Also by this author: The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers, #1), The Harder You Fall (The Original Heartbreakers, #3)
Also in this series: The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers, #1), The Harder You Fall (The Original Heartbreakers, #3)
Published by HQN Books on July 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers story featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can’t resist…
Beck O'ckley is ruthless in the boardroom...and the bedroom. He's never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.
Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck's home—her ancestral estate—for food, she's shocked by his early return...and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.
For the first time in Beck's life, he can't get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he'll have to break her heart...or surrender his own
The Hotter You Burn is the second book of Gena Showalter’s The Original Heartbreakers trilogy. After finishing the first book, The Closer You Come, I was curious about the other two heartbreakers’ stories. So off to the library I went and was lucky enough to find The Hotter You Burn sitting on the shelf waiting for me to check it out. This time around I got to spend more time with Beck O’Ckley and learn about the mystery woman who manages to capture his heart.
From the little bit I had learned about Beck while reading The Closer To You, I knew that he preferred to be seen as an asshole than letting anyone get close to him. He’s the playboy of the group – the one who prefers one night stands over an actual relationship. Underneath this façade though is a man with a good heart that would do anything for his best friends Jason and West and who would give his shirt off his back to a stranger in need. And that is exactly what he does when he first meets Harlow Glass.
Harlow first encounters Beck when she breaks into his house … which used to be her house … to steal food. It’s a complicated situation as you can tell. When Harlow lost her mom, she also lost the house she grew up in because she was not able to keep up with the bills. And given some of the things she did when she was a teenager (bullying, cheating, and self-righteousness), she doesn’t have anyone in her corner to help her out. Beck recognizes her struggles and wants to help her so together they strike a deal. Harlow will come work for him … to pay him back for all the food she has stolen from him. Beck also helps provide a play to stay (a trailer) and refuses to allow her to pay rent. He uses it way to “keep an eye on her” without actually admitting his attraction to her.
This attraction between the two of them is very noticeable right from their first interaction. In The Hotter You Burn, Harlow is more than willing to possibly act on this attraction but Beck refuses. He doesn’t want her to become another one of his one night stands. He also doesn’t want to admit that there may be something more there. I enjoyed reading about Beck’s conflicted mind set. Like I said, he likes to present himself as an asshole but, he really does have a heart – a heart that has had its share of being lied to and stomped on too many times in foster care – so he has learned to protect himself. He doesn’t want to give into temptation even to someone who understands him to well.
Harlow understands Beck – maybe even better than he understands himself – but she will not force him to make a decision that he may not be comfortable with yet. She too has a past of hurt and shame much of which was brought on by herself. She knows that her behaviors in the past are the reason she is in the situation of her present. Harlow works to make amends with the people around her including Brook Lynn and her sister Jessie Kay (from The Closer You Come). I enjoyed reading about these three women who each have their own quirks and their flaws but who find a strong friendship in each other. Likewise, I enjoyed reading when Beck would vent to his buddies Jason and West, and they would call him out about his stupidity. Everyone needs friends like these in their lives and I love seeing how it continues throughout the trilogy.
Harlow and Beck’s relationship in The Hotter You Burn is far from a straight forward path. There are twists and turns as each of the characters attempt to figure themselves out and if the possibility of a real relationship was worth it. Being burnt in the past has causes both of them to be afraid to hope for their future but when they do … it is a wonderful display of fireworks. And yes, it is all worth it.