Damn, I appear to have gone into stealth mode and have failed to post anything to my blog for the last two weeks. I blame the Easter holidays, final (hopefully) edits on my WIP ‘New Lease of Life’ while I ready it for submission, and beta work with a tight deadline *side-eyes KH*.
That means I’ve missed two weeks of Fiction Friday. So let’s get the ball roll with that. Yes, I know it’s Tuesday.
My favourite read of the last two weeks, and much anticipated by me from the moment it was announced, was JL Merrow’s Heat Trap. Heat Trap is book three in the Plumber’s Mate series and I’m hoping it won’t be the last.
The wrong secret could flush their love down the drain.
It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit with a shocking revelation about his family. His lover, P.I. Phil Morrison, is pushing this as an ideal opportunity for Tom to try to develop his psychic talent for finding things. Tom would prefer to avoid the subject altogether, but just as he decides to bite the bullet, worse problems come crawling out of the woodwork.
Marianne, a young barmaid at the Devil’s Dyke pub, has an ex who won’t accept things are over between them. Grant Carey is ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets between him and Marianne, including an old friend of Tom and Phil. Their eagerness to step in and help only makes them targets of Grant’s wrath themselves.
With Tom’s uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the revelation of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, suddenly Tom’s not sure whom he can trust.
The body in the Dyke’s cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.
Warning: Contains British slang, a very un-British heat wave, and a plumber with a psychic gift who may not be as British as he thinks he is.
I love Tom and Phil as a couple, but I have found that I want to spend a lot of my time smacking some sense into Tom, and this book was no exception. In fact, I might have wanted to slap him more in this one than in both of the other two books put together. And add in some of his friends and family for the slapfest, too.
I thought the investigation was weaker this time around and I couldn't quite put my finger on how I was supposed to feel about Carey and what he had, or hadn't, done, before or during the story. I was disappointed that Phil and Tom didn't work together as much in this one and I guessed the 'secret' Phil was hiding in the cupboard from the off (I'm hoping this means we're getting another book).
Does that mean I'm taking off stars? No. Who am I kidding? I loved it. As always, the writing was sharp and funny. And despite my propensity for sticking one on Tom, I do think their relationship feels real.
I have only one real complaint about this book (and the series as a whole): I want to be able to get these books in audio and, as far as I can tell, Samhain don't do them.
Heat trap - 5 stars with an overall series rating of 5 stars.
Honourable mentions go to:
Boats in the Night by Jo Myles. Why this book had been languishing unread on my Kindle for 3 years is anybody’s guess. I love Jo Myles' quirky characters and is Smutty is just another in a long line :)
For a Rainy Afternoon by R J Scott. Which I actually read on a bright unseasonable warm spring day, not a rainy afternoon, and was perfectly suited to both my mood and the weather.
The Inventor’s Companion by Ariel Tachna. Another book that had been hanging around on my Kindle for 3 years. Possibly because at 350 pages it is a long book by romance standards. It’s a steampunk story with excellent but unobtrusive world building and a cast of supporting characters who are likeable and well rounded. The book took me nearly a week to read because I kept waiting for ‘something bad’ to happen. The anticipation gave my reading an edge that meant I struggled to read more than a couple of chapters at a time. However, Luc and Gabe are a great couple and I was rooting for them from the very beginning.
Have you enjoyed any particular reads in the last couple of weeks? Or do have any strong opinions on the books I singled out here?