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3.8 out of 5
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    OK read

    While I am a big fan of Serena Bell's books, this one not so much. I found the story lacking and considering the basic story is about two people who enjoy their sexy times a bit rough, I thought even that component lacking.
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    Second Chances

    I really enjoyed this book. Serena Bell's writing was inspiring, creating vivid images, the emotion and aspirations of the main characters, very palpable. I found myself empathizing with Lily and Kincaid, feeling their pain and dreaming their dreams. Even the storyline was raw and realistic. The perspective, refreshingly truthful where so many books today rely so much on fantasy. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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    Sexy and intense!

    This sexy and tension filled romance is the story of Lily and Kincaid. When Lily's relationship in Chicago failed, she ended up with no plan, except to lick her wounds and try to save up some money to bring back her dream of opening her own restaurant some day. Staying with her sister in the small town of Tierney Bay on the Oregon Coast and waiting tables at a dingy diner keeps her going, one day at a time. With time on her hands, she can't help but notice the sexy mystery man who starts to take up residence in one of her booths. Kincaid has his reasons for being quiet and reserved, but he isn't immune to the glances he gets from Lily and what starts out as an innocent flirtation heats up quickly as they discover that they share a sexual penchant they can freely indulge in with each other. But what starts out as sex becomes something deeper, a relationship that will only stand a chance if secrets are told before they come out on their own , secrets that risk destroying the happiness that they've found in each other. This was an excellently told story of two people, coming from different circumstances, learning to trust again. Right from the start of the story I was hooked and though Kincaid's circumstances are revealed to the reader fairly quickly (no spoilers here), it's a secret that he keeps from Lily and you just know that it's going to be key to their success as a couple, how Lily will deal with the knowledge. So you have this tension right from the start that doesn't let up and you just want to turn the pages faster and faster to get to the end, while at the same time savouring the story. Lily is a friendly and sweet woman, who's had a bad run of things and is living with her very supportive sister and doing her best to save her money to get back to Chicago and find a job where she can cook. She loves to cook, it's one of her reasons for being and it's the most difficult part of her job at the diner, that she doesn't have the freedom to create like she wants to. When she gets a chance to cook for Kincaid and makes him a burger not on the menu, her boss is less than thrilled, but Kincaid stands up for her. It is that support, that solid strength of his that leads them into their sexual dance, one that combines issues of consent and rough sex and bondage and all sorts of sexy games that soon become much more. Kincaid comes across wonderfully as this tortured hero, on a mission for revenge and for finding the truth at all costs, a mission that is hampered by his growing feelings for Lily. He is a strong and protective man, who falls for Lily despite his best efforts to keep himself emotionally uninvolved, knowing that he is no good for her and that she plans to leave soon for a better life than what he could ever offer her. There are a lot of emotions in this story, chief among them shame and guilt, felt by both Kincaid and Lily for various reasons. Overcoming those feelings is something they manage to do together, though it takes a while before they are able to acknowledge this to each other. I loved the way the story played out, and once we get past the inevitable conflict and on to the well deserved happy ending, there is the sweetest epilogue that made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes too. This one is on my keeper shelf and one of my favourites of this year. 5 stars.
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    Gritty and poignant story of redemption

    Lily McKee loves to cook but a falling out with her boss/mentor/boyfriend led to her upping and leaving everything – her job, her dreams – behind. Now she is temporarily stuck doing a job she dislikes as she prepares to return and fulfill her dreams in Chicago but seeing Kincaid Graves every day at the diner she works at makes up for it. Kincaid makes Lily hunger for things unspoken and she knows that he could actually tempt her to throw away all her plans for a chance with him. Kincaid Graves is back in his hometown to settle a score. After doing a stint in jail, he’s back to right an old wrong and he does not intend to allow any distractions to his plans. Lily McKee is definitely one giant distraction and just one stolen moment between them has him wondering if he could have more in his life – passion, a relationship, a future – than what he has right now. Kincaid is a man who at the core of him is good and caring, but a mistake borne out of that goodness, a desire to protect a loved one landed him in jail and now he’s faced with a long and hopeless life as an ex-con and the stigma and challenges that come with it. I like that Ms. Bell does not gloss over the fact that Kincaid is capable of violence and in view of the violence of the crime he did time for, his sexual proclivities take on a darker tone. Lily abandoned all her ambitions and fled to Oregon to avoid her ex’s judgement of her sexual desires but she has plans to go back and reclaim her life in Chicago. Kincaid and Lily are good for each other as their shared passion validates their dark needs but they help each other in other ways too. Lily makes Kincaid see that he is so much more than the one bad decision he made and that he can reach for his dreams. Kincaid helps Lily accept that her desires are honest and real and nothing to be ashamed of and restores that bit of her that was lost by her ex’s rejection. I enjoyed reading TURN UP THE HEAT because Ms. Bell did not shy away from difficult issues but also because Kincaid and Lily get their happy ending and dreams really come true for them as they find all they ever wanted in that small Oregon town. TURN UP THE HEAT is gritty and heartbreaking but is also a poignant story of redemption, with passionate interludes that are raw and primal and characters that tug at the heart strings. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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    Story line and sexual connection are good

    There are some pretty intense sex scenes involving Lily's need to be dominated and taken roughly - so this might not be for everyone. The story line is good, the sexual connection is great, but I didn't feel the emotional connection between them until almost the end of the book. The beginning and ending are great, but I would have liked the middle to have more "showing" rather than "telling" about the characters feelings. 3.5 stars I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
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