Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: MM, Romance, Contemporary
Word Count: 60400
Linden has only one thing on his mind a few days away from Christmas—his pending university exams. That is, until he meets his neighbors’ son who has returned for the holidays. Brice Stevens is gorgeous, but he’s insufferable.
It’s Linden’s first love, and he falls hard for Brice, despite Brice’s occasionally aloof and cool behavior. It’s an emotional ride for both of them while Linden takes a crash course in real love and Brice learns to trust in a relationship.
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I was given this book by a friend to read as holiday reading. As such, I didn’t make notes so this review is perhaps not as detailed as others. I wasn’t asked to review but I have done so because I like this book very much, especially as it is not one I would have chosen myself.
There is little darkness in this lovely story of a sweet, shy boy crossing the path of the rich, jerk son of the couple he’s pretty much adopted as his own family. Linden is a lovely character to read. He’s sweet and caring but not overly so. He very much has his own mind and he’s no pushover. Even though Brice is older, much richer and more successful there is no real emphasis on a power imbalance because on a personal level there isn’t one. Linden is comfortable in his own skin (probably more so than Brice) and with his current life situation.
Both characters have their own loyal circle of friends, with their own lives, characters and issues, and they all blend together in a delightful tapestry.
Of all the characters, I have to say, I like Brice the least. Even though he is a MC, he is a complete jerk. Yes, there are reasons for it, and yes, he (kind of) redeems himself at the end, but to be honest I put up with him because Linden loves him so much. Personally, I don’t think he deserves Linden and I would have LOVED to see Linden end up with Kai. That being said, I’m sure everyone who reads will make up their own minds about all the characters as there is certainly enough depth to get your teeth into.
The author is not a native English speaker, although that is by no means evident in the writing generally. However, it might explain why the book reads a little oddly in places. This is not a major criticism but something that might flag up for some readers.
All in all, this was a lovely, story, full of fire and sweetness or, as the title says Honey and Heat. It doesn’t rock my foundations enough to be a 4.5 or 5 but it settles at a very well deserved 4. As a holiday read, you couldn’t get better, and it’s a perfect, easy read for the cold winter nights in front of the fire when you need something to warm the cockles of your heart.
Rian is one of those who are both blessed and cursed by the insatiable desire to write, primarily M/M (insert more Ms if you like) stories. Always having a plot in mind is hard when having a day time job but Rian manages them currently, assisted by the priceless support of her soul mate, lots of coffee and pure obstinacy. What makes Rian smile is anything that could be the reason for that spark in the eyes, accompanied by the exclamation: “Oh my, I just saw something!”