Heat: Berkley. Oct. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780425270783. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780698136892. EROTICA
OrangeReviewStarSebastian Jameson is a dirty lawyer gone clean and accustomed to negotiating and making his clients' problems disappear. If only it were the same for his own life, in which his ex-wife has written not one but two notable books placing their raunchy sexcapades in public view. Jameson is still nursing his wounds when Kyra Royer shows up in his regular supper club, with a proposition even more attractive than she is. They are longtime acquaintances, and Kyra knows about Bast's dark past and has an even murkier one to match. The two embark on a strictly physical relationship, but, of course, things don't go as planned. Throw in some malicious fathers and corrupt CIA tricks, and Kyra and Bast may just find they need each other more than ever before. Meanwhile, familiar faces abound as Becca Ford and Jarrett Holt, the couple from Dimon's previous novel Mercy appear as the ever-supportive friends and confidants. Club manager (and Kyra's brother) Wade also resurfaces, still in the midst of negotiating his messy breakup with stubborn former operative Elijah Sterling. Their explosive relationship, as well as the budding romance between acerbic Natalie Pritchard and her new bodyguard Gabe MacIntosh, shows promise for further exploration in a later publication. Though the CIA operative backstory could be a bit confusing for new readers, Dimon's bold, humorous characters exhibit equal parts smarts and sex appeal. Her female characters are strong, skilled, and emotional, illustrating that women in erotic romance do not have to fall prey to limiting stereotypes.
VERDICT This entertaining cast of whip-smart, sardonic former felons will keep readers turning the pages for the sex and the snark alike.

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