Review: Hot as Heller (Aster Valley #3) by Lucy Lennox

The man asked me to valet his damn car

Rating: 3.5 🌈

Hot as Heller by Lucy Lennox is a new release I happened to grab up as it’s tag line caught my attention.

Of course, it’s a middle book in a series. But I found this time that really didn’t make a difference for me understanding the characters or for getting a feel of place and community. Lennox does a good job of laying out her foundation universe. It’s folded into this story so well that it includes enough of all preceding storylines and history that the reader doesn’t feel lost when past events or people are mentioned.

Also each book represents a different couple so while minor threads appear from previous novels, each story can stand somewhat alone, with a support cast you can become familiar with if this is your first book. Or one you already know because you’ve read their stories. Either way, it works.

I enjoyed this story and felt that one of the elements was excellently on topic , especially given the timing. I’m talking about the current tragedy on the now shut down movie set of “Rust”, and the intense and much needed movie industry discussions going on about safety, stunts .and overall actor/support control.

I wonder if the author knew how on point and current this aspect of the story would be.

It was excellently written and the suspense almost made the romance take a backseat for me. It did have the effect of making me care about a character I was having trouble connecting with.

That would be Finn Heller, the child actor who’s the lead in this action movie being filmed in Aster Valley. Finn is/was a very problematic character for me. Most doormat personalities are. For the majority of this book , Finn let’s everyone make decisions for him. Whether to go to a bar when he doesn’t want to. He says no and goes anyway. He says no and does it anyway. For everything.

While the author is doing her best to explain his actions, that very personality is turning into white noise for me. Not good when he’s half of a main romance.

Better is Sheriff Declan Stone. Recently of LA’s PD, a corruption scandal involving his partner and just sick of Hollywood and its denizens, he’s relocated to small town Aster Valley for a saner, better lifestyle.

I liked this character immediately. He comes across as realistic, competent. At home in his skill set and person. He’s, in short, believable and someone we can connect with.

Which begs the question as to why he’s attaching himself to a doormat, however attractive. Finn does find himself undergoing a sea change before the story ends but I still found him not as fascinating a person. Oh well.

What I did fall in love with? The small town community of Aster Valley. I need dispatcher Penny to finish filling me in on the romance drama between Charlene Candy, her ex wife Clara Corn ( yep you see that coming), and her new love Clara’s brother. Plus there’s that thing with Colman and his wildlife…

Never a dull , funny , or just small town human moments. This book and the Sheriffs time of full of them. Those made it for me

The town, it’s people, the secondary romances, as well as other interesting , warm-hearted aspects to Aster Valley pulled me in and engaged my imagination to make me want to explore the rest of the series.

This has so many different terrific elements that I can definitely recommend it as a contemporary romance people will enjoy.

Aster Valley Series:

◦ Winter Waites #0.5

◦ Right as Raine #1

◦ Sweet as Honey #2

✓ Hot as Heller #3

◦ Thick as Thieves #4 – coming 2022

Synopsis:

The man asked me to valet his damn car.

Look, I left LA for a reason. I’ve had my fill of big Hollywood stars and their even bigger egos. I want something genuine. Something real. And it doesn’t get any realer than being the new sheriff of Aster Valley, Colorado.

That is, until entitled Finn Heller appears on the scene, handing me the keys to his convertible like I’m his personal servant.

The former child star and wannabe action hero is the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. He’s also a snarky party animal with legions of adoring fans and attitude for days.

Or so I thought.

The longer the film crew stays in town, the more I begin to wonder if Finn is hiding his true self, one that’s as beautiful inside as out. He’s a star alright, but the kind that shines bright enough to light up the night sky… the kind I want to make a wish on.

A wish Finn will find a way to make things work with me, even if it means his next role is my very own leading man.

https://www.goodreads.com › showHot as Heller (Aster Valley, #3) by Lucy Lennox | Goodreads

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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