Last night, I read Jackie Barbosa’s novella, called Can’t Take the Heat.
This is a beautifully written, emotional, sexy novella about Delaney Monroe, a firefighter, who broke up with her fiancé, Wes Barrows, three years ago when he couldn’t handle the dangerousness of her job. She suffers a traumatic injury on the job and–since she’s never updated her medical paperwork–Wes is the one called to her side in the hospital. When she awakes, she’s lost all memory of their breakup.
Now, I know what you’re thinking about amnesia books. You know how this is going to go: They’re still attracted to each other, she doesn’t know the truth, sexy times happen and she gets mad when the truth is revealed. That’s what a second-chance-amnesia story is, right?
Wrong. I love what Jackie does with this trope. I enjoyed the immediacy of the writing and the emotions in the first part of this novella, but there’s a point about half way through when something happens–something that I wasn’t expecting, because it’s not how second-chance-amnesia stories generally go. It was something that changed the story from enjoyable to flat-out lovable. The story is both sweet and emotionally devastating. The side-characters are fully fleshed out.
The only bad thing I have to say about Can’t Take the Heat is that I wish I had the next book in the series to read right now.
If you want to get a feel for what I mean by “immediacy” in this story, go read the prologue on Jackie’s website. After I read that, I knew I wasn’t going to sleep until I finished the book–that’s how utterly gripping it was.
This post is part of Blog About Jackie’s books week.
I’ve known Jackie since I first started writing, many many years ago. She was part of a little group of not-yet-authors who were new to writing, and who are now multi-published authors who have written historicals. Jackie has been a friend and a support to me. Our debut New York published books came out within a year of each other. I was devastated to hear that she’d lost her teenaged son, and heartbroken for her.
If you have a chance, please consider donating to, or letting others know about, the Julian Fraire memorial fund, which is being set up in her son’s name.