Aussie Book Review: Northern Heat by Helene Young

Northern Heat  Northern Heat by Helene Young

Paperback

Review copy provided by publisher

Penguin Random House, May 2015

 Synopsis- In steamy northern Queensland, Conor is rebuilding his shattered life. Working at Cooktown’s youth centre has given him the chance to make a difference again, and the opportunity to flirt with Dr Kristy Dark. The local GP is hiding her own secrets and struggling to raise her feisty teenage daughter alone.

When a severe cyclone menaces the coast, threatening to destroy everything in its path, tensions come to a head – and the weather is not the only danger. Cut off from the world and with her life on the line, Kristy will have to summon her courage and place her trust in Conor, or they’ll both lose someone they love.

Review– The arrival of Northern Heat in my letterbox was just the buzz of excitement I needed after a hard day at work. It’s Helene Young’s sixth romantic suspense novel, and remarkably she’s continued to deliver at a standard that satisfies her loyal fan base. Northern Heat is another spine tingling, suspenseful novel set in northern Queensland with a dash of romance and hope to propel the reader from page to page, chapter to chapter. I couldn’t put this down!

Conor drifts from town to town, which for most looks like a life of luxury, but Conor has an underlying agenda when he rocks up to beautiful Cooktown in North Queensland. He wants to track down the man who murdered his wife and daughter. It’s his only reason to live and he doesn’t care if he has to go down with a fight. So his attraction to local doctor Kristy Dark that has taken him by surprise. Could he really fall in love again? Was there a chance for a future despite the tragedies of his past?  When Conor witnesses a murder, his life immediately entwines with Kristy’s and together they take a dangerous path toward unravelling the plans of Cooktown’s villains.

“Thank you for trusting me.

For giving me hope there could be a tomorrow for us.”

Following the death of her young son and her husband, Kristy relocated to Cooktown with teenage daughter Abby hoping to create stability and security. Work and Abby are the only things on her mind until Conor enters her life and everything is turned upside down. Kristy struggles to fight the attraction to Conor while his very presence threatens everything she has built in the past year.

Conor and Kristy have both experienced trauma, grief and loss in their adult lives and while this does connect them it also draws out their internal struggles with trust, guilt and moving forward.

Young packs in plenty of drama, suspense and romantic heat in her latest novel. She also draws on a very confronting and prevalent issue in society, domestic violence. She explores the spectrum of the much misunderstood abusive dynamics in intimate relationships. Kristy’s experience of psychological abuse by her former husband is highlighted as just as damaging as the physical violence experienced by her friend Freya in her marital relationship. Both women coped with the situation in different ways, and in Kristy’s case her husband’s death was not the end of her suffering. In fact the lingering effects of intimate violence had an impact on Kristy’s sense of worth and her ability to trust men. However, she was courageous in her support and validation of Freya’s situation and I admired how Kristy helped her friend find the means and strength to take charge.

I was engrossed in this novel from the very beginning; the characterisation was fantastic, the plot smart and fast-paced, the romance was intense and hot, and the setting beautiful! Highly recommended. I’ll be counting down the days until Young’s next release….

Overall Rating

5/5

“Highly Recommended!”

Northern Heat can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

Tomorrow on the blog, the Northern Heat Blog Tour. Helene stops by for a guest post and there’s a book prize pack giveaway.

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This book was read as part of the AWW2015 challenge:

Book #11 reviewed

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