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Quickie ARC Book Review-Hot in Hellcat Canyon

by | Jun 12, 2016 | Book Reviews | 11 comments

Quickie ARC Book Review-Hot in Hellcat Canyon

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Quickie ARC Book Review-Hot in Hellcat CanyonHot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
Series: Hellcat Canyon #1
Published by Avon on May 31st 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Small Town
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
ISBN: 0062397621
AmazonLibrary Thing

A broken truck, a broken career, and a breakup heard around the world land superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it that hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love . . . or trouble. JT may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.
His looks might cause whiplash and weak knees, but Britt sees past JT’s rough edge and sexy drawl to a person a lot like her: in need of the kind of comfort best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.  
Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart—not to mention the rest of her—are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt has a secret as dark as the hills, and JT’s past is poised to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after.
 “Julie Anne Long’s writing glows with emotional intensity and strong, passionate characterization.” JAYNE ANN KRENTZ 

My Review Updated

Hot In Hellcat Canyon is a story I have been looking forward to and I admit my expectations were very high—maybe too high. It’s always an interesting experience when an author changes genres. In the past, I have adored this author’s historical’s so I was curious to see how she would handle contemporary. My biggest issue with this book was that the first half of the book was boring and I had a hard time paying attention to the story. I kept reading because it’s an ARC copy, and I felt obligated to at least finish it. I am relieved to say that about halfway I started to become more interested in the story. It does start out pretty slow. It starts off with our hero who is a famous actor, has come to stay in Hellcat Canyon for a few weeks. Our heroine is a waitress and works on the side as a real estate realtor. These two have some chemistry, but Britt has a painful past when it comes to men. I understand in a way why she mistrusted J.T. but I did feel that she should have trusted him more. J.T. is a hoot and a fabulous hero. He is genuine and sincere and even though a bit of a playboy having been an actor and a famous one at that, once he commits to someone he is loyal. Of course, he makes mistakes, but he owns up to them but he also sets boundaries and doesn’t apologize for things he never acted upon. I did like that about him, he forces Britt to face up to her own mistakes too.

I’m not saying you’re helpless Britt. I don’t think that for a minute. It’s just that no one can completely take care of themselves. Not even me, and I have a freaking black belt in karate. It’s not a man versus woman thing. It’s a ‘let somebody care about you thing’. And sometimes that takes more guts and sense than taking on the whole damn world by yourself

But man can he be romantic and sweet when he has a mind too!! The second half of the story really worked for me and I loved the way it turns out in the end—definitely a tear or two was shed in the reading. Although I wish the first half was just as good—not a bad beginning for this series and I am looking forward to see what Julie Anne Long has in store for us with this series. Overall a fun and charming story that is poignant and emotionally riveting!!

Series Order (2)

About The Author Updated

About Julie Anne Long

Well, where should I start? I've lived in San Francisco for more than a decade, usually with at least one cat. I won the school spelling bee when I was in 7th grade; the word that clinched it was 'ukulele.' I originally set out to be a rock star when I grew up (I had a Bono fixation, but who didn't?), and I have the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of my closet to prove it.

But writing was always my first love.

I was editor of my elementary school paper (believe it or not, Mrs. Little's fifth grade class at Glenmoor Elementary did have one); my high school paper (along with my best high school bud, Cindy Jorgenson); and my college paper, where our long-suffering typesetter finally forced me to learn how to typeset because my articles were usually late (and thus I probably have him to thank for all the desktop publishing jobs that ensued over the years).

Won a couple of random awards along the way: the Bank of America English Award in High School (which basically just amounted to a fancy plaque saying that I was really, really good at English); and an award for best Sports Feature article in a College Newspaper (and anyone who knows me well understands how deeply ironic that is). I began my academic career as a Journalism major; I switched to Creative Writing, which was a more comfortable fit for my freewheeling imagination and overdeveloped sense of whimsy. I dreamed of being a novelist.

But most of us, I think, tend to take for granted the things that come easily to us. I loved writing and all indications were that I was pretty good at it, but I, thank you very much, wanted to be a rock star. Which turned out to be ever-so-slightly harder to do than writing. A lot more equipment was involved, that's for sure. Heavy things, with knobs. It also involved late nights, fetid, graffiti-sprayed practice rooms, gorgeous flakey boys, bizarre gigs, in-fighting—what's not to love?

But my dream of being a published writer never faded. When the charm (ahem) of playing to four people in a tiny club at midnight on a Wednesday finally wore thin, however, I realized I could incorporate all the best things about being in a band — namely, drama, passion, and men with unruly hair — into novels, while at the same time indulging my love of history and research.

So I wrote The Runaway Duke, sent it to a literary agent (see the story here), who sold it to Warner Books a few months after that...which made 2003 one of the most extraordinary, head-spinning years I've ever had.

Why romance? Well, like most people, I read across many genres, but I've been an avid romance reader since I got in trouble for sneaking a Rosemary Rogers novel out of my mom's nightstand drawer (I think it was Sweet Savage Love). Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Laurie McBain...I cut my romance teeth on those ladies. And in general, I take a visceral sort of pleasure in creating a hero and a heroine, putting them through their emotional paces, and watching their relationship develop on the page. And of course, there's much to be said for the happy ending. 🙂

And why Regency Historicals? Well, for starters, I think we can blame Jane Austen. Her inimitable wit, compassion and vision brought the Regency vividly to life for generations of readers. If Jane Austen had written romances about Incas, for instance, I think, we'd have racks and racks of Inca romances in bookstores all over the country, and Warner Forever would be the Inca Romance line.

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  1. Ann Lorz

    I thought to same thing. It did pick up in the middle and then I couldn’t put it down but the beginning gave me some issues. I’m hoping the next book is smoother now that she’s moving with the flow better. Fingers crossed.

    • Lover Of Romance

      oh yay…I am so glad you a similar experience. I know many have loved this one, but I am hoping the next book will be way better and this one was just working out some kinks of changing genres. But I am saddened we won’t be getting more HR from her at least for a while.

  2. Blodeuedd

    I haven’t tried her books, but they look cute 😀

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    That is hard when it doesn’t grab you. I am glad it picked up. Maybe the next book will be smoother.

    • Lover Of Romance

      oh it is, its probably the one thing I am pickiest about when reading. But I am hoping its because of the transition from genres and hope the next book will be smoother. *crossing fingers*

  4. Eva

    ♥ this cover! So happy you liked this one and that the ending was so lovely! Great review!

  5. Lola

    Such a cute and summery cover! I like genre switching along with authors, it’s always interesting to see how they handle a different genre and whether you’ll enjoy that as well as the other genre.
    I am sorry to hear the first half was a bit slow, that’s good that the second half was better. And J.T. sounds like a great character with how he’s loyal and owns up to his mistakes. I hope the next book is even better and runs smoothly from the start.

  6. Nick

    I was very curious about this one because it’s by Julie Anne Long, but I think I’m going to skip this one. If the first couple of chapters don’t grab my attention, then I’m very quick to DNF, and I fear that with its boring first half, I’ll have that issue. If book 2 is better, I might give that a shot.

  7. Anna@herding cats&burning soup

    Cute cover! That’s really too bad it held on to boring for so dang long. I probably would have bailed despite the hero sounding amazing. Hopefully book two will start out stronger for ya!

  8. Alyssa Susanna

    Awwwww, boring first half? Noooo. I’m sad to see that this one was kind of meh! I’ve read and really liked some of JAL’s HR novels, but I’ve not read any of her contemporary. I got this one from Avon recently and want to read it but… :/ I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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