Hot In Here
Former country girl, Jenna McCabe is an intelligent, professional businesswoman, having built a successful public relations and marketing company from scratch with very little capitol. Jenna is a “force to be reckoned with in business”. However, the “business of being a woman had never come easily”, therefore her longtime friend and confidant Bryce Ryder has never felt a sexual attraction to her. Jenna however, has been in love with the handsome, popular Bryce since age 17 and has waited for years for him to see her as a love interest.
Bryce is a very successful gifted chef with his own restaurant and television show “Heating It Up”. While he comes from a wealthy family, he has made his own fortune providing culinary excellence to his patrons. When he makes an inappropriate comment concerning women, which is reported and embellished in “Celebrity Gossip” magazine his career is put in jeopardy. Bryce then calls on Jenna to develop a public relations plan that will put him back in good stead with his patrons and viewers.
This presents the perfect opportunity for Jenna to finally encourage Bryce to see her as not just a friend, but as a desirable sexy woman. She is fully aware however that Bryce has never thought of her that way. In fact, he is a known womanizer with a new slim beautiful woman on his arm every night of the week.
Bryce is a man scorned following his ex-live in girlfriend “Chrissy”, using him for money and nearly bankrupting him in the process. Jenna was there all through his tough time and, in fact was instrumental in negotiating a “Chrissy” pay off. Needless to say, Bryce is cynical where women are concerned. His whole focus is his career and restaurant.
As the story opens Bryce is hosting Jenna at his restaurant to review her damage control plan. He has always viewed her as his close friend and confidant, a ‘girl next door’ type hailing from their small rural town. However, suddenly over the intimacy of delectable food and business conversation, Bryce begins to have overwhelmingly hot sexual fantasies concerning Jenna. He doesn’t understand why, she isn’t his ‘type’ after all, but with every mouthful of culinary sweetness entering Jenna’s luscious mouth he feels an undeniable sexual attraction to her. Their new very intimate sexual relationship blossoms following that meeting when Bryce unexpectedly turns up at her apartment.
There is a scintillating parallel between mouthwatering culinary delights and sex in this novel that IMHO enhances the erotic scenes. In addition, through Ms. Renwick’s lovely erotic prose, I could feel Bryce’s love for Jenna deepen during their emotional intimate encounters. This is a hot erotic romance and there are a number of intense sexually explicit scenes in changing settings, which I felt also, enhanced their deepening feelings. First a reader is shown the city where both Jenna and Bryce’s businesses and homes are located. Then we are whisked to romantic Tuscany where Bryce has a lovely old home overlooking a beautiful vineyard. Finally, they return home to the small rural town where both of them grew up under very different circumstances.
An interesting family dynamic is established in that we are introduced to three brothers from the Ryder family, Bryce, Trey, and Tyson, and, three sisters from the McCabe family, Jenna, Sarah and Emily. Trey and Sarah are the secondary characters given the most page time as they hatch a scheme to get Jenna and Bryce together, which backfires terribly causing our heroine, who is already suspicious of her hero’s intentions, to spurn him completely. Bryce then has to do some serious damage control to earn back Jenna’s trust.
Trey and Sarah have an adversarial relationship, in that she professes to ‘hate’ him, however he doesn’t quite understand why. Trey is an internationally acclaimed photographer and is quite accustomed to having beautiful models at his beck and call. He is aloof and sexy as hell, an intriguing character with significant commitment issues. There is a hint of a turbulent family history with respect to the Ryder men, Trey especially, that you will have to learn about through reading the novel.
We only get glimpses of Tyson and Emily in “Hot In Here”, however, I’m hoping we will learn more about them if there is a sequel.
There is also a subplot concerning a struggling rural family on the verge of losing their farm and way of life to corporate greed and urban sprawl. In this context, Ms. Renwick brings a very real problem to life as part of her lovely fictional erotic romance.
The question is, can Jenna trust her formerly womanizing best friend enough to make the ultimate leap and profess her love for him? Further, can Bryce convince Jenna of his sincere intentions, in spite of his history and making some significant mistakes during the course of their relationship changing from one of friends to lovers?
I want to thank Sophie Renwick for sharing her wonderful story with me and I will look forward to reading more of her work in future.