This is the first book of a brand new series, Hollywood Heat, by the incomparable Leslie Kelly. To say I was excited for this new adventure would be an understatement. I’m sure for those of you who read my reviews, this will come as no surprise that I think Ms. Kelly’s voice in suspense/thriller/paranormal is one of the best in the publishing world. To date, I have never finished one of her books and felt let down. She has some serious writing chops and this reader is very grateful she writes books. I am not one for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but Ms. Kelly has changed my mind. The Winchester brothers, with all their secrets, has me waiting for the next book at the edge of my seat, tapping my foot impatiently.
“Nobody can ever predict when life will throw something awful at you — be it a disease or the death of someone you love. So all you can do is live it and trust that the happiness you find each and every day is worth the risk.”
Recce Winchester is the eldest of the three brothers. They are all Hollywood royalty, until one night everything fell apart. Reece returns to Hollywood for retribution. He’s a big-name actor who decided to go behind the camera and makes an even bigger name for himself. The Winchesters have lots of secrets and it all revolves around the death of their sister Rachel. Rachel died at the young age of 16. I am going to be a little vague with all the intricacies, because, as you know, Ms. Kelly builds layers upon layers leading up to the big reveal. While this reveal will appear at the end of the book, there are more webs to untangle which will lead into the next book in the series. This does not end on a cliffhanger, just more questions that need answers to. The Winchester boys, even though they were Hollywood stars, didn’t actually lead a wonderful life – quite the contrary. There is so much baggage they carry around, I feel tired for them.
Reece’s Aunt Sharon runs an art gallery. Reece happens to visit his aunt (he’s a silent partner) and notices a young woman jog in off the beach and he likes what he sees. I’d call it lust at first sight. He finds out what she was talking about to the manager of the gallery and puts a plan into place to see her again. Lucky for Jessica Jensen, her sister is an artist and Liz manages to get her art displayed in the gallery. When Jessica meets Reece, she’s full-on fangirl. She’s going to school to be a screenwriter and she watched Reece on the big screen. Jess is blown away that Reece is even interested in her. Liz sculpts, and there is one of her sculptures up for sale that Jessica posed for – with Reece’s eye for detail, he knows the subject is Jess and he knows what he wants.
Bad things have been happening to Reece. Someone burned his house down. While he was trying to woo Jessica, someone shot at him through the gallery window. He has a target on his back and now Jessica has one too. The buildup of their relationship it slow and hot. I love every single conversation they have. Both are gun shy because they have some things in common. Once they open up and trust each other, the relationship grows into something pretty damn amazing. I love that the author really delves deep into both characters.
Things come crashing down after Jessica is assaulted at an award ceremony she attends with Reece, and then it’s non-stop action with lots of big answers and a whole slew of other questions left unanswered. Ms. Kelly really outdoes herself with the start of this series. I am so excited for Rowan’s book (the ex-actor turned cop) not only because his page time is intriguing, but I can’t wait to see how things unfold. The brothers’ backstory is heartbreaking, Jessica’s is as well. Yet you have two people overcoming all the heartbreak and obstacles thrown in their path and come out on the other side a bit battered but so very strong. Ms. Kelly does suspense very well. She has a knack for interesting characters, and the start to this series does not disappoint. I can’t wait until July for the next one! Non-stop action with a whole lot of sexy. If you have never read any books by Leslie Kelly, you will love this book. Then sit back and prepare yourself for her backlist.
In the shadows, someone is always watching
Aspiring screenwriter Jessica Jensen grew up on movies starring heartthrob Reece Winchester, the eldest brother of a Hollywood dynasty. She never thought she’d meet the man in person, though. Actor, director, millionaire, and gorgeous mystery man-he’s every woman’s fantasy.
Reece wants Jessica the moment he sees her, and he’s a man who always gets what he wants. At first he was only after a night in her bed, but as he comes to know the smart, confident woman beneath the stunning exterior, he realizes once will never be enough.
Unfortunately, Jessica’s real-life Cinderella story is about to take a deadly turn…
Reece’s world is filled with fierce ambition and dark family secrets the Winchesters desperately want to hide. But he and his brothers aren’t the only ones who know those secrets. Someone else is out there, waiting to strike. Waiting-and always watching.
When danger finally steps out of the shadows, Reece will have to face his past. And Jessica will have to decide just how far she can trust the man she loves with her heart…and her life.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: