3 stars: Liked it, but I had some issues (B-)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
electronic review copy provided by publisher
Zena Night, sister of Lily and Dagney (from previous stories), is a succubus who is happy with her life of one-night stands and anytime-she-wants-it sex. But then she encounters Bhyrne Raines, head of the Queen Succubus's guard, and suddenly she wants more.
Bhyrne, a fire demon and cousin to Max Raines (previous story), worked his way up the ladder as a free demon and prides himself on his cold, stone demeanor. But after one look at Zena, he is precarious close to throwing it all away. Not only is she extremely tempting, but as Bhyrne enters his "breedspawn," his biological drive to take a mate may crumble his last defense. So cousin Max sets Bhyrne up with Madame Eve and 1Night Stand.
Heat Wave is the fourth novella in the enjoyable Sleepy Hollow series. Like its predecessors, the story focuses on a pair individuals, each using 1Night Stand (1NS) to find a hot date or companion. However, Heat Wave veers off in a different direction in that Bhyrne and Zena are both put into situations that mostly force them to find a mate. I felt that the use of 1NS in this story was a bit contrived and almost an after-thought, rather than the driving force bringing together the couple, and possibly would have been better without it.
With that said, the Zena and Bhyrne made a fun pair, and the duo is hot together. Their coupling is intense, although not overly romantic or passionate. I think that is due to the fact that they basically found themselves forced into the mating situation, rather than being free to have time to develop a deeper relationship first. But they do share an immediate and powerful mutual attraction, which is why their relationship works. One thing though, I would have liked to see the repercussions resulting from their mating.
One of the things I loved about the novella is the Black Dagger Brotherhood references! First in the name "Bhyrne" whether intentional or not - it's such a Brotherhood name. He's a fire demon and his name is “burn” with an “h” and a “y.” Second, there is mention of consuming Lagavulin with passing reference to a tough vampire that drinks it. Finally, the “breedspawn” state is eerily similar to the “needing” that the female vampires experience in the BDB series. I found these and a couple other references simply awesome!
In the end, Heat Wave is an enjoyable tale that is completely stand alone, with only references to and involvement of characters from the prior tales. However, I felt it just didn't have the emotional punch that the earlier stories did. Heat Wave was more about the sexual encounter, which was pretty hot.