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Hot in Here Paperback – 2 Jun 2009

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very Hot, Endearing Erotic Romance 4 Jun 2009
By LeaF - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Hot In Here", is a contemporary erotic romance with a friends who become lovers theme, which is my favorite. I loved Ms. Renwick's voice in this novel and along with a lovely erotic romance she has penned a small town family dynamic into the plot that I found very endearing.

Hot In Here

Former country girl, Jenna McCabe is an intelligent, professional businesswoman, having built a successful public relations and marketing company from scratch with very little capitol. Jenna is a "force to be reckoned with in business". However, the "business of being a woman had never come easily", therefore her longtime friend and confidant Bryce Ryder has never felt a sexual attraction to her. Jenna however, has been in love with the handsome, popular Bryce since age 17 and has waited for years for him to see her as a love interest.

Bryce is a very successful gifted chef with his own restaurant and television show "Heating It Up". While he comes from a wealthy family, he has made his own fortune providing culinary excellence to his patrons. When he makes an inappropriate comment concerning women, which is reported and embellished in "Celebrity Gossip" magazine his career is put in jeopardy. Bryce then calls on Jenna to develop a public relations plan that will put him back in good stead with his patrons and viewers.

This presents the perfect opportunity for Jenna to finally encourage Bryce to see her as not just a friend, but as a desirable sexy woman. She is fully aware however that Bryce has never thought of her that way. In fact, he is a known womanizer with a new slim beautiful woman on his arm every night of the week.

Bryce is a man scorned following his ex-live in girlfriend "Chrissy", using him for money and nearly bankrupting him in the process. Jenna was there all through his tough time and, in fact was instrumental in negotiating a "Chrissy" pay off. Needless to say, Bryce is cynical where women are concerned. His whole focus is his career and restaurant.

As the story opens Bryce is hosting Jenna at his restaurant to review her damage control plan. He has always viewed her as his close friend and confidant, a `girl next door' type hailing from their small rural town. However, suddenly over the intimacy of delectable food and business conversation, Bryce begins to have overwhelmingly hot sexual fantasies concerning Jenna. He doesn't understand why, she isn't his `type' after all, but with every mouthful of culinary sweetness entering Jenna's luscious mouth he feels an undeniable sexual attraction to her. Their new very intimate sexual relationship blossoms following that meeting when Bryce unexpectedly turns up at her apartment.

There is a scintillating parallel between mouthwatering culinary delights and sex in this novel that IMHO enhances the erotic scenes. In addition, through Ms. Renwick's lovely erotic prose, I could feel Bryce's love for Jenna deepen during their emotional intimate encounters. This is a hot erotic romance and there are a number of intense sexually explicit scenes in changing settings, which I felt also, enhanced their deepening feelings. First a reader is shown the city where both Jenna and Bryce's businesses and homes are located. Then we are whisked to romantic Tuscany where Bryce has a lovely old home overlooking a beautiful vineyard. Finally, they return home to the small rural town where both of them grew up under very different circumstances.

An interesting family dynamic is established in that we are introduced to three brothers from the Ryder family, Bryce, Trey, and Tyson, and, three sisters from the McCabe family, Jenna, Sarah and Emily. Trey and Sarah are the secondary characters given the most page time as they hatch a scheme to get Jenna and Bryce together, which backfires terribly causing our heroine, who is already suspicious of her hero's intentions, to spurn him completely. Bryce then has to do some serious damage control to earn back Jenna's trust.

Trey and Sarah have an adversarial relationship, in that she professes to `hate' him, however he doesn't quite understand why. Trey is an internationally acclaimed photographer and is quite accustomed to having beautiful models at his beck and call. He is aloof and sexy as heck, an intriguing character with significant commitment issues. There is a hint of a turbulent family history with respect to the Ryder men, Trey especially, that you will have to learn about through reading the novel.

We only get glimpses of Tyson and Emily in "Hot In Here", however, I'm hoping we will learn more about them if there is a sequel.

There is also a subplot concerning a struggling rural family on the verge of losing their farm and way of life. In this context, Ms. Renwick brings a very real problem to life as part of her lovely fictional erotic romance.

The question is, can Jenna trust her formerly womanizing best friend enough to make the ultimate leap and profess her love for him? Further, can Bryce convince Jenna of his sincere intentions, in spite of his history and making some significant mistakes during the course of their relationship changing from one of friends to lovers?

I will look forward to reading more of Ms. Renwick's work in future.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Lovin' Me Some Sophie Renwick! 2 Jun 2009
By VampFanGirl - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bryce Ryder is the ultimate player. After being burned before by a woman who nearly took him for everything he had, Bryce is terrified of commitment and has resolved to only partake in the one night stand. It's so much safer. Besides his number one loves are his restaurant and TV show, Heating It Up. When a gossip rag misconstrues the context of Bryce's words, he suddenly finds his reputation in ruins, not to mention the fact that Greenwood Financial is now ready to back out of a major deal that has become near and dear to Bryce's heart. He's got four weeks to turn this catastrophe around and Bryce knows just the woman who can pull him out of hot water.

Jenna McCabe is turning 28 today and she's going to get her birthday wish - Bryce naked in her bed. For ten years she's been in love with him and enough is finally enough. Well aware of Bryce's reputation with woman, Jenna has a master plan on how to get Bryce and keep him. His call for help is the perfect opportunity too. Owning her own marketing firm and working tirelessly to build a solid reputation, Jenna knows she can help Bryce with his current dilemma.

Meeting Jenna for dinner at his restaurant, Bryce is appalled by Jenna's suggestions on how to recoup his reputation. He didn't ask that his fans be house wives. But unfortunately they're what bring in the money and they're also the ones that his words offended. He has to make amends but not by cooking with the elderly. No way! There must be something wrong with Jenna. Not only does she propose this horrible plan but she's also acting totally out of character. His best friend has suddenly developed a back bone where he's concerned and Bryce can't help but stand up and take notice and that's not the only thing that's standing up. Jenna totally has his blood fired up and his cock standing at complete attention. He wants her. Bryce wants shy Jenna McCabe. What is going on?

Jenna's in the mood to play a little hard to get. She certainly just can't hop into bed with Bryce the first night. That would be too easy for Bryce and Jenna would just be one more in a long list of romps in the sack. But Jenna's plans are soon tossed out the window after Bryce shows up unannounced at her apartment carrying a steaming hot platter of something that smells positively sinful.

Plying her with dessert is exactly what Bryce has in mind. He's not at her apartment for sex, he just wants an excuse to try and understand these new feelings that are bombarding him over Jenna. But his good intentions fly out the window when Jenna opens her apartment door dressed in a silky chemise that leaves little to the imagination. As one hot and delicious spoonful of custard dripping with chocolate and Carmel leads to another, Bryce and Jenna are soon overwhelmed by the eroticism of the moment and it's not long before these two get hot and heavy between the sheets.

Completely humiliated by last night's bed play and afraid that it all was one big fat lie on Bryce's part, Jenna escapes the confines of her apartment and heads to work. Shaken to the core, Jenna could kick herself for deviating from her plan of playing hard to get. Bryce's nonstop phone calls and unexpected visit at her office with breakfast is making things even worse. Jenna needs time to think and plan her next form of attack. Besides her emotions are completely raw and a moment to regroup is really all she wants. Well that and Bryce's cookie dough pancakes!

Now Jenna has a new plan with the help of her gorgeous and confident employee, Rachael. Give Bryce a little dose of what he's been dishing out all these years: hot sex with no strings.

When a marketing deal near and dear to Jenna's heart goes sour, Jenna hightails it Italy to save the account. Bryce is steaming over the fact that Jenna didn't tell him she was leaving the country. If it wasn't for his brother, who unbeknownst to both Bryce and Jenna is conspiring with Jenna's sister Sarah in an effort to get Bryce and Jenna together once and for all, he never would have known she was gone. But Bryce sees where he can possibly take advantage of this situation by whisking Jenna away to his Tuscan villa.

The days in Tuscany with Bryce are some of the best days of Jenna's life. In a perfectly sublime moment, Bryce tells her that he loves her. While her own heart has been engaged for years on end, Jenna's hesitant to tell Bryce her own words of love. She still can't believe that what he's saying is real. But what Jenna doesn't say she shows Bryce her love with her body as the two embark on some of the steamiest love scenes in the novel.

Of course when everything is just starting to feel secure for Jenna, disaster strikes. A rather nasty email was sent earlier to Bryce by his conniving brother Trey, all in the effort to get Bryce to realize his love for Jenna. While at the time Bryce thought of Trey's words as cruel, it did work to get his attention. But having the email read by Jenna turns the words into a whole new context.

Horrified by her behavior and her near proclamation of love to Bryce, Jenna is hit hard by the email's revelations. Those hesitant feelings with regards to Bryce's words of love are proving not only to be her savior, but reaffirming her earlier denied knowledge that Bryce simply can't commit. Humiliated, Jenna takes off for some much needed time alone on her family's farm.

Bryce is not about to let the one woman he's ever loved get away. With true heroics, Bryce tracks Jenna down with the drive of a hungry lion stalking its prey. He will win her heart no matter what it takes. But as more lies pile up, Bryce needs to do some fast talking or he may very well end up the way he'd always imagined - alone.

'Hot In Here' was a fantastic escape read. Bryce is an intense hero who is originally a bit frightened by the sudden spark of lust that he feels for his long time friend. But he shows real strength with his fast and determined commitment to Jenna. If anything, Jenna is the one with commitment issues, IMO, but much of that can be blamed on Bryce's earlier behavior with women.

Also, food has never read so sexy. I've developed new meaning to words like custard, gelato, and Carmel. Chocolate needs no added eroticism, it's a dessert that's always been associated with sex and boy was I reminded why.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This Story Was So Weak And Drama Filled! 1 Sep 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I swear, there must be something wrong with me. Everywhere I looked people were reading this book and talking about how smoking hot it was. I heard it again and again and again. How could I not try it too? Well, obviously my idea of hot and the majority's opinion of hot do not align. The main phrase that comes to mind when I think of the sex scenes in this book is "trying too hard." It was so over descriptive and wordy that I was bored. I like dirty talk, but you're doing something wrong if you guys are full out monologuing each other during sex. Shouldn't you be just a smidge more carried away by the moment?

The fact there were sex scenes constantly meant that I was bored the majority of the book. When I wasn't bored, I was usually pissed off. The object of my rage was Jenna. I wanted to reach through the pages and take her out of my misery so badly! She was completely mental! Seriously, what was going on in her brain??? She said she wanted a relationship with Bryce, but I honestly don't think she did. No one could be that stupid without trying to deliberately sabotage things!

Jenna decided to give Bryce a "taste of his own medicine" and play the playgirl because...why exactly? Anytime he made a move toward building a relationship she treated him like a booty call. All to keep him panting for more, of course. Right... Also, what kind of drugs was this girl on? She was so hot and cold she seemed bipolar! She made it impossible for him to approach her for anything but sex, but then she sobbed and whined about him only wanting her for sex. I seriously wish Bryce had just dumped her and taken up with his hand. At least then I could have understood why he even liked his love interest.

Bryce wasn't a bad guy, but there wasn't anything about him that really stood out. He was just a prop for Jenna's lust and craziness. I was way more interested in Trey and Sarah. Now there's a couple who seems to have some tension. Maybe their relationship would actually be more interesting than watching paint dry!

The only conflict in this story was manufactured. If Jenna hadn't descended into her neurotic, whiny behavior (for no real reason) the book would have only been about 50 pages at the very most. It was just sex scene-Jenna drama-sex scene-Bryce tries to understand crazy Jenna drama-more sex, rinse and repeat.

Toward the end we got The Big Misunderstanding. It was resolved easily, but I was still ticked that Bryce was the one begging for another chance when Jenna's the crazy chick who has been lying to him the whole time. After The Big Misunderstanding was resolved I thought it would be smooth sailing. Nope! Right before the end another Big Misunderstanding popped up. It related to the first one, but wasn't resolved when that one was. It seemed to be there solely to give Jenna another excuse to have a meltdown and Bryce another reason to crawl for her. Not what I find interesting...

I was going to give this book a 1 star grade, but I liked the interactions between Trey and Sarah enough to bump it up to a 2 star.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Too many conflicts based on inaccurate assumptions and vague communication. The story was weak. I wanted it to be over. 8 July 2010
By Jane - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were two events causing the couple to have two "big fights." Both events were too predictable to be interesting. For example, someone sends an email to Bryce which would hurt Jenna if she saw it. Does Bryce delete it? No. Does Jenna see it later and break up with Bryce? Yes. She assumed that Bryce agreed with what the other person wrote which was not true. The second event had Bryce seeing something which he should have mentioned to Jenna. But he didn't which was being "stupid for the sake of the plot." When Jenna later learned about it, she thought Bryce was involved, which he was not. Of course she's mad again.

There was too much pondering and too many uninteresting conflicts caused by unaccurate assumptions. For example: Bryce told Jenna that Estella had done something for him. Jenna immediately assumes Estella is one of Bryce's lovers. We are in Jenna's mind for a while seeing her hurt, angry, and jealous until she meets and discovers that Estella is an elderly woman.

A couple of scenes would have been better if shown, not told. Something that would have been interesting to hear: Trey knew a secret about his father. Trey threatened to tell unless the father did something. We aren't told what the secret was - that would have been interesting. There are a lot of sex scenes but not special enough to make up for the story weaknesses.

Bryce and Jenna grew up together in a small town - best friends. Bryce became a celebrity chef. He dated Chrissy who burned him. She was a gold-digger after his wealth. Bryce now fears commitment. He's known for dating a different woman every night, all of them thin. Jenna is a size 14 and has her own marketing and PR firm. A tabloid printed some lies about Bryce which are hurting his business. He hires Jenna to repair the damage. She has loved him all her life and decides to play hard to get, acting like a playgirl wanting sex and nothing else. For a good part of the story Jenna is lying to Bryce and acting like she doesn't want him. Some of her lies cause conflict and anger (which were not that interesting.)

Story length: 277 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong with a small amount of rear door activity. Number of sex scenes: 9. Approximate number of sex scene pages: 44. Setting: current day city and rural town in the U.S. plus Italy. Copyright: 2009. Genre: erotic contemporary romance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Hot in Here 25 Aug 2009
By Dottie - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bryce Ryder doesn't know how his life got so screwed up. He's a mega-popular celebrity chef with his own restaurant and cooking show. He thought he had everything worked out since his time with the wicked witch Chrissy, who almost cost him his beloved restaurant as well as all of his savings. Now, some crazy reporter is spreading lies that could cost him his dreams and his plans. Thank God Jenna is here, she always saves the day, she'll make it right. If she can just come up with a plan that he can live with. As Bryce sits down with Jenna, he notices something distinctly different, she's more self possessed, more sure of herself, and damn, she looks better and hotter than he's ever seen her. What's going on with her. And the plan she comes up with, be seen dating an average girl instead of the size zero's he been dating. He likes the kind that don't except anything. But he would love someone who could appreciate his fine skills as a chef, both in the kitchen and out.

Jenna has known Bryce for her whole life, since he moved to Lucan in middle school when she dump her meatloaf in his lap. He's cute, sweet, and walking talking sex appeal. If he could only see her as something more than a friend, but Chrissy has almost ruined him for all women. Now all he can wants is the convenient one night stand. Jenna wants the whole deal, ring, wedding, kids. Jenna has a plan, it's her birthday tomorrow, and she can't think of a better present than Bryce. If only she can get him to realize that she's more than Jenna McCabe, friend and girl next door. But, as usually Bryce takes her for granted. This is really starting to tick Jenna off.

As Jenna storms out of his restaurant, Bryce can't help but wonder what's up with her. His brother, Titus, mentions that maybe it's his thoughtlessness, not even remembering her birthday. Birthday? God, he did forget, but he can take care of this oversight by whipping her up a fantastic birthday dessert. Jenna could never refuse his cooking. When he rings Jenna's bell, she answers in her babydoll pj's as his eyes pop out of his head. Could this be his Jenna? Jenna the girl next door, Jenna that is his best friend? As they cozy up on the couch, preparing to eat his fantastic dessert, he can't keep his thoughts away from Jenna. Bryce comes to realize doesn't want to keep his thoughts away from Jenna, Jenna who he has always thought of as his. He can't keep his thoughts away, or his hands, lips....Suddenly Jenna has become his dish du jour. Who knew food could be so much fun.

This is what Jenna has always desired, a night with beautiful Bryce, but what will she do now? It isn't a casual fling for her. She's in love so deep, she doesn't know if she can keep her head above water. Sarah, her sister, would tell her to go with her heart, but Rachel from work would say to play it cool. If she goes with her heart, Bryce might run. If she plays it cool, her heart might break. Bryce is too sweet a dish to pass up.

Trey, Bryce's older brother, tries to push Bryce toward Jenna knowing his brother's desires better than his own. Together Sarah and Trey conspire to keep these two together. But are there other matters cooking between Sarah and Trey, her secret heart's desire?

As Bryce and Jenna delve deeper into what could be, Bryce comes to the realization that Jenna is everything his heart desires and more, but this new Jenna may not feel the same. His life is forever changed after grabbing Jenna in Italy and becoming captivated by her heart, body, and soul. He realizes he loves Jenna. Where can this lead? Will he ever be able to let her go?

Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick (Charlotte Featherstone) is Sophie's debut contemporary romance. It's the story of a top chef, Bryce Ryder, with his own cooking show that he fears his loyal audience will abandon after getting some bad press. Hiring Jenna McCabe's firm may be the only thing that saves the day. Jenna is his best friend, someone he can always turn to; someone he can trust. But can he trust her with his heart. Bryce is an unsure hero, unsure of himself, bruised by the reality of life. He's vowed never to be put in a position where he'll be used again; never to give his heart to love. Bryce is actually a kind and decent man, he cares for others around him, willing to give his time, effort, or money. He doesn't need to take credit or have accolades. The one thing he needs to learn to trust his instincts; those instincts that are telling him to give it all to Jenna, take the love he sees in her heart and soul. Jenna has always been the outcast, never one of the beautiful people. That's what happens to a girl who's a size fourteen in a size zero world. Jenna is a heroine who has been slightly damaged by life, who has learned lessons the hard way; who has had to fight her way to making a name for herself. She used to been timid, but not anymore. And there's still a chance she could lose it all; all it takes is one failed business deal. Her family farm is in trouble and she doing everything in her power to save it. She's loved the beautiful Bryce her whole life, but is he ready to hear the truth and is she ready to tell it. Is he the same Bryce or has he changed? When Bryce and Jenna come together, it definitely heats up the atmosphere with sparks that blow the mind. Bryce is a consuming lover that is willing to give and needs to take. His need for Jenna becomes a force in his life, a force that Jenna has wanted her whole life. Hot in Here is a great debut contemporary romance for Sophie Renwick. It's funny, sweet, adventurous, hot, and sexy. The setting is beautiful with a backdrop into rural life and the sweet lands of Italy. This was an incredibly fast, fun read and I enjoyed it immensely.
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