Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sara Walker’s life is going nowhere fast: she has a job she enjoys but doesn’t love, friends who are too busy to hang out with her, and no boyfriend in sight. Then a phone call on a lonely Friday night changes everything, and suddenly she’s spending her weekends with Laura. Newly single and openly bisexual, Laura makes Sara think decidedly not-straight thoughts.
Laura Murphy, with her red hair, freckles, and killer curves, is any guy’s wet dream. But Laura’s done with guys for now, and it’s Sara who can’t stop dreaming about her. When Sara finally gives in to the curiosity, Laura blows her mind and pushes her further than she’s ever gone before.
But Laura makes it very clear that this is only a rebound fling, and she’s still planning to move to California. She’s more than happy to tie Sara up, but she’s not ready to be tied down. If Sara wants to keep her, she’s going to have to work hard to convince Laura that New York is worth staying for . . . and so is she.
Heat Wave by Elyse Springer is the third volume in the “Seasons of Love” series which I got hooked on after reviewing the second entry “Thaw”. Though having read the previous books will certainly enrich your experience due to the reappearance of several characters, it is not necessary to get into the individual volumes. I’d still recommend checking out all of them as it is well worth it.
What I find particularly appealing about this series is that it features characters from a range of different sexual orientations and addresses this fact in a natural and genuine way. This time the story is told from the point of view of Sara, who is now faced with being sexually and romantically attracted to another woman after she has thought of herself as being exclusively heterosexual her entire life. Sara is a character many can sympathize with, in my opinion. She is relatively content with her current living situation but is also in need of new and more profound experiences both in her work and love life – even if she does not quite realize it or can openly admit it to herself at first. She is a strong person who enjoys organisation and efficiency as well as testing her own limits (though she is still hesitant to give it a try in certain areas).
Sara is made aware of her own ambitions and hesitations when she gets closer to Laura who is by now the ex-girlfriend of Sara’s ex-boyfriend. Laura, who identifies as bisexual, is a very open and direct person who makes no secret out of her physical attraction towards Sara and the fact that she is only looking for a friendship with sex and nothing more (at least at first). Her directness challenges Sara to re-examine aspects of her life and herself that she had previously thought to be set in stone. And it was just the thing that Sara needed in her current situation. It is inspiring and quite admirable to witness how Sara finds at last the motivation to give it her all and take her life into a new direction she had not anticipated up to this point – especially her fight to keep Laura in it.
As I mentioned, we also encounter other characters from throughout the series – most notably Nathan, the protagonist of the first book and Sara’s best friend, who acts as a source of encouragement and support. I found it quite endearing to meet familiar faces again and learn a bit about how they have been getting on with their lives.
The sex scenes here are much more numerous and explicit than in the previous book (which is only appropriate considering the characters involved). We are treated to some steamy lady on lady action with light elements of sexual submission and domination as well as a cheeky scene of public sex in a dance club.
While I greatly enjoyed the previous entry to this series, I enjoyed this one even more. The author has a clear, expressive style of writing that gives the characters very distinct voices. They are depicted as realistic and relatable with their own individual sets of strengths and challenges. The frequent reappearance of characters – one time as a protagonist facing the ups and downs of their own relationship troubles and another as a supporting friend – makes you invested in them more and more. I can honestly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt and motivational love story.
The cover design by Natasha Snow is quite pretty and fits in well with the rest of the series.
ebook, 262 pages
Published July 31, 2017
by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English