Sudden Heat by Denise A. Agnew

HEAT
Sudden Heat by Denise A. Agnew
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (98 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Where do you yearn to be in the face of danger? In the arms of a man bound to serve, to protect and to love…

Librarian Melanie Falconer knows too well the horrors of war. Military men, as far as she’s concerned, are off the marriage menu. As maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding, she makes a mall run and lands straight into the arms of seriously hot marine Matt Frasier, the best man.

Matt has seen too much violence, and his heavy attraction to Melanie promises to soothe his soul and set his body on fire. But when gunfire erupts, the game is on, and Melanie and Matt fight for their lives—and the heat exploding between them.

Melanie Falconer couldn’t help the heated fantasies she kept having about Matt Frasier. Bridesmaid and best man together, they were thrown together frequently as preparations for their friends’ wedding drew closer. At the mall for some last minute shopping, gunfire shocks them both. Running for their lives, the chemistry and need both Melanie and Matt have been fighting finally explodes. Thrown together with only each other to help survive, things certainly heat up between them.

This is an excellent story. I loved how Ms. Agnew used the tension like a master. Hiding with a maniac gunman loose, Melanie and Matt cling to each other, but also talk. Where so many stories would have had them ripping their clothes off and falling into the less-realistic, fantasy scenario I was pleasantly surprised how the author used this tension to allow the hero and heroine to get to know each other. I felt it made the progression of the story a lot more realistic and the chemistry and sexual build up was delicious and perfectly balanced between fantasy and romantic.

I also really enjoyed how neither character was perfect. Both Melanie and Matt had their own issues and baggage to work through and overcome. I thought this gave them both a far more realistic (and relatable) sense in their characters. Coupled with the action and the depth of their getting to know each other before jumping into bed together. When Melanie and Matt came together – even initially for their first kiss – the passion and release of chemistry between them that had been built up so much made the satisfaction I received from reading it that much better. Ms. Agnew is a master of pacing to my mind, it was fast enough that I didn’t get impatient or feel like the story dragged, but was slow enough to build up to a real need, a want to see Melanie and Matt come together.

Ms Agnew is certainly an author I plan to read more of, and I can strongly recommend this book for readers who enjoy adventure and tension mingled in with their smoking hot, explicit sex scenes. I found Melanie and Matt both really well drawn and interesting characters, and the pacing of the plot was amazing. Definitely a book I’d reread and an author I plan to experience again.

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