Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 10-15,000 words
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Kenady Ray is the pen name of an author known for her books written under another name in another genre. This is her first book under this name.
“Jake and Samantha's marriage is sorely tested when Jake is laid off from his job at the forestry service. Jake's confidence in himself as a man is at the lowest ebb in his life. Samantha is too exhausted from suddenly becoming the sole breadwinner to give Jake the moral support he needs. The one thing they haven't lost is their attraction to each other but is great sex enough to keep their marriage intact through this difficult time?”
Hot Devotion is the first installment of a planned four part serial. I’d describe it as a romance, because it more or less fits the criteria for that genre. But it also flouts some genre conventions. I’ll start by giving my summary of a typical romance book. Girl meets boy. Sparks fly. Things get rocky. Girl learns some lessons about life and love. They work things out and get to the HEA (happily-ever-after) ending.
In Hot Devotion our heroine, Samantha, and hero, Jake, have presumably already been there, done that, because they’re already married. However, their marriage is in a rocky spot because of Jake’s unemployment. So we’ll modify those first two steps of a typical romance to be girl remembers what attracted her to boy in the first place. This is followed by a few sparks, some rocky spots, and some lessons learned.
Then we hit the climax and discover where being a serial shakes things up as we come to an end that is a happy one for the way it brings the major threads of the story to a positive conclusion, but introduces another conflict to act as a cliffhanger and incentive to snatch up the next installment as soon as it is available. I’m expecting each installment will follow a similar pattern until we hit a true HEA at the end of the last volume. Or maybe not.
As for the story, I like the main characters and want to see them get together, which is a must have in the genre. That I could understand the feelings, motivations, and actions of both the heroine and hero was a positive as Ray avoided the pitfall of having one or the other do stupid things that can frustrate the reader in order to create those rocky spots mentioned above. And the biggest difference from the norm, that the characters are married, is a twist I can see splitting romance fans. Some won’t like it while some should love it. Now I hope Ms Ray doesn’t make me wait too long for Episode Number Two.
Some semi-spicy scenes.
My review is based on a pre-release beta version.
Rating: **** Four stars