If You Can't Stand The Heat by Joss Wood

 If You Can't Stand the Heat...

Reviewed by Desere 

All of us face difficulties in our relationships with our parents, very few are lucky enough to have the 'perfect parents'. For those of us that need to make due with each and every situation that does arise when it comes to our parents there is always a message of lean on your friends, in them you will find the courage you need to stand up and make yourself heard, tell your parents to back off or simply to let you go and give you the chance to spread your wings.

But when you instead keep it bottled up inside and just go from day to day without taking the leap, it manifests those issues and insecurities in our romantically linked relationships and disaster is a given.

So what do you do when you have been there, gotten the t-shirt and around comes the chance of a lifetime with a man you never thought you would even look at or consider going to bed with, nor did you ever think he would look at you with flames of lust in his eyes?

The answer is simple, if you can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen! But of course that is easier said then done when the temptation is much like a sweet and delicious cake screaming "Eat me" when your diet is at it's most crucial point, and putting yourself out there is all you can do in the hope that you don't get burned.

In the new Joss Wood read these are the issues Ellie faces, she has come along way from the frumpy overweight girl she use to be, she has worked her way to a better self and is doing just fine, but then her never there for her father sends the I-cannot-resist-you Jack Chapman her way and her life spirals out of control faster than she can say cookies and cream!

Jack is the exact opposite of what Ellie is looking for in a man, he is a war correspondent and always on the go to seek out a story, and thus never around when needed, and Ellie knows and understands the reasoning behind this kind of life well, after-all her own father was and still is the same. She must resist at all costs, but she falls and falls hard not only for Jack's body but his heart and soul. Soon she knows she wants him around on a permanent basis, but Jack is already taking off for the next big story, will Ellie's love be enough to bring him back to her or will she once again hit rock bottom and go down in flames?

The character of Ellie was in the start one that most woman can associate with, your childhood has directly influenced your decisions on life and you have paid for them dearly. But like us all we cannot always control our feelings and a part of us always holds onto hope for what if this time it could be the real deal and you would hate yourself for not taking a chance. I loved that Ellie showed so much courage in taking a leap of faith in everything she does, even when so scared. The author made her the perfect "I have found the one hero that can push me to be the person I need to be" heroine.

The character of Jack was oh so sexy and one of those "Just say the words and am yours" hero's. A real tough guy always ready to take on the world. I loved that he holds back a part of himself due to his own childhood experiences, it made him able to help Ellie but also causes him to not see that what Ellie is facing is so much like what he is facing, making him a tortured hero in his own right. The author not only lets their relationship be a helping kind but also one of them both being so much alike on so many levels to the extent where I as reader wanted to yell at the both of them and just say "See what is in front of you and let go".

The backdrop settings were fun and inviting not to mention so hot and sexy that when entering a bakery from now on it will make me immediately think of Ellie and Jack. The dialogue was mostly very emotional and brought me to tears , here and there the author also incorporated some very fun and playful humour and when looking at cake of any kind I will forever be doomed by images of a hot man covered in nothing but flour!

I am taking away a message of letting your past hold you back from stepping up and taking the chance life gives you will yes in some instances cause you great heartache but it will also show you that you are much stronger and more valuable then gold to someone special , risk it for in the end it will be worth it, what does not break you makes you stronger all you need to do is risk it and then hold on for the ride.

I highly recommend this read for all fans of Joss Wood reads, she has once again created a story of romance meets the real world. Realistic characters and real life situations incorporated with a level of intensity so deep you will be left with feelings of seeking out your very own childhood insecurities and finding a way to let go so you can have the life you want! A best seller for sure!

5/5 star review
" Together they set in motion the flames of desire" 

Reviewed by Nas

IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT by Joss Wood is a new imprint from Harlequin series-Harlequin Kiss release.

Ellie makes cakes. She has a cake shop and roots in her small town. Then she meet world famous war reporter, Jack.

Jack goes where the action is. Will he be satisfied in a small town? Could he share his transplanted heart with Ellie?

IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT is a lively contemporary romance with a sexy, gorgeous hero you will swoon over and a strong heroine whom you’d love. Author Joss Wood brought this sparkling tale of unexpected and chance encounters turning into red-hot passion.

 Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Maria

This is the first book I've read by author Joss Wood and it's a beautifully written, fresh story set in a beautiful country between two attractive main characters.

I loved the heroine Ellie, a young woman with an exotic mixture of parentage - both Irish and Indian.  Just like my own children.  The hero, Jack, is a war correspondent who travels to the trouble spots of the world and has commitment phobia.This is definitely not the first time I've read a war correspondent romance novel.  But this author's treatment of the subject was unique.  I absolutely loved the vibrant feel of the South African atmosphere which just came alive with Joss Wood's addictive style of storytelling.

A talented artistic young woman who has severe difficulty with the word no, Ellie learns to love and trust again through her relationship with Jack, a true hero, a man who braves hazards to get the news through to the world.When you fall in love, you rearrange your priorities.  You may feel that your love affair may clash with your priorities, but sometimes your priorities can change.  The main thing about this book is, you realize that you should never say never.  I also enjoyed Jack's journey, coping with survivor's guilt and changing his priorities.  No sugary romance, this.  The author didn't spare the tough details.

An entertaining and absorbing story which I never wanted to end.

I received an ARC of the book in return for an honest review.