I have read Ms. Lynn’s work for years so it really pains me that Raw Heat simply did not live up to my expectations of her work. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures
Youngest Larson brother Damien has the luck of the devil. Fast talking and faster thinking, he owns a successful nightclub in Houston and runs an illegal poker room upstairs. After a troubled childhood, now nothing is out of Damien’s reach—except his accountant, Emma Haskell.
Emma has always been drawn to Damien’s dark intensity and the gleam in his eyes that promises more than she can possibly handle. But when her brother’s gambling threatens to destroy her family, Damien makes her an offer she’d be crazy to accept—but can’t refuse: her brother’s debts will be forgiven, and Emma belongs to him for thirty days.
In Damien’s world, he shows his angelic bookkeeper what it’s like to live with the devil. But Emma brings out a side in Damien he thought didn’t exist. Will the flames of lust scorch them both, or will this beauty tame the beast and give him something to fight for?
Raw Heat scorches with emotional intensity and smoldering passion that will leave readers spellbound!
Raw Heat is the last book in Cherrie Lynn’s The Larson Brothers series and it was a bit of a letdown for me. The first two books in this series were very complex with the characters having to overcome some big time baggage to be together and in those books they worked through it, they showed growth, they made amends and they moved forward. That same type of book was very possible with the hero and heroine in Raw Heat, but we didn’t see it, not at all, and it was disappointing. An “indecent proposal” type of bet, leads to night club owner and professional gambler Damien “winning” his straight laced accountant for a month in whatever way he chooses.
As the youngest of the Larson brothers, Damien has always been a bit of a loner something readers have seen in the previous two books in this series. While he loves his brothers completely, he keeps mainly to himself and lives for his club and the illegal poker games he runs out of it. From the moment Emma walked into his office to interview for the position of his accountant, there was something about her that called to him. Things get complicated when Emma’s brother, an addicted gambler, gambles beyond his means and Damien offers to pay off his debt if Emma will spend one month with him as he sees fit.
I felt like this book tried to be too many things at one time and not all of it fit together. We really never got to know either character extremely well. Emma worked hard, worried about her brother, and tried to keep her parent’s from enabling him anymore and sending them into complete financial ruin. It was obvious she liked Damien despite his illegal activities, but never expected that he was interested in her. Damien wanted Emma but for some reason felt he couldn’t ask her out so instead he offered to let her work off her brother’s debt and in turn made her feel bad for doing so. I kept asking why he would do this if he really liked her, why would he keep it going when he knew how much it hurt her and we never got those answers. It was obvious Damien had demons in his past that made him into the man he is today and while we got a cursory glance at his childhood, he never really talked to Emma or his brothers about his feelings and I missed that. I missed not seeing him come to terms with his past, for realizing the things that happened were holding him back, and while he did finally begin to understand it was okay to let someone get close, we never got that big “a-ha” moment with him. In addition, Emma went from being a strong woman to a push over and she didn’t stand by her convictions after calling Damien out on his bad behavior and leaving him. Adding BDSM elements into this story was fine, but again we don’t know what drove Damien to pursue it and given that the submissive is the one with the power in the relationship, was he really in control?
I loved seeing the characters from the first two books and all the brothers being together even though those scenes were way too short. I was happy Emma and Damien were able to work things out, but I needed more time with them as an actual couple than the couple in a screwed up scenario where they spent a great deal of time arguing. As always Ms. Lynn did not disappoint in the sexy times, they were plentiful and hot as always.
I have read Ms. Lynn’s work for years so it really pains me that this book simply did not live up to my expectations of her work. That being said, while this was not my cup of tea that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it and this one book will not keep me from seeking out her future books as well.
Review copy provided for a voluntary review.