The Winter Olympics, particularly the figure skating, is messing up my reading and writing schedule. I am way behind in posting any reviews here basically because I haven’t done a lot of reading lately because I am such a figure skating fan. The TBR Challenge is definitely helping to motivate me to get a post up. This month’s theme is Backlist Glom (author with multiple books in your TBR). I have 5 books by Laura Florand in my TBR. She has been recommended to me many times, and her books seem to appear as deals frequently at Amazon, which is how I have bought those 5 books. Until this book, however, I had not read one of them. (Yes, I know I have a problem with my TBR, but it is hard to resist that 99¢ deal when the book is recommended!). So, I picked her Turning Up the Heat for my challenge book this month.
This is a novella, only 129 pages long, and is a prequel for Florand’s La Vie en Roses series. It is a marriage in trouble book, which is not one of my favorite tropes, but as soon as I got a little ways into it I knew I was going to like the book. The writing was very good. There is always that dance at the beginning of a book of “am I going to like this”, “is this book worth the time investment?”, and the answer to both in this case is yes. Novellas can be a tricky book length for me to find satisfying, because sometimes it seems like the romance jumps to love so quickly that it is unrealistic. In this case, they are not falling in love for the first time, but rediscovering why they were together in the first place and deciding to stay together.
Daniel is a famous chef who has a restaurant as well as a successful television career. He is very busy, loves his wife, and is unaware that his marriage is in trouble. Léa, his wife, feels lost. They married very young, and while it appears to the outside that things are fine, Léa just feels tired. She leaves a message for Daniel that she is going away for a little while, not telling him exactly where she is going and leaving her cell phone at home. She ends up going to a new, remote South Pacific island resort. Daniel tracks her down and begins to woo her again, not really understanding why their marriage is where it is, but putting it and Léa first.
With romance you know you are going to get your happily ever after at the end of the book, so it is always the journey to that HEA that is important. I really enjoyed how Daniel gave his wife space, but was determined to let her know that she was the most important thing to him. The sex was good, but they were not sharing what they were feeling for each other. The love was their, but Léa and Daniel had to learn to talk to and understand each other in order to stay married. This was a very sweet and satisfying book. I will definitely read more Laura Florand, including the rest of her books in my TBR!