Sudden Heat

Denise Agnew
Sudden Heat
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Ellora's Cave
Release Date
September 2013
Book 1 of Love Under Fire
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

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.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Oct 15, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
137 people found the following review helpful
We've all seen the stories on the news detailing the horror of a shooting situation in a large public venue. SUDDEN HEAT centers around a mall shooting and the members of a bridal party who are stuck in this deadly situation, and Ms Agnew does an admirable job of showing the seriousness of this threat with a gorgeous love story.

Melanie Falconer was instantly attracted to Matt Frasier the moment their eyes met. As the maid of honor and best man at their best friend's wedding, Melanie has tried to avoid spending too much time in the company of the Marine who makes her blood boil. But when the two of them are caught together in Arizona's Constitution Mall during a shooting, it's Matt's protective and caring nature that really gets under her skin.

Matt's heading back on assignment shortly after the wedding, but his attraction to Melanie is becoming deeper than he anticipated while they rely on one another in the deadly situation. Once the threat is over, the two of them are more than willing to get to know one another on a more basic level. Matt and Melanie's feelings are growing fast, but he is leaving soon. Is there any chance for something deeper once they go back to their real lives?

SUDDEN HEAT is book #1 in the Love Under Fire series. This series will follow three couples who find love while surviving a mall shooting event. Part of me really enjoyed that the mall shooting situation happened almost immediately into the book, yet I also would've liked a chance to read about the sexual tension the two experienced when meeting earlier that week (though it was well described when the two of them discussed it). I really enjoyed the fact that neither Matt nor Melanie were into playing the typical mind games with each other. Matt was such a strong yet sensitive man and I appreciated that he was willing to discover what it was about Melanie that intrigued him. It wasn't the usual "guy or girl running in another direction while the other chased after them" situation.

Melanie was well written too. She had a quiet inner strength and honesty that appealed to me. She didn't mind actually letting Matt take care of her, even though she may have to turn her chick card in for feeling that way. She was hesitant to get involved in any way with a military man based on her experience with her own father and was quick to admit that maybe her prejudice wasn't accurate. In short, both Matt and Melanie were very well developed and the reader gets a great deal of background information on both of them during the course of SUDDEN HEAT.

As a person who has worked in the retail industry for years, the setting of a mall shooting really struck a nerve with me. Ms Agnew did a great job describing the seriousness of the situation while also detailing the growing attraction between Matt and Melanie. I also appreciated that she didn't make light of the emotional aftermath all of the couples faced. That said, don't think SUDDEN HEAT was all drama all the time! The instant connection between the couple was terrific, and the sex scenes were suitably romantic yet erotic, though quite vanilla. If there's one disappointment for me, it would be the way the book ended. I would've liked more of a conclusion or at least an epilogue, but hopefully we'll get to catch up on Matt and Melanie in future Love Under Fire books.
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