on May 31, 2016
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Also in this series: Wild at Whiskey Creek
A broken truck, a broken career, and a breakup heard around the world land superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it that hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love . . . or trouble. JT may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.
His looks might cause whiplash and weak knees, but Britt sees past JT’s rough edge and sexy drawl to a person a lot like her: in need of the kind of comfort best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.
Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart—not to mention the rest of her—are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt has a secret as dark as the hills, and JT’s past is poised to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Hot in Hellcat Canyon is a smidgen steamier than my usual taste, but I loved it for the clever phrases and all the feels. I laughed out loud more than once, and I teared up over J.T.’s wedding toast to his friends. It’s a modern Cinderella story, California-style: hot (extremely hot) (I got a little tired of reading about just how hot) but somewhat washed-up TV star with a rough background meets beautiful but just-getting-by young woman trying to rebuild her life after a devastating relationship. Both are damaged, but they’re perfect for each other. It’s a romance-novel staple, but what makes it work is the quality of Long’s writing, which makes every scene feel alive and real. She balances humor—and wow, can she turn a phrase!—with deep, believable emotion, and her descriptive writing is vivid and detailed without ever overwhelming or slowing the story. I could hear, see, smell, and practically taste everything, from Britt’s rescued plants and sagging front porch step to the clear mountain air to J.T.’s television character’s signature drawled daaaaaamn!
The two main characters, Britt and J.T., are wonderful: complex and perceptive and intelligent, though not always smart. The secondary characters are equally wonderful, and delightfully individual, each with their individual quirks. There are a few who are less than likeable, of course; it wouldn’t be realistic without that. Long has left herself plenty of room to grow the series: at least five residents of the little town are single, and several have past history, not all of it good, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of them. Speaking of the town, I also loved the setting. Hellcat Canyon is somewhere in the Sierra Nevadas (I think), so think small ex-mining town, mountains and canyons, and gorgeous views—my perfect setting for a contemporary romance.
This is the first book I’ve read by Long, and it definitely won’t be the last. Thanks to Avon and the Avon Addicts program, I have about 9 of her historical romances—and I can’t wait to dive in!
I have 3 copies to give away, thanks to the generous folks at Avon and the #AvonAddicts program.