Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
Geoffrey Saxon is in his forties, a bit plump, a lot fuzzy, and rather boring in bed—and thanks to a very public breakup, everyone in his street knows it. However, what they don’t know is that Geoffrey sometimes watches his hot young neighbor, Vaughn, in the pool. Vaughn has invited Geoffrey to join his pool parties, but Geoffrey knows it’s only pity.
As if things can’t get worse, Geoffrey’s air conditioner breaks during a heat wave in Western Australia—and just before Christmas. In search of some relief, he camps out in his backyard, where he also has a prime view of Vaughn swimming… naked. When Geoffrey’s injured falling from his spying post, Vaughn comes to his rescue and Geoffrey doesn’t think he can be more horrified.
But he could be in for a sweet holiday surprise. Is he ready to take the dive?
Slow Summer Heat by Renae Kaye is a sweet, heartwarming story about an older man who’s been hurt by his ex and a humiliating breakup to an extent that’s he’s withdrawn from a social life into his house and a lonely existence. Kaye does this type of character really well. You can see Geoffrey quite clearly from her vivid descriptions to his dialogs (inner conversations and those with his gorgeous neighbor).
Geoffrey teeters briefly on the edge of a character that could go into the kink or voyeur as he’s convinced he’s so unattractive that no one wants him, so he turns down his neighbor’s invitations. That leads to spying which leads to other things. With Kaye, you get a great feel as to who Geoffrey is, his background, family, etc. You understand just how badly this past relationship has affected him and why, including the scene made in the street.
What’s missing is Vaughn’s portion. At least I mostly felt that way for me. Geoffrey is our narrator so we see this gorgeous young roofer through his eyes but even with all their conversations Vaughn never feel’s as fully fleshed out a personality as Geoffrey does. That could certainly be due to the shortness of the story. I just wished for more of the man Geoffrey was crushing on all this time.
Still Slow Summer Heat is a cute hot holiday romance. A quick read with a touch of the Australian heat for something different.
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas. The pool is a major element here so it works for the cover but there should be more to it as well.
ebook, 1st edition, 54 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English