely quirky, enjoyed the Massachusetts setting, the sex scenes, there's humor and my attention was engaged the entire time. Barrett's style was easy and relaxed, and the story's flow was smooth. Despite my rantings and ravings at times as I read, I did enjoy the book as a whole and will read more in the series. If only to see who Theo ends up with! 

So, now that you know what you're getting, stop back after you read and tell me what you thought of the book. I'm curious as to other people's reactions to this book.

I received an eGalley from the publisher for review.


2 comments:

  1. Hahaha...oh my goodness..I love your review of this of book ..i may just read this too see all this crap for myself! I am glad you enjoyed parts.

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  2. Awesome review! I don't read a lot of romance stories at all. Actually, I don't think I've read one since college but I do find the pull every now and then to pick one up. With so many out there now I think I would have a hard time choosing. Deep Autumn Heat probably wouldn't be for me as I too hate overbearing male characters.
    Thanks for the review!

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