Review: Heat (Salisbury Stories, #1) by RJ Scott and Chris Quinton

Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left - working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realises sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.

* * * * *

Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he's had to sell to Trelawney Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn't all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels' potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.

First of all I owe a HUGE apology to RJ Scott and Chris Quinton. I read this book waaaaaaaaay back in October of last year and had fully convinced myself I had already reviewed it here. Then I realised i hadn't. And I loved it. LOVED it. It is one of those books that had me grinning from beginning to end. Now I've read...bear with me while I have a quick count up on Goodreads....whoa, I need an intervention...100 books since I read this one. That's right ONE HUNDRED.

And yet I can still remember it - and remember it with a smile because I really enjoyed it.

Lewis - the man who has lost everything, pretty much, is giving over control of his business. Except it's more than a business, it's his heart and soul. Devon, the arrogant American who has just bought the restaurant couldn't really care less about the heart of it, if the numbers don't add up then it needs to change.

I have to admit, from the start I was prepared to love Lewis and hate Devon. Was my alliance with the Brit because of his nationality (no, I promise) but because I'm a sad sap who love those who don't give up in the face of adversity. There was very little Lewis had left but he still held his head high and tried his best. Where many would say fuck it, he didn't. Not even when Devon came in throwing his weight about. Nasty individual.

Except he wasn't. Not really. He was just trying to prove himself as much as Lewis was. It made for an interesting partnership. It worked. It made my heart beat a bit faster. Because you know what - Lewis may not have been a damsel in distress, but it turned out Devon was a knight in shining armour. I feel all squishy inside thinking about them.

Salisbury is a beautiful place for this book to be set and I love how the city is a part of this story. The timeless cathedral city adds an atmosphere to this book, it sets a tone, a backdrop that gave this story more...more...

...just more.

I have to mention Rachel, Lewis's younger sister. I love the positivity portrayed in this disabled character. She is a strong person in her own right, not just there for a sympathy vote and I really enjoyed her role in the story.

An excellent story I would recommend to all.
A copy of this book was received for an honest (but thank god not timed) review.

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