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The Hotter You Burn
     

The Hotter You Burn

4.4 28
by Gena Showalter
 

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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers story featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can't resist…

Beck O'ckley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He's never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his,

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers story featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can't resist…

Beck O'ckley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He's never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck's home—her ancestral estate—for food, she's shocked by his early return…and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck's life, he can't get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he'll have to break her heart…or surrender his own.

"Sassy, smart characters and an expertly woven, unconventional plot, The Closer You Come showcases Gena Showalter in all her shining talent. " —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/15/2015
Showalter’s second Original Heartbreakers contemporary (after The Closer You Come) explores a new relationship between Beck Ockley, who has slept with nearly every available woman in Strawberry Valley, Okla., and Harlow Glass, once known as the cruelest bully around. The book opens with Harlow, now homeless and hungry, breaking into her former home and stealing a pie. When she’s caught by Beck and his two roommates, the house’s new inhabitants, Beck immediately becomes possessive and controlling, manipulating Harlow “for her own good” when he decides to step in as her savior. Fortunately, after the rocky start and clichéd characterization of Beck, the romance between Harlow and Beck becomes more complex, and readers who stick with the story will be rewarded with the journey of two truly troubled people learning to fight past their issues to build something genuine. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Showalter...rocks me every time!"—Sylvia Day, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Showalter writes fun, sexy characters you fall in love with!"-Lori Foster, New York Times bestselling author

"Sassy, smart characters and an expertly woven, unconventional plot, The Closer You Come showcases Gena Showalter in all her shining talent."-Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

"Showalter makes romance sizzle on every page!"-Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

"Emotional, heart-tugging, kept me turning the pages!"-Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

"With compelling stories and memorable characters, Gena Showalter never fails to dazzle."-Jeaniene Frost, New York Times bestselling author

"The Showalter name on a book means guaranteed entertainment."-RT Book Reviews

"The versatile Showalter...once again shows that she can blend humor and poignancy while keeping readers entertained from start to finish."-Booklist on Catch a Mate

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373779697
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
07/28/2015
Series:
Original Heartbreakers Series , #3
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
210,560
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Harlow glass stood on the porch of a hundred-year-old farmhouse that had more character than most people, waning daylight wrapping the structure in its loving embrace. Exterior walls once covered in chipped cream-colored paint that revealed crumbling, weathered wood now boasted new slats of paneling and a fresh coat. The broken seal on the bay window had been replaced, no more sheets of moisture collecting between the panes. Ivy used to climb all the way to the roof, but every stalk had been cut down.

She scanned the driveway. No cars.

She listened at the door. No suspicious sounds.

A smile stretched from ear to ear. After months of bad luck, something had finally worked in her favor.

Here's hoping it lasted.

Trembling, she inserted her key in the door lock. Hinges whined as the thick, wooden entrance brushed open, homey scents—fresh bread, vanilla and some kind of caramelized fruit—wafting out and making her mouth water. Her empty stomach grumbled and twisted painfully.

"Hello," she called.

No one cried out a startled rebuke.

She shut the door with more confidence and entered the living room, breathing a sigh of relief. I'm ba-ack.

Her childhood home creaked out a welcome, and for a moment, one of her favorite memories played at the forefront of her mind: Martha Glass pushing the sofa to a new angle, while Harlow straddled one of the arms, pretending to ride a bucking bronco. Her dad hadn't been home to sneer insults, thank God—you 're pathetic, you're stupid, you're such a disappointment— so a relaxed, almost giddy atmosphere had pervaded.

But the cherished recollection withered against the depressing heat of realization. This might be Harlow's childhood home, but it no longer belonged to her; technically she'd just committed breaking and entering. But only technically! She'd just…well, after all the work that had been done, she'd needed an inside look at the place. And if a few items of food happened to leave with her, she'd be doing the new owners a favor, saving them from nasty fat grams.

"You're welcome, everyone," she muttered.

The owners were the newest residents of Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma. Bachelors she'd watched from a distance for weeks. Lincoln West, the one she'd dubbed Most Intelligent. Beck Ockley—Most Beautiful. And Jase Hollister—Most Fierce. Men she'd never spoken to and never wanted to speak to, really. In Harlow's heart, the house still belonged to her, would always belong to her, making the guys the trespassers. She had been born here, and if all went according to her life plan, she would die here. Just hopefully not today.

This was her first time inside the house since the bank had kicked her out roughly seven months ago. Spinning slowly, she drank in the only love still part of her life. Too many changes. Gone were the scuffed, stained wood floors, the "imperfections" sanded away.

What was wrong with a few flaws? In a home, or even in a person, flaws proclaimed, "Life happened here."

The wallpaper had been peeled, Sheetrock repaired and painted the color of a caramel latte. Once decrepit crown molding and wainscoting gleamed with new life. There were a few feminine touches here and there to save the place from being a total man cave—throw pillows, bowls of potpourri and lace doilies—but she missed the cat portraits her mother had hung, random displays of china, knitting baskets, porcelain dolls and the gaudy lamps that once rested on lace-covered side tables.

Harlow braced for disappointment and headed for the bedrooms. Up first, the former guest room, now a man cave on steroids. A king-size bed with dark brown sheets dominated one side, while the large flat-screen suspended above a ginormous console stuffed with DVDs dominated the other.

How was a person supposed to relax in here?

The next bedroom—hers—boiled her blood. The princess paradise her mother had created for her as a child, which she'd never had the heart to change, even as she'd grown up, had been transformed into a man-child's playpen. Multiple gaming systems cluttered a tiered platform, the controls scattered across the floor. In front of a gargantuan unmade bed towered a floor-to-ceiling projector screen. The walls where she'd once lovingly painted a magical forest were now beige. Beige!

Sure, the mural had come with defects, but she'd loved every inch of it, had spent weeks etching different designs, mixing colors, learning and adoring the entire process while allowing her imagination to sweep her away. Of course, she'd ruined the fruit of her efforts long before boring beige had done so, throwing handfuls of mismatched paint at the images in a fit of temper. Still. The sea of monotone was worse.

Before she gave in to the urge to find a marker and draw something to liven up the room, most likely a pair of hands with both middle fingers extended, she backed out and shut the door.

The master bedroom had been converted into a nerdy workaholic's dream, all traces of her parents gone. Computers and computer parts were stacked on the desk, on the bed and scattered across the floor, and oh, she couldn't stand this.

She made her way to the kitchen…where the wallpaper had been removed. But okay. No big deal. This change she understood. The design had been so faded the different clusters of strawberries had looked like swollen testicles.

The matching red laminate countertops had been swapped for sparkling white marble, but at least the cabinets were the same, even though they'd been sanded and painted black. Not bad… Just different.

A pang over what should and shouldn't be cut through her and might have broken what remained of her heart if she hadn't spotted the blueberry pie perched on the stovetop.

Jobless, penniless—homeless—she hadn't eaten a decent meal in forever. And a decent dessert? Not since Momma died.

Another pang, this one sharper, but again, the lure of the pie distracted her, and she moved forward, as though in a trance. Trembling, she traced her fingertip over the rim of the pan and caught a warm glob ofjuice.

One taste… Just one.

The moment the sweetness hit her tongue, her plan to make a sandwich with ingredients the Bachelors Three wouldn't miss completely upended. She rushed around, digging through drawers for the necessary supplies, growing indignant when she discovered nothing in its rightful place.

Gravel crunched. A door slammed.

Chilled to the bone, she dashed into the living room and threw herself on the couch to peer out the window.

Beck Ockley, Most Beautiful himself, helped a woman from the passenger side of his car. Beck…the man who reminded her of the shed out back, polished on the outside, crumbling on the inside.

He was a little over six feet and lusciously muscled, with an intriguing mix of light and dark brown hair, the strands always in a state of disarray. His just-roused-from-bed eyes were the color of melted honey and framed by the longest, thickest black lashes she'd ever seen. But even a man like him should need a few hours, at least, to reel in a new fish.

Then again, he rocked serious man-magic, and with a single smile, he could probably drop a thousand pairs of panties.

Harlow's heart galloped, a racehorse in her chest as she returned into the kitchen to swipe up the pie. Probably best to eat the evidence of her impromptu house tour. Hurry! She sprinted to the back door…only to grind to a stop. Beveled glass revealed Jase and his fiancée, Brook Lynn Dillon, cuddled on the porch swing.

How had she missed them on her pre-break-in perimeter check?

Hinges on the front door whined. Crap! Beck and his date would enter any second. She darted into the living room, the hall, the first bedroom she came across—but the lock on the window was new and complicated, and no matter how much she jiggled it, she couldn't open it. Suspecting all other locks were the same, she headed for the living room. If she stood beside the door, she'd be hidden when it opened. If Beck forgot to close it, she could sneak out as soon as he—

"Now that you've got me here," a woman said, breathless with longing, "what are you going to do to me?"

Too late! Fear settled like thousand-pound boulders in Harlow's feet, and she wrenched to a halt in the hallway, blood rushing from her head, her lungs hemor-rhaging air as if survival had just become enemy one.

Tawny Ferguson walked backward. If she looked to the left, she would see a wild-eyed Harlow, pie in hand. Don't look left. Please, please, don't look left.

Beck slowly, leisurely prowled after the girl, radiating sultry heat and a carnal, predator-prey determination. He pinned Tawny's hands over her head, saying, "I'm going to do whatever I want."

Tawny arched her hips, rubbing against him. "Should I be afraid?"

"Honey, you should be grateful."

The sensual impact of his voice sent heated shivers through Harlow's veins, and she hated them almost as much as she loved them.

He leaned down, his mouth hovering over Tawny's to tease her with what was to come. "You're going to like every second of our time together. That I promise you."

Tawny quivered, a woman on the verge of ecstasy. "Oh, I know I'll like it. But what happens afterward?"

Crickets.

He stiffened, even as he nuzzled his nose along the line of her jaw. "Afterward, you'll be so weak in the knees you'll have to crawl home."

Tawny giggled. "No, I meant relationship-wise. I know your reputation as the one-night-stand king. Will you still want me in the morning?"

A moment rife with tension as Beck cupped her chin to ensure she wasn't able to look away from him. "I told you. I've never offered anyone more than a single night. There will never be an exception."

"But why?" Tawny asked with a pout, even as she played with his zipper. "I'd make a very…good…exception." With every word she uttered, she opened those metal teeth another inch.

His smile didn't quite reach his eyes, making it a cold, bitter thing. "A girl like you should have a happily-ever-after with a man carrying far less baggage."

"I don't mind baggage."

"Doesn't matter one way or the other." He ground against her, distracting her. "All that matters right now is whether or not you want me."

Tawny moaned, her eyes closing. "Don't stop. Please, don't stop."

No, no, don't stop, don't you dare—a slap of harsh reality brought Harlow back to her senses. While Tawny—and even Harlow—had lost sight of everything but Beck, he'd had no problem retaining his wits. He'd deflected masterfully. And she should know. She'd done the same in high school. Multiple teachers and counselors had pulled her aside to ask a single question.

Why do you insult your peers?

Her reply? I'm not insulting them. I'm helping them by pointing out flaws in need of work.

Meanwhile, a dirty secret had festered deep inside her. The insults she dished—and they were indeed insults—were nothing compared to the words her father hurled at her.

The only thing you 're good at, little girl, is making my day worse.

She cringed even now.

One day, a switch had just sort of flipped inside her, and she'd lashed out at a friend, making the girl cry. It was then Harlow realized she could affect the emotions of others, and with the realization had come power. Soon, verbally knocking down her peers had become the only thing capable of making her feel better about herself…for a little while, at least. Because that feeling of power had been nothing but an illusion, a house of cards kicked down daily by guilt and sadness, in constant need of rebuilding.

True power came not from tearing others down but from building them up.

"Beck," Tawny said, "let me have you. Tonight…and tomorrow."

"Once is for the best." The flatness of his tone caused Harlow to blink in surprise. No matter whom she'd heard him speak with—male, female, young or old—she'd only ever heard him tease and flirt. "Trust me."

"But—"

"Once or nothing," he said, every inch of him intractable steel. "Your choice. Decide now, or I'll decide for you and take you home."

If Tawny continued to push for more, would he truly do as threatened? Principles before pleasure, no matter how warped those principles might be?

The starch dissolved from the girl's shoulders, and she sighed, defeated. "Once."

As a reward, Beck tilted her head the way he wanted it and dived in for a scorching, earth-shattering kiss. Tawny melted against him, clutching his shirt, wrinkling the black cotton. Harlow almost covered her eyes. Almost. She had lost the ability to move, much less to breathe. Beck clearly knew what he was doing, and oh, he was hot. Licking, sucking…his hands doing delicious things to a woman who already sounded on the verge of orgasm.

A surprising ache throbbed low in Harlow's belly.

Beck and Tawny created a perfect study of passion: seductive, erotic and wanton. The very thing missing from her own life. But then, the man had created a perfect study of passion with every woman she'd seen him with.

She'd watched Beck perform this same routine many times before, only with different women, in different locations. The porch. The backyard. Even on the roof.

No one had ever turned him down.

He cupped Tawny's rear and commanded in a husky growl, "Wrap your legs around me."

Tawny complied, as they all complied, and Beck turned toward the couch, away from Harlow.

Sweet relief swept through her. In the home stretch now… Just a couple more minutes… And oh, crap, the sugary aroma of the pie ruthlessly taunted her.

Ever the traitor, Harlow's stomach chose that moment to rumble.

It was enough.

Beck's head snapped in her direction, his body going taut. He set Tawny on her feet and stepped in front of her, acting as her shield.

The gesture of protection proved hotter than the kiss.

Recognition lit his features. "You," he said, and he sounded awed rather than angry.

Confused, Harlow blinked at him. "Me?" He knew her?

"What are you doing inside my house?"

My house! But Harlow didn't stick around to correct him. Nothing would placate him or save her stupid hide, so she bolted around him, remaining just out of reach as she headed for the door, yanked it open and at last soared outside.

"Hey!" Beck called. "Stop."

She quickened her pace, aiming for the bank of trees ahead: a giant oak, several mature pecans and two magnolias in full bloom. Locusts buzzed. Grasshoppers sang. Birds squawked. The three created a macabre soundtrack as the familiar scent of wild strawberries and dewy roses lodged in her throat, forming a hard lump.

Almost there… Just a little farther…

While the fifty-two-acre spread had come with a greenhouse, a small dairy, two barns, three work sheds and multiple vegetable gardens Harlow had tried and failed to tend, there was a shadowed section in back filled with gnarled trees, sharp sandburs and crunchy brushwood where snakes and scorpions liked to nest. A section none of the guys had ever dared venture. It would have been the perfect place to hide if she hadn't set up camp there.

Once she passed the embankment, she veered in the opposite direction, whizzing by the towering oak she used to climb…the weeping willow where she'd experienced her first kiss…the tire swing her father had made during one of his rare moments of affection.

"Stop," Beck commanded. "Now."

He sounded close, too close, but he didn't sound winded. She clutched the pie closer—try to take it from me, I dare you—and glanced back. Crap! He was almost on her. She picked up the pace…until several burs lodged in her heels, causing sharp spikes of pain to slow her down. Any second now, Beck would overtake—

Hard hands snaked around her waist, two hundred pounds of muscle bearing down on her. As she fell, the pie went flying.

"Noooo!" she shouted.

Meet the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

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The Hotter You Burn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books just get better and better. I absolutely loved Beck and Harlow's book. I don't even know where to start. I laughed, cried, cringed and cheered. The sexual tension made my tablet steam. Lava hot! I didn't want the book to end. I definitely don't want to wait for West's book. A stand-alone HEA with recurring characters from previous books. 300+ pages. Read the first 2 books first. You won't regret it. I paid for my copy of this book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Horible
Anonymous 7 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Going out to look for the other books now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love anything Gena Showalter writes and this series is just as good as her other books. Love Beck and Harlow's love story. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't finish this book, which is very rare for me. It just keeps circling back to the same problems over and over again . This guy is so conceited it's sickening and the girl is just stupid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
4.5 out of 5 stars This was pretty fantastic! I felt like I was on an emotional high while reading. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! Beck and Harlow are wonderful characters. I really liked the depth of them and getting to know them. She is so genuine and he is so sweet. They have some great verbal sparing going on that creates a lot of sexual tension. Great development as everything is laid out and builds. I felt all Beck and Harlow were going through and was really wrapped up in the story (and had so much compassion for both of them). Some of the details of their pasts were sad, some pretty horrific. It made for some really great intensity. There are lots of ups and downs, conflicts, and I enjoyed it all. Laced throughout there are bits of humor. I was so thankful for them. With the more emotional content it was definitely needed. I thought it came at the perfect time, it had a really great balance. Really good characters throughout. More Jase and Brooke Lynn. As well as more West and Jessie Kay too, there story is next in The Harder You Fall (finally!). I thought this was an excellent story about second chances. Knowing Harlow's past and how much she changed, I really felt for her. I liked both characters so much and they were great throughout. You could really see Beck and Harlow’s breakthroughs even though it took a while to get there. Excellent read. Very heartfelt. I loved them coming together and truly baring themselves. Beck and Harlow had great chemistry and attraction and a heck of a lot of heat! Totally awesome read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ok i was not sure act first cus i love the other book but i fell in love with this book love them
IngaKS More than 1 year ago
My review: I loved this book! It's a second book written by Gena Showalter that I have read and I truly enjoyed it! The Hotter You Burn is well-written, easy and fun to read and has some adorable characters! I have to admit that I have fallen in love with Gena's writing style. The dialogue is funny and quirky, the characters relatable and interesting and the story flows and the pacing is great! She is genuinly a fascinating and gripping storyteller. I read the book practically in one sitting and couldn't put it down, it was a true page-turner for me. The story is about Harlow and Beck. Harlow is a reformed high-school bully who has paid heavy price for her actions. Living in a small town the forgiveness from others is very slow to come. She is homeless, jobless and without a penny. she lives in a tent on the grounds on Beck's house. The house, which used to be her family's. beck is a sucessful business owner whose relationships to women is one-and-done. I loved the beginning of the story when they meet, it was both funny and a bold start of the book. Harlow is breaking in to Beck's house and getting caught while stealing a pie. From that scene onwards I was sold! Beck is very attracted to Harlow but he tries to convince himself that she isn't for him. He even goes that far, that he decides to find her a decent boyfriend! He can't get her out of his head though. Harlow has to fac a lot of enemity from everyone who lives in the town, but she tries and she tries hard. There were moments in the book where I thought: come on girl, move to a bigger place and start a new life, but harlow is persistant and that is one of the things I admired about her. She wasn't a dormat, she had a lot of backbone and walked through the difficulties with her head held up and with feistiness that I adored. I think the best part of the book were the dialogues, the characters and the huumor in it. Despite dealing with some heavy issues the characters are facing, the book has a positive taste, there is hope and happy endings and I enjoyed it a lot! Definately a good and entertaining and romantic book to read! I highly recommend it! And as said, I love Gena's writing! Can't wait to the next book in the series! 5 stars!
Febbabie212 More than 1 year ago
About halfway through this book, tears streaming down my face, I realized something: I didn’t actually like the book I was reading, and crying over. Despite this, I finished the book, staying up a little too late on a work day. I then spent my entire commute into work the next morning trying to pinpoint what bothering me so much about this book. And it did bother me. I had read the novella and the first book of Showalter’s The Original Heartbreakers Series and really liked them. And the first book left me intrigued for Harlow and Beck’s story as well as the third book, West and Jessie Kay’s story. However, The Hotter You Burn left me questioning why I liked the first book and whether it would worth it to read the third. Honestly, I’m a fan of Showalter. I love her Lords of the Underworld Series, her Alien Huntress Series, and even her Atlantis Series, though I read it a while ago. I think that’s why I’m so surprised I didn’t like this book. Review Continues at: https://somewherelostinbooks.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/the-hotter-you-burn/
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
✦Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Hotter You Burn (The Original Heartbreakers) by Gena Showalter http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2Q7 via Publication Date: July 28, 2015 Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 4.5 Stars REVIEW: I loved getting swept up in Beck and Harlow's story! The Hotter You Burn was a fun, sexy and emotional love story that is set in a small town. Beck and Harlow both had scars from their past that they had to mend. They seemed to be made for each other though. Beck's playboy ways made me want to shake him a few times but I fell in love with him as I read his story. The chemistry between Harlow and Beck was scorching hot and their interactions were fun. The Hotter You Burn is book 2 in Gena Showalter's Original Heartbreaker series and can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the first book too because the characters overlap. I highly recommend this series for contemporary romance lovers. It would make a great summer read. If you're a fan of Gena Showalter's paranormal series I think you will enjoy this contemporary series too. It has the sexy, possessive alpha males and the fun character interactions that Gena Showalter is know for. I can't wait for the next book! *Review copy provided by Harlequin in exchange for an honest review. ✦Book 1 ➢ The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers) by Gena Showalter ✦Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2gX
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge Gena Showalter fan for a long time now, every new release is met with excitement, The Hotter You Burn is my favorite so far in The Original Heartbreakers series, I flew through this book so fast I couldn't and didn't want to put it down. There was so much to love in this story, Gena writes contemporary romances just as well as she does paranormal romances, creating characters that you can't help but love and care about and storylines that are sure to keep you glued to the pages. The back stories of our two leads Harlow and Beck brought substance and understanding to these two characters, Harlow who was a bully when she was younger is now shunned by everybody in Strawberry Valley, leaving her jobless, homeless and penniless she lives in a hidden tent on her old property which is now owned by Beck and his two buddies Jace and West, Beck spent his childhood shuffled around foster homes leaving him feeling unloveable and unable to love in return, he spends one night with a woman and that's it nothing more, a bit of a manwhore you could say, when he catches Harlow who is starving and hasn't eaten properly in quite a while stealing a pie from the house, he suddenly can't get her out of his head which is something new for him, but Harlow wants a commitment and to get married and have kids one day which is something Beck definitely doesn't want, it doesn't look good for these two, but fate has a way of working things out and their journey to their happily ever after is entertaining and emotional, a combination which left me wanting more but happily satisfied with their story. Gena never disappoints and The Hotter You Burn is another winner, get set to read this book in one sitting, you wont be able to help yourself, it's just that good!
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter delivers another solid story with fun dialogue and colorful characters. There’s plenty of angst and drama, some of that trademark Showalter snark, and some blistering heat that make this small town romance a perfect read to escape with. I have to say I was not a big Harlow fan. I applauded the fact she was trying to make amends for all the hurt and pain she caused everyone in high school, and it was tough watching just how awful most of the townspeople treated her even though she is trying her best to redeem herself, but I wish she would have stood up for herself a bit more – the whole way her job at the inn played out was just too much for me to accept. Beck obviously had issues that stemmed from his childhood and it was fun watching him get frustrated about his feelings for Harlow. He’s never given any of the women he’s taken to bed any promises or false hope, but still, it was nice to see him be the one who wanted more. He was a bit arrogant, but so much of that at times was a result of those issues he has. I love the relationship he has with Jace and West, and how he was expanding that very tight circle of family out to include a few others. Beck and Harlow together didn’t make much sense to me at times, but they did grow on me as a couple. I liked how they both knew that Harlow was a forever type of woman, so any type of physical relationship was not a good idea for either of them. Of course once Beck volunteers to help Harlow find her forever type of guy, he realizes just how much that doesn’t work for him. These two both had so many issues to work through and confront, so it was no wonder that their relationship wouldn’t be an easy one. A couple of things did bother me about the book. I found Harlow’s living situation (in a tent) a bit farfetched – call me crazy, but for someone who barely had any food to eat she seemed to be in pretty good health. I was also rather annoyed at the townspeople. Their behavior towards Harlow when she was working at the inn and also the incident at the end had me seriously hating on these small town residents, residents that in my opinion should have quickly seen how she was trying to make amends and rallied around her rather than try to keep her down. I was very disappointed in those local characters! All in all this was a really good read that has me looking forward to West’s book. Gena Showalter always delivers wonderful dialogue and her small town of Strawberry Valley will pull you in with the diverse group of characters that take up residence there. I may not have liked some of the characters or their actions, but this was a well-developed story that evoked some pretty strong emotions for me and kept my interest right up until the end. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Oh Beck! How I was dying for your book. I fell in love with him quickly in THE CLOSER YOU COME because of his fun attitude and his love for good homemade food. He’s just so adorable. I was really looking forward to his book. Now it’s here and I have to admit I’m a bit underwhelmed. Beck was still Beck and brought everything I wanted to see. He’s a bit goofy and all alpha male. If I had to compare him to a shifter I would say he’s a cuddly bear. But I wasn’t sold on the heroine for him, nor the insta-attraction (sort of). Basically Harlow’s parents used to own the house that Beck and his friends now own. Her parents were not the nicest people maybe, and wasn’t either growing up. She was sort of the town bully. Now, after losing her family home and finding no love in the town because everyone hates her, Harlow has been homeless for a while. Curiosity calls and she wants to see what the new guys in town have done to her childhood home and she “breaks in”. Let me start off by saying I am not a fan of the homeless girl in need of rescue storyline. I would’ve rather see that Harlow rose from her challenges on her own to feet and made amends for her past mistakes by herself. Sadly she was a bit too immature to my liking for that and Beck was sort of her crutch to get back into the world and out of a tent on their property. Both financially and emotionally. This sort of love/hate relationship with the heroine progresses for me for most of this book until maybe about 70% when you hear about her back story and you sort of sympathize, but for me, it was a little too late. Yes, it redeemed her in my eyes a little. But I still didn’t love her. I did love her personality when she was’t wallowing in all her baggage. And her interactions with Beck, aside from the unexplicable instant single minded attraction, where always a lot of fun and extremely sexy. He coaxes her out of her shell and to loose her inhibitions really well. Sometimes softly and sometimes with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Suffice it to say there are plenty of things to like about this story and it definitely carries the light hearted and sexy feel of the series. But it’s not my favorite either. I am looking forward to the next book and to see how Ms. Showalter can redeem the unredeemable for me.
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4.5 star The story has laughs, pain, abuse, bullying, secrets, and heartbreak. I was pulled right into this story. The story flowed well and I was kept interested. If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers, #0.5) The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1) This is Harlow and Beck’s story. Harlow lost her home when her mother died and the bank took it. No she is homeless and jobless as she bullied most of the town during her school years. One day she sneaks in to look at the house when she thinks everyone is gone and gets caught. Beck tells her she must cook a pie for the ones she took. When he finds out she is homeless and jobless he decides to help her out. He sets her up for a job but has a hard time resisting her. Harlow is broken and sorry for all the trouble she caused the town. But is the town ready to forgive? After Beck turns his back on her she is once again left with nothing. She gets job but are the town’s people really ready to forgive? Or do some of them want her gone forever? Can Beck get her to forgive him for all his past mistakes and finally give love a chance? Or is it over between them? I loved these characters and all the friends who are more like brothers. I felt I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read. I highly recommend this book, this series and this author.
cntrygirlzroc More than 1 year ago
I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to shake Beck and Harlow. Beck is the one night stand king. There are no repeat performances. Harlow was a bully in school. She lost her home, Beck and his friends bought and live in, is homeless and penniless. The whole town hates her but she is determined to prove she has changed. When she breaks in and steals a pie, Beck catches her. He wants her but not a relationship. She wants a relationship, family, all of it. So he sets her up but then gets jealous and runs the men off. He decides to give it a try but gets spooked and she leaves. But he can't function without her and when he almost loses her, he realizes he can't live without her. Awesome story. A lot of flirting, sexual attraction, and a guy who doesn't like change but is in for the biggest of his life.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
This can be read as a standalone, but I enjoyed this book so much that I'm going back and reading the previous books. It broke my heart to see the way people treated Harlow. No one was willing to give her a second chance until Beck started standing up for her. I loved seeing Beck fall for Harlow, even if he didn't know he was falling. Their relationship builds slowly, but there is no lack sexual tension between the two. Great story with a little bit of heartbreak, romance and humor. Can't wait for the next book! 4.5 stars I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
wizkids32 More than 1 year ago
Awesome book loved the story line between Beck and Harlow totally awesome book loved it Thanks for the whole story line with them glad that Harlow got better and Beck too good that she is OK from being poisoned Glad that they are so in love totally great to see them together can't wait for the other book between West and Jessie Kay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingOverTV More than 1 year ago
The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter The quintessential bachelor meets his match. An awesomely touching romance with just the right amount of humor, passion, friendships and small town loyalty. Swoon worthy. Gena Showalter never disappoints. She writes with deep passion and yet everyday emotions. You connect with her characters whether here in a contemporary romance or with her warriors or other series. She draws you in and doesn't let go. Even when a book ends, you look for the next story or character you need to know more about. Beck Oakley has everything money can buy. His conquest get just one night with him before he moves on. Love them and leave them. Harlow Glass has nothing. Her home was sold out from under her. She can't find a job in town and everyone hates her. She deserve their hate, but needs a break. Stealing the pie from Beck Oakley from what was once her childhood home seems fair. Until he catches her. I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads contest.
WHiggins More than 1 year ago
WOW! I was hooked right from the beginning. This page turner is a definite keeper!! Beck and Harlow both have had a tough childhood. Beck was passed on from his dad to family members and them ultimately to foster families. Harlow's father treated her poorly and she became the school/town bully. Both have done things they wish they could take back but this is what will bring them together. Once Beck the love them and leave them kinda guy meets Harlow , he sets his sites on her but she will not be another one of his one night stands. Harlow wants a commitment , a family a HAPPY EVER AFTER. The roller coaster romance ends with a bang and the fairytale begins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book never disappointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great addition to an awesome series. Loved it