Sometimes, your entire life feels like a recipe for drama.
Oh, you really hate it and you’d like to wipe your plate clean of it all, but that’s never gonna happen. No matter what’s cooking around you, there’s always an extra ingredient to increase the tension: raw emotion, sliced egos, boiling tempers, a teaspoon of tears, a pinch of regret and two cups of family.
It’s a daily dish you wish you didn’t have, and you’re not alone. In the new book “Can’t Stand the Heat” by Shelly Ellis, drama causes quite a stir.
Embody grace and glamour, always. Be the image of perfection, especially to men. Don’t go after someone your sister called dibs on. Have a second-stringer in the works before you leave a man, and be sure you take everything you can on your way out.
Those were just a few of the Gibbons Family rules, passed down from Grandma Althea, now enforced by Mama Yolanda. All the Gibbons girls followed the rules — except Lauren.
Oh, Lauren used to play along. She took money and gifts from James for months, but once he started acting like he owned her, she knew she had to leave him. On the night he beat her almost unconscious, she finally did.
And she’d never been happier.
Her raggedy little apartment was no mansion, but it was hers. When she was with James, all she did was shop, but now all she did was work and her job as sous chef at Le Bayou Bleu made her heart sing. Best of all, she wasn’t beholden to any man. She was flat-broke but she’d die before she’d take anything from a man again.
And then she met Cris.
He was a retired NFL player, handsome and smart, and though he heard rumors around town about “those Gibbons girls,” he believed Lauren when she said she wasn’t like her sisters anymore. He actually stood up for her once so, though she guarded her feelings close, she began to believe that Cris wasn’t like other men who just wanted one thing from her.
And he wasn’t — but someone else was. Someone who thought Lauren was his property, who figured he practically owned her.
Someone who vowed that he’d never give her up without a fight …
Looking for something lightly romantic but with a touch of spice? Then “Can’t Stand the Heat” should be at the top of the menu.
Like any good book cook, author Shelly Ellis changes up the standard boy-meets-girl recipe by adding in a bit of comedic drama in the form of four gold-digging women who stop at nothing to fleece their men. Yes, that’s a little over-the-top, but it’s also very entertaining — and though the plot has a pretty obvious ending, it’ll keep you guessing nonetheless.
As the first novel in a new series, this book is perfect for a vacation, beach, or weekend read and will make you hungry for the next installment. If “Can’t Stand the Heat” sounds tasty to you, then dish it up quick.
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“Can’t Stand the Heat” by Shelly Ellis
c.2013, Kensington Dafina $15.00 / $16.95 Canada 296 pages