Monday, March 20, 2017

[ARC Review]: "Hot In The City"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, Hot in the City by Jules Court
Hot In The City by Jules Court
Publisher: Carina Press (March 27, 2017)
Series: Hot In The City, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Novella

The first time Detective Brian MacGregor met Priya Shah, he was bleeding. Injured apprehending a suspect, he just needed a few stitches. He didn't expect to feel a gut punch of lust for the beautiful ER doc. But another emergency called her away before he had a chance to ask her out…or kiss her. Or find out if she shared his sudden sex-in-a-dark-hospital-room fantasy. 

The second time he met Priya, she was protecting a murder witness. 

Protecting is putting it strongly, if you ask Priya. Her cousin may have witnessed a murder, but she had nothing to do with it. Even if the hot ginger cop seems like the perfect solution to Priya's summer dry spell, they both have more important things to worry about. Like finding Sara before the murderer does. 

As far as Brian's concerned, Priya is the key—her cousin is bound to come back to her eventually, and when she does, he'll be there. They just need to keep their hands off each other until then. But when attraction burns this hot, it's only so long before someone has to break…

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My Review:

Hot In the City is a quick but very enjoyable read. It only took me a few hours to read and I never felt like things were rushed or missing, nor did it lose my attention. While it might not be one of those stories that stands out as something "Amazing And New", it was just what I needed and kept me entertained. And I don’t mean any of that in a condescending way! There’s nothing wrong with a fairly simple story being executed nicely, and that’s exactly what I got here.

Priya is a doctor, still in residency, and trying to work her ass off while also keeping an eye out for her cousin, the “bad seed” of the family (though there’s a story there, about these two young women). Priya’s used to running to her rescue, but this time she may be in too deep. Why else would the ginger-haired detective – whom Priya stitched up recently – be looking for her?

He dropped his head. Their mouths were only inches away. He drew a ragged breath. "This is so fucking wrong," he said, just before he kissed her.

His lips were hard, his kiss anything but gentle, and it freed something within her. Something wicked that return his kiss with force.

When his tongue parted her lips, she met it with her own. Pure liquid fire raced through her veins to coil low in her belly. Her hands reached up of their own accord to wrap around his shoulders. Her bangles dug into her wrists, but she barely registered.

He gave a low moan and ground himself against her.

Priya puts protecting her cousin above everything else, and that’s not going to change just because she and Brian have chemistry buzzing between them. He’s a cop, he’s looking for her cousin; she can’t fully trust him. But . . . she also can’t ignore the attraction there. One night together won’t change anything, right? Wrong, of course. When she finally hears from her cousin, while she’s still in Brian’s bed, she doesn’t think twice about it: she has to go help her, and hope that Brian will let her go. After all, Priya’s interest in a man caused problems with Sara years ago, and she can’t make that mistake again. Not even for Brian.

Since this is such a short story, I won’t give away everything, but I will say that yes, Priya and Brian do get together after the debacle with the cousin is over. A lot of how things are wrapped up about the case are off page (because of the page length, I’d assume) but again, I never felt like I was truly missing anything vital. Like with any novella, of course I have those general feelings of “Damn, I wish this was a full novel” but that’s a good thing, not a bad.

Their chemistry is definitely there and while there’s not too much sex (again, novella) what is there is very good. I mean, the scene that starts in the car . . . Damn!

"Touch yourself," he said. "I need you to be ready for me. Our first time is going to be fast."


"Do you think you can make yourself come before I get us home?"

"I can try," she said.


Her hand was moving quicker and quicker. She was almost there. Her head was tilted back against the headrest and her eyes were closed.

He did what he'd been dreaming of doing since the first time he saw her. He touched her. He placed his hand over hers and her eyes flew open. 

"My turn," he said.

I liked the diversity that Court has within this book. The heroine and her family of course (they are of Indian descent, she says her family is Jain) but also the fact that Brian’s lesbian sister is happily partnered (married?) and they have a daughter, as well as mention of a man Priya’s aunt tries to set her up with who is gay, though not out to his family yet. Yes, with the exception of Priya, the others are background characters, but it’s still nice to see a less than homogeneous background, especially in such a short story. Obviously the industry as a whole needs a lot more of this in all the books, but it’s a start and I appreciated it.

"I'm tired of making myself smaller so the men I'm involved with can be bigger."

"What does that even mean? Except you're dating the wrong guys."

"My career's important to me."

"So's mine."

"But even guys who say they understand still get insecure and bitter that I won't put their needs first, even though they don't reciprocate. That my job as a woman is to be their emotional beast of burden."

"Way to generalize about my whole gender."

"You're going to tell me that you never expected your girlfriends to be endlessly understanding that your job was more important than theirs while remaining your emotional sounding board? But if they needed support they were just being dramatic."

"No. I just dated women who thought it would be hot to be with a c op, but, once the thrill of dating a guy with his own handcuffs wore off, couldn't put up with the terrible hours and bad pay. And I manage my emotions like an adult just fine, but yeah, sometimes I want the person I'm seeing to be supportive. And, just like oral sex, I reciprocate."

She gave a little snort.

I enjoyed Court’s writing style and voice and will definitely be keeping an eye out for her future works. I’m thrilled that Brian’s partner, Daniel, gets a book (out in May . . . I may have snatched the ARC from NG as soon as I finished this one the other night!) because he definitely grabbed my attention. And his heroine, Priya’s friend – a lawyer who often helps her with Sara’s problems – should be a great match for him. It’s also a short novella, but oh well, I’m sure I’ll survive. :)


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Jules Court; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you want to see some more quotes I shared while reading, look at my Twitter feed HERE.


Until Next Time,


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