A MelanieM Review: Heat (Salisbury Stories #1) by R.J. Scott and Chris Quinton

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Heat 400x600Lewis Mandineau is at the lowest point of his life.  His parents were killed by a drunk lorry driver, a crash that left his beloved sister, Rachel, with brain damage and the functional age of a child.   Worse still, in the months after while Lewis was trying to cope with his loss and tend to his sister, his boyfriend at the time betrayed and stole from his family’s historic restaurant, Laurels.  Now, the unthinkable has happened. Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations had to be sold to Trelawney Enterprises, an American corporation, to repay the debts incurred by his ex lover and restore the Mandineau name.

Enter  Devon Trelawney III of Trelawney Enterprises.  Sent by his father to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff, Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels’ potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued.  Devon is ready to arrive, assess and leave with the recommendation that Laurels be sold.  But nothing has prepared Devon for the impact that Lewis, Rachel, and Laurels itself will have on him and his future.

While Lewis and Devon are adjusting to each others presence, their attraction, and the possibility of more to come, other restaurants in the area are set aflame.  As the heat increases between a grief stricken chef and a hard nosed businessman with a plan, will the obstacles around them crumble or mount higher than ever before?

Heat by Chris Quinton and RJ Scott grabbed at my heartstrings right from the beginning of their story and never let go.  From the moment we meet Lewis and his sister, Rachel, their situation and love for each other pulls the readers into their lives and heartbreaking present.  Lewis is an especially appealing and romantic figure.  A chef, surrounded by long term, almost family, employees, Lewis is a man under attack from all directions.  The pain and loss of his parents, the betrayal of a man he loved and trusted, his sister’s brain damage and now total care,  now Lewis must deal with the devastating loss of Laurels, a family owned restaurant that has been theirs for hundreds of years.  That Scott and Quinton make the character of Lewis such a believably honorable, gentle soul makes his situation all the more heartrending to all around him and the readers as well.

At the same time we meet Lewis, we are also introduced to the confused, damaged 19 year old sister, Rachel.  And your heart is broken all over again.  The debilitating impact of the crash upon Rachel turns her into a child, one that loves Jelly Babies along with her brother.  Again, Scott and Quinton have done with research with Rachel, so that her behavior that wavers along with the emotional atmosphere at the restaurant is in line with realistic profile of someone with the same type of brain damage this character has incurred.   I adored her. You will too.  Plus I think I have found a new candy addiction as well.

A harder nut to crack, per se, is the character of  Devon Trelawney.  His first appearance puts everyone on guard, from the Mandineaus to the readers.  The authors make his personal growth and change in outlook such a strong element of this story that when the “real” Devon Trelawney emerges he takes our breathe away with his warmth and caring.  That switch allows us the embrace his relationship with Lewis, Rachel, and beyond.  This romance aspect of Heat   is charming and oh so hot!  Trust me, the heat is not restricted just to the kitchen here (but yes, that kitchen is a very sexy place too), but all over Laurels and the intense attraction that flares up between these not too dissimilar men.

I finished the story and then made sure I had it right.  Heat is but the first in a new series entitled Salisbury Stories from RJ Scott and Chris Quinton.  If this book is any indication, then Heat and the Salisbury Stories will be on everyones “must have, must read” list for the year and beyond.  But don’t take my word for it.  Pick up Heat (Salisbury Stories #1) today and begin your introduction to these captivating characters, their restaurant, and a romance to cheer for.  Its a definite recommended read here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and a sumptuous banquet for all lovers of romance and hot men.

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  Russell delivers a wonderful cover, complete with charming location.

Sales Links:  Love Lane Books    All Romance eBooks    amazon    Heat (Salisbury Stories#1)

Book Details:

book, 205 pages
Published October 24th 2014 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published October 23rd 2014)
edition languageEnglish
url http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/heat.html
seriesSalisbury Stories #1

Let’s Go Back to Bluewater Bay with Starstruck by L. A. Witt (book tour and contest)

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Welcome to Bluewater Bay!BWBlogo_Web

This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by ten award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors:  L.A. Witt,  L.B. Gregg,  Z.A. Maxfield,  Aleksandr Voinov,  Heidi Belleau,  Rachel Haimowitz,  Anne Tenino,  Amy Lane,  SE Jakes, and  G.B. Gordon. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Join L.A. Witt and L.B. Gregg for the Welcome to Bluewater Bay Tour, and check out Starstruck and There’s Something About Ari to meet the cast, crew, and locals!BWB_150x300

About Starstruck

Starstruck_150pixels4pwHollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show—exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet—no matter how attractive he finds his co-star.

Carter Samuels is the critically-acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting—and made him realize he’s gay—is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need.

About L.A. Witt.

L.A. Witt is an author of gay erotic romances, and has been recently exiled from Okinawa, Japan, to Omaha, Nebraska. She resides there with her husband, a telekinetic goldfish, and two incredibly spoiled cats. It’s unclear if the exile was the result of the mostly classified “Aquarium Incident,” or if she’s actually being hidden, for her protection, from the Polynesian Mafia and her arch nemesis, erotic romance author Lauren Gallagher.

Should you encounter Lauren, don’t tell her L.A. is in Omaha. This bio will self-destruct in 17 seconds.

Connect with L.A.:

Contest:  Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Starstruck) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 9th, and winners will be announced on November 10th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.