Saturday, March 8, 2014

A FLARE OF HEAT by Nicola Claire

(H.E.A.T. #1)
by Nicola Claire
Published: March 14, 2014

My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️

Haunted by the memories of her partner, Detective Lara Keen is struggling to make sense of a series of murders that all seem to involve her or perhaps a case she is actively involved in. Doing her best to keep up her outward tough act for the boys back at the precinct, she feels the void left behind by her partner's death. When called to yet another scene, this one involving a fire, her resolve is shaken even further when she is forced to team up with a man who she's already let too close once before.

Alerted to any calls involving suspicious fire, HEAT Chief Investigator Damon Michaels halfway expected to bump into Lara at the scene. And after being officially partnered up to follow through on the investigation, it becomes clear to Damon that whatever was between them, is not over by a long shot. She may have pushed him away once, but he won't let that happen again. Especially when it appears she is too close to the investigation.

After her initial irritation and being teamed up with Damon, Lara finds that his presence actually has more of a stabilizing effect on her than a disturbing one. They work well together and although she would be the last to admit it, Lara trusts him. Trying to find any connective tissue between the murder cases and her active drug rape investigation also allows her more insight in some issues that Damon had kept under wraps.

Inevitably working together closely is not helping Lara to keep her distance, and Damon is ready to pick up where they left off months ago. With Damon's determination apparent, Lara realizes that resistance is futile and with the way the case is developing, she is glad to know she has one person firmly in her corner...


HEAT is right!! FRICKIN' hot and fabulous!!!

I've gotta tell you...... I love Nicola Claire. And if you haven't heard of her yet, shame on you!! I have reviewed some of her SWEET SEDUCTION series about a Security Company, and those books were fantastic!! She also has a few paranormal series that are not as much in my ballpark, but I have read and reviewed one...  MIXED BLESSING and it too was fantastic! 

This is the first book of a brand new series, H.E.A.T., which stands for Hauraki Emergency Assistance Team. The series is situated in or about Auckland, New Zealand and takes a close look at the gritty underbelly of the city and those put in place to protect it.

Lara is a detective for the Criminal Investigations Bureau and comes from a long line of law enforcement. Her world has always been clearly defined in right & wrong, black & white, without any mitigating circumstances or gray areas. 
With his background in Fire Inspection, Damon is well aware that things are not always as they seem, and sometimes you have to wade through the smoke to get a clearer picture. He also knows that together, he and Lara would make quite a formidable team. It would just take her a little longer to see it.

The characters are deliciously complex and so very well matched in their contrast. Their antagonism does not detract from the obvious heat and chemistry between them and once ignited, they burn up the pages. The storyline is beautifully woven and eerily devious and will keep you on the edge of your seat til the very last page.

Just a note; Although this is a story in itself, part of the plot is ongoing, and I believe will be the backdrop for at least some of the novels to follow.

I was excited when I learned Nicola was writing a whole new series. Now that I've read the first book, I am beyond thrilled and cannot wait for the next one!! Five fat goosebumped stars!!

✨A scalding hot, gritty and sinister, new kick-a$$ thriller!!✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**  Amazon UK Amazon AuS
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Get to reading!!! Nicola Claire is an amazing New Zealand author, with a great backlist of novels with something for everyone!!


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