Bring the Heat by ML Rhodes
Police Detective Riley Ellison has a new habit … stopping by a coffeehouse called the Java Pit on his way to work. The coffee’s good, but it’s not the rich flavor that lures him to drive blocks out of his way each morning, and it’s not an addiction to caffeine either. He’s half-embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the man who keeps him coming back. The long-legged, painted-on-jeans-wearing, dark-haired, edgy sex god with the teasing eyes. He’s everything Riley ~ who has a history of geekdom and being flustered around hot men ~ is not. Riley knows he should put a stop to the daily forays because nothing can ever come of it. Guys like that aren’t interested in men like him. Yet every time the hunk meets his gaze across the crowded shop and aims a sizzling grin at him, Riley gives in and comes back to participate in the silent, sexy flirtation another day. Needless to say, the last thing he’s expecting when he goes to question a witness about a murder at a local gay strip joint is to discover the witness is his coffeehouse hottie.
Dane Scott works as a stripper strictly for fun. He doesn’t need the money ~ he’s got plenty in the bank from his other career. He just likes to have something to keep him busy a few nights a week. When one of his fellow dancers turns up murdered outside the strip club, the police detective who shows up on Dane’s doorstep asking questions is none other than the sexy, blond cutie he’s been flirting with at the coffeehouse for weeks. Riley Ellison’s a fascinating contradiction ~ rugged, strong, serious-eyed hero and bashful boy next door. A combination Dane finds all too appealing and a refreshing change from the selfish, shallow men he’s known and dated in the past. From the moment Riley flashes his badge, Dane’s determined to show the skittish cop they can make magic together.
The heat between them quickly soars to the boiling point and not even a murder investigation can cool the passion they share. That is, until new information on Riley’s case implies Dane may not be all he seems.
[More naked chests from Amber but I like this one.]
Well after a blurb like that, do you need to read the book? I guess if you want to read the sex then sure but the over share in the summary tells you everything you need to know or would have discovered by reading the book. It’s not one of the author’s better books but it’s not horrible, well until the unnecessary murder-mystery part. But the murder case is a tangent and totally unnecessary as this book is mostly erotica with easy to like, not very deep characters. This is one of those books in the recent trend written by a good author and is total fluff. Sadly, not very interesting fluff for me but other readers may like it.
The story is about Riley’s insecurity and lack of confidence as he struggles with an instant relationship with the sex god Dane. Along the way there is a totally unnecessary and trite murder case, which is the excuse for these two to finally meet. The requisite misunderstanding is added as additional information comes to life in the murder case but the actual mystery is resolved off page and only mentioned at the very end that it’s tied up neatly and no longer important.
The point of view is third person and alternates chapters between Riley and Dane. What shines in this short story is the actual relationship between the men and their chemistry. I wish the book had focused on the men and their connection because it is smoking hot and fairly leaps off the page. Riley is a likeable character with his insecurity and control issues while Dane is the attractive, big heart stripper. They are definite stereotypes but their connection is interesting and engaging. Unfortunately when Riley is alone, his lack of confidence and stubborn belief in stereotypes cripples his character and drags out a bit too long.
Neither Riley nor Dane has much depth, beyond the obvious. They meet and silently flirt a bit before falling into bed at their first conversation. The story then goes on for almost 40 pages about this first sexual encounter and their multiple times having sex before an extended emotional scene and then the wrap up to the murder case while Riley agonizes if it’s love or not. This is a very short story (~120 pages with huge margins) so it’s an ok read with some pretty hot sex scenes. I wish there had been more depth as I know the author is capable of more.
As the actual murder resolution is off page, it’s inclusion in the story is questionable. The tension keeping the men apart is equal parts Riley’s insecurity as the actual murder investigation thus the focus on the men would have helped the story. Regardless, the main connection between the men is sex and those looking for a quick, hot read may enjoy this. I usually like the author’s work and look forward to her stories so I’m hoping the next one will have more substance but for fans looking to tide themselves over, check this out.
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2 thoughts on “Bring the Heat by ML Rhodes”
Hi, Kassa, it’s too bad the book apparently didn’t live up to the blurb because it sounds like it would be such a fun read! But, on the other hand, as soon as you said “120 pages” and “murder investigation”, I wondered if the book could give the investigation enough detail. Very informative review!
Hi Val! I know, 120 pages and Murder case are a hard sell to start with but Rhodes is a good author and I was curious how she’d pull it off. Unfortunately I wonder why she even added it, but like I said if you’re looking for some hot fluff, this could be that. It *is* summer after all 😀
Congratulations again on your review in Icarus! Your reviews are so thorough and informative I was incredibly pleased to see it’s inclusion. Bravo!