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Monday, August 9, 2010

Savannah Heat by Carol North

Savannah Heat by Carol North
Publisher: Class Act Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (243 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Miss Bisque's deceased husband, Johnny Bob Wiley, was a man with secrets so he set up his will and trust accounts to prevent anyone learning of his clandestine activities. Bisque Fayette Wiley is a Southern belle raised to have a man take care of her. After Johnny Bob died she had to make a choice: live a hand-to-mouth existence or toughen up and take care of herself.

Her journey takes her to the door of the "Casanova of Savannah," a Savannah, Georgia art gallery owner, Colonel Parker Hill. The colonel lost a leg in Desert Storm. He owes his life to a female soldier who died taking fire meant for him. Consequently, he loves women. Perhaps, he loves too many women. The colonel, Southern gentleman that he is, becomes Miss Bisque's mentor and protector.

When Miss Bisque is accused of murder, she may need more help than even the colonel can provide.

This is an amazing story of a widowed woman who finds out her life and marriage was a lie but during her incredible journey of self she makes her dreams come true and finds love along the way.

Bisque truly went on a roller coaster ride during this whole tale. I got the giggles as I realized her internal monologues talking to her dead husband reflected the tone of the story at its pivotal moments. That was a clever technique. I also enjoyed the Southern thing about “Bless your heart”. It spiced up the ambience of the book. I thought it a great touch. Then there is her personality. It was intriguing to see the first person POV because hers was a character I would want to know about. Everything she lived through, thought, experienced, was what this book was all about. She is an incredible character and watching her grow and find that she not only has a back bone but knows how to use it was satisfying to me as a reader. When she was ready to explore her sexuality, so was I, especially after a very revealing piece of evidence she found. That was a kicker. I never saw that coming and her reaction was as passionate and emotional as I could wish. Bisque had so much love bottled inside that truly, even though she was a mother, had never been tapped.

The Colonel is a very likable man who’s lived hard and has the reputation for playing harder. That is until he sees the treasure that Bisque shows him. Judging from his actions, I’d say he was a man who never found what he was looking for until Bisque. His character was delightful because he was patient, romantic, incredibly so, and was the total opposite of her dead husband – which will make a lot more humorous sense for those who’ve read this book. I liked the fact that he wasn’t perfect, physically or emotionally. He wasn’t a smooth operator and at times his insecurity showed. Yet he never failed Bisque and for that I could love him too.

Speaking of failing, wow! Did Bisque’s world fall in around her ears or what? I mean, shock after shock and yet she survived it. She even rose above finding out that those that she thought would be there for her not only weren’t but even worse, they used her. Oh, how sweet it made her happily ever after because Bisque deserved every good thing she eventually gets and more. And then to have that bad thing happen was simply atrocious. And when she got treated even worse by those that should have been on her side simply killed me. I was also stunned by the revelation of who actually hired the person who came to her aide. I didn’t see that one coming either. Ms. North sure knows her way around great conflict, getting in touch with her character’s emotions and wringing said emotions out of the reader at the same time. There was no way I was putting this book down until I’d reached the final page. The drama and suspense hinged on how in the world this woman was going to rebuild her life despite the above average conflicts thrown at her.

Savannah Heat is a very well written and gripping story of a character I came to care for by virtue of Ms. North’s clever and descriptive writing. The secondary characters, even some whom I discounted as being a blip, totally revved up the plot and conflict and fed into my understanding of Bisque, the woman. I was so happy with how the happily ever after came about because it was romantic, soft, quite endearing and humorous and true to the woman she became by the end. At the story’s completion, I found the Colonel to be as hot a man as she did and he’s going to be a great life partner for her. This is a terrific read and I highly recommend sitting down and finding all about a beautiful woman named, Bisque. I’m glad I did.