Sunday, January 4, 2009

Review - Heat Lightning

Title: Heat Lightning
Author: Anne Stuart
Publishing Date: 1992
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm

Caleb Spencer has come to the town of Turner's Landing to get revenge on Harrison Turner. Caleb was sent to prison for a murder he didn't commit because of Harrison and while nursing his grudge in jail he vowed to get his revenge. Jassy, Harrison's sister is Caleb's target. One thing Caleb has always excelled at is seducing women. Sweet, sheltered Jassy Turner won't know how to resist bad boy Caleb Spencer.

For a short book the characters were well developed. I liked how the weather and bayou came across as characters all on their own. I also thought it was very creative how Ms. Stuart was able to slowly unravel clues about Harrison and Caleb's past. Jassy slowly discovers her brother's true nature that she tries to deny. Events built up to a climax that coincided with the weather.

Ms. Stuart has a tendency to write anti-heroes and Caleb is no exception as he sets out to get revenge on Harrison by seducing his sister. This leaves the believability of the romance on shaky ground. Both Jassy and Caleb are likable and the relationship developed at a reasonable pace so it works out well. Jassy is a good combination of spit-fire and tenderness, so it's easy for the reader to like her. I tend to like stories were the heroine comes in and waltzes all over the hero and he doesn't know what hit him. But only when the hero thinks he is so macho and invincible. I love the irony of a little weak female bringing a strong willed man to his knees.

As for what I didn't like. The story felt a little dated, with the clothing and hair descriptions. I think the picture on the cover didn't help at all. It's one of those covers that the Smart Bitches would have a hay-day with. There are a few secondary characters that come across as cliched; Jassy's mother and sister-in-law and even the sheriff.


nath said...

That is the problem with covers... they imprinted into our minds and affect our reading.

Sounds like a good book :D

Jill D. said...

Nath, Yeah, the cover totally kept creeping back up into my mind. That is some majorly bad hair on the cover :) It wasn't too bad a book. Have you read Anne Stuart before? She has these signature jerk heroes. They don't bother me so much, but they might others.

Lori said...

I love the old Anne Stuarts. And you're right, the settings are like their own characters in them. If you liked this one, you also might like Into the Fire.

Jill D. said...

Hey Lori, I have read Into the Fire and liked it. It was one of the first books I read by her. I went on a serious glomm after reading the book Nightfall, which I absolutely loved.

Kristie (J) said...

How terribly bad is that I'm a product of the 80's and I don't mind the hairstyle on the hero??
Anne Stuart wrote some great gems for Harlequin. Though I read this one years ago, I don't remember it really. Hmmmmm - perchance a book for Nath's book challenge!

Jenny Girl said...

I know...what is up with those covers? My co-worker always looks to see what I am reading, and when one of those covers pops up, he just starts laughing.

Jill D. said...

Kristie! LOL, you like that hair do?!

Jenny Girl, Yep I try to keep the covers of my book covered at work. And forget it, if there is anyone half-naked. At least these characters still had their clothes on in this cover!

nath said...

I've read a few Anne Stuart and I agree that her heroes are most of the times, jerks LOL :) I'm not a great fan... like her latest Ice series... meh.

Jill D. said...

Yeah, you have to love the jerk hero if you are going to read her books. You might like Cinderman, though. I don't think the hero was that much of a jerk and it is a neat storyline. The hero is a scientist and he invents invisibility. It is an old category romance. Your best bet would be to try a used book store.