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Series: Torched and Blow Torch – Chloe Stowe

Author: Chloe Stowe
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Word Count: 48,611
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $6.99

Author: Chloe Stowe
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Word Count: 46,530
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $6.99

 

 

 

I actually made a mistake when starting this series, as I bought them both at the same time – I read the prologue for “Blow Torch” by accident. And I have to say, it is an accident that I would recommend all readers to do! It provided me with a great background on the characters and helped me understand everything that unfolds in “Torched” even more. So that’s my tip to the beginning of this Hellsgate series.

That aside, I absolutely loved these two books. They were admittedly short reads and could have unfolded in one book, but I definitely wanted to keep on reading. The characters felt so real even though they were such opposites. One of the main characters is a war veteran and hero (Bronze Star winner) who experiences difficulty in life post-war. He meets, in a rather dramatic way, his love interest who is a very successful real estate mogul from New York. Opposites attract in this one, and they definitely end up working well together through the many challenges life and others, throw their way.

The sex in these books is hot – not graphic or thorough, but hot because of their passion for each other. From their first scene together, it is clear that they have a deep connection pulling them towards each other after years of not letting others in. Sex was part of this book, but definitely not the driving force.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥
Plot: ♥♥♥

I would recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a passionate romance, particularly with imperfect partners in unlikely situations. You will fall in love with both characters and root for them in the most unlikely circumstances, not to mention enjoy reading their passion increase as the story unfolds. Great, fun and easy read with a lot of emotion throughout.

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Man of His Dreams – John Jockel

Author: John Jockel
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Word Count: 49,708
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $6.99

This book revolves around a childhood crush on a movie star that follows Zack through adulthood. Here’s the thing though… while you wait for the movie star and Zack to finally meet each other (think near the end of the book), there is a lot of random side plots and interactions. Literally, random. You are taken on a trip around the world where Zack appears to dive off of the virginity wagon with guns blazing, having random and illicit sexual encounters in each city on his summer trek. All without meaning, all without any depth or purpose.

The sex in this story is a bit difficult to classify – it was SO surface-level and most likely improbable, that any potential hotness from the interaction, was sucked out of it. Each encounter was another “fetish” or cliche starting with the back-room of a gay porn movie theater, an older teacher and college student, cheating with a fellow co-ed, sex club orgy… and so on. When the main plot finally comes to light, the sex is forgettable at best and unfortunately lacks passion – particularly the passion that the reader was led to believe from a lifetime of hero worship. I think this plot IDEA has a lot of potential for a fun read in a fantasy brought to life situation, but this read missed the mark.

And if all of that hasn’t convinced you to skip this one, how about several plot lines/characters that have absolutely no resolution or purpose in the story? It seemed at times that this was a first draft – plot lines that were edited out of the final story arc, but the chapters/characters were forgotten about and left in, leaving for a bumbling read.

Out of four…
Overall Read:
Sex Heat:
Plot:

Not recommended for anyone, really. Skip it…