A modern romantic suspense set in Africa among mercenaries, hidden
identities and more ought to be exciting. Unfortunately, somehow
Stephanie Tyler misses her mark with Too Hot to Hold, instead producing
something too disjointed to enjoy that trudges through various settings and three sets of
romances without ever being entirely convincing.
The Africa setting, which had great potential,
is a damp
squib. I had no feeling for the country, the heat and the atmosphere,
from reading this book - it might as well have been set in New York. I
was also suspicious about how everyoneís mobile phones seemed to work
whenever necessary, but thatís a fairly minor point.
The main focus of the story is on Kaylee Smith, journalist, and Nick
Devane, mystery Navy SEAL. When Kaylee and Nickís paths cross, they find
themselves working together to get to the bottom of the mystery of what
happened to Kayleeís husband, a man who saved Nickís life. But Nick has secrets that mustnít be uncovered;
getting too close to Kaylee
puts those in danger.
I imagine that a side romance between a couple of mercenaries and also
between Nickís adoptive brother and an FBI agent will
be more thoroughly explored in a future book. The authorís
handling of the romances in this book, however, donít instill me with much
confidence as to how successful that story will be. We never really feel
like we properly get to know the characters; they seem to be ciphers -
dark and deadly Navy SEAL, probing journalist, devil-may-care mercenary,
etc., etc., jumping into bed almost immediately. Too Hot to Hold had a lot of
potential but somehow almost none of it comes through. The supposed
high point of the story plot-wise is Kaylee emailing a newspaper
article to someone. Sorry, but that doesnít get my heart racing...