I was excited to read this book because it features two of my favorite Harlequin authors – Sarah Mayberry and Emilie Rose. Overall I’d say I’ve had a positive experience with the romance anthologies, and Hot City Nights didn’t disappoint.
Summer in the City by Sandra Marton
While this was the featured story in the anthology, it was also unfortunately my least favorite. Lincoln Aldridge and Ana Maria Marques make a good couple, but it takes them a while to get there.
I didn’t find their initial interaction realistic or believable. Nor the “if I assault you, but then kiss you, we won’t fight” theme that ran through a portion of the book. Especially as this was at a point where Linc and Ana didn’t really like each other. Certain practical matters in the plot such as the guardianship cum adoption, marriage (of convenience), and the stereotypical villain didn’t wow me either.
However, once the Ana and Linc begin interacting, the story was sweet. The ending made up for a lot of the book, and I was involved by the time they said their vows. What came afterwards was well written and heartwarming. I haven’t read any other books by Ms. Marton before, and I’ll likely watch for her other ones in the future.
In New York a billionaire remembers the beautiful stranger with whom he’d shared a kiss—a kiss that burned them both to the soul. Now he’s a desperate new father, and she’s suddenly the only woman who can help him!
Read an excerpt here.
Back to You by Sarah Mayberry
Ms. Mayberry writes another great “friends to lovers” story with characters Becky Taylor and Cal MacKenzie. I really liked the interaction between the two. Back to You is emotional, well thought out, and realistic. It was nice that the characters clung to their pride – thus creating the genuineness of the story. Misunderstanding on the part of Becky and Cal created drama, but not an excess of it. The heat between Becky and Cal is palpable, and this is simply a fun novella. Nothing too heavy, just quick entertainment. Back to You is striking in the simplicity of the storyline, which adds to its readability. (Oh – and how exciting is it that Ms. Mayberry’s website is finally updated?!)
In Sydney a woman comes face-to-face with the man she swore would never hurt her again. But when they agree to an intense, no-strings fling, she wonders if she’s gotten in way over her head…and her heart!
Read an excerpt here.
Forgotten Lover by Emilie Rose
Talia Rivera and Jake Larson are something of an anti-couple, as they ended their affair a number of years ago. However, an unfortunate accident puts them in each other’s company, and they’re forced to confront the past, and decide whether or not they should pick up the pieces and rebuild.
Jake is something of a jerk, but you get the sense that he’s a genuinely nice guy. He’s simply dealing with a tough situation poorly, and trying to avoid getting hurt. While the asshole routine gets a little old, Jake doesn’t stick with it too long. Talia is a sympathetic character, but not pathetic, and it was fun to see her regain her memory piece by piece. Her amnesia forces the reader to focus only on the here and now, due to the lack of background. We mostly only know what she knows.
I enjoyed all the emotion in this story – not just Talia and Jake getting back together, but seeing how Jake interacted with the Talia’s child, Adam. It was so adorable, and all together made for an engaging story.
In Atlanta a woman lies in a hospital bed after a serious accident. But when the hospital calls her emergency contact—her ex-lover—she’s horrified. Why doesn’t she remember him? Worse still, she might be falling for him…again!
No excerpt found.
Overall Grade: B–
Love rules the night, but what will the daylight bring…?