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Heat Wave: A Close Proximity Romance

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For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: quick and dirty, just the way we like it.

Temperatures are shooting sky-high, but Faye Arnell doesn’t need a weatherman to tell her it’s about to get hotter than hell

Four months ago, I moved from New York to California, and my life changed for the better. Beautiful weather—most of the time—and a job I love. Life is perfect.

There’s just one little thing. Well, a big thing, actually. I can’t stop fantasizing about my neighbor.

Ben is tall—like, really tall. His beautiful eyes and lickable skin have me hypnotized. And don’t even get me started on his dimple. It’s as if he was made to drive me crazy.

The walls are thin. Paper-thin. Accidentally-on-purpose-overhearing-him-having-great-sex thin.

I’ve got it bad enough on a regular day, but this heat has me crawling out of my skin, restless and desperate. My hormone-fueled, vibrator-assisted fantasies aren’t exactly helping me cope.

And now he’s at my door.

Things are about to get sticky.

This book is approximately 13,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after.

50 pages, Kindle Edition

Published April 30, 2018

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About the author

Ceri Grenelle

23 books182 followers
Ceri is the author of quirky and sexy contemporary romance novels. She has a major weakness for sappy cuddle moments as much as hot and steamy sex scenes, and a penchant for writing snappy and sarcastic dialogue. She loves romance that isn't afraid to be awkward and uncouth, and thrives on flawed characters with big hearts.

Ceri is a New York native living in California with her two cats, Mercy and Eugene Fitzherbert, who should be very thankful she didn't name him frying pan. She is a proud functioning introvert and lover of all things geeky. You can find her haunting the Twitter machine or posting pictures of her ridiculous cats on Instagram.

To receive exclusive content, fun giveaways, sneak previews of upcoming books, and general shenanigans sign up for her newsletter at CeriGrenelle.com/newsletter

Follow me on Twitter here:

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5 stars
12 (27%)
4 stars
17 (39%)
3 stars
10 (23%)
2 stars
3 (6%)
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1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,512 reviews273 followers
April 18, 2018
Love these Little Bits stories! Hot as Hell!!
Need a quick break from a long book or a change of genre once in a while? A novella is a great way to great some heat without a long drawn out affair.

This story is as hot as the temperature in Oakland on this particular day. A Viking and a new resident in town become fast friends, but friends with benefits is where they want to be.

A heatwave is pouring out on the pages in this steamy story, in more ways than one. Lust and love are a perfect accompaniment!

Sign me up for more!

* advance copy received for review consideration
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,763 reviews1,338 followers
April 3, 2018
I absolutely love the Harlequin Dirty Bits series as the stories are hot, fast palette cleansers. I thought this story was great. Faye and Ben were romantic, sexy and an overall great match. I loved that their story was based on friendship first.

Overall a fun read. I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review. Bravo! 3.5 Stars! ~Ratula
Profile Image for Suzanne.
914 reviews34 followers
April 8, 2018
HEAT WAVE is a super-sexy novella in Carina's Dirty Bits series... and it's about apartment neighbors! The two MCs have been friends for months, walking to the BART (public transpo) together every morning, getting coffee, etc. They seem to be good friends with a lot in common, which is helpful since the plot of this story is pretty heavy on the sex. (That's why you're reading this book, this isn't a criticism.)
As you might expect, there's a pretty epic heat wave in SF, and Faye doesn't have AC. Then the power goes out and she gathers her courage and goes to talk to Ben. She's been fantasizing about him for months and then there as a scene where she's in her shower and he's in his and they can hear everything through the wall... Anyway, they haven't spoken for a week, but that's all about to change.
This is the hottest of the DBs that I've read so far. Ben is a dirty talker, and it's really well done. There are a couple of awkward word choices at times that didn't make sense as dialogue (I have never heard a person use the word "wrought" in conversation), but overall it really came together well.
I was initially worried when I saw that the male MC is black and the female MC is white, but the story (to this white woman's mind) stayed away from the stereotypes and fetishization.
All in all, a short hot read with a believable HEA.
Profile Image for SuperWendy.
921 reviews244 followers
August 28, 2018
This was my first ever read in Carina Press' Dirty Bits line and if you're as old as I am - basically it's like the old Spice Briefs shorts. Although unlike Spice Briefs, so far Carina has been focusing on only contemporary stories. Anyway, this delivered exactly what you would expect for a story published under the tag line of "Dirty Bits." There's some back story (developed largely off page) to give it some heft, but this is still a lightweight, sexy, short read - which is exactly what Carina is advertising. So that's a win.

The story itself? It was OK. I genuinely liked the hero although at times his dialogue bordered on "No guy would ever say that. Ever." I really liked the socially awkward heroine who finds herself tongue-tied around her sexy new neighbor because he's THAT good-looking. Was less enamored by the dismissive attitude the hero (and by extension, the heroine) had for a woman the hero had sex with shortly after the heroine moved in next door. Also, I know Carina prides itself on publishing HEAs, but the I-Love-Yous in this story are really quick and I'm THAT much of a cynic. Honestly, "I dig you, let's be exclusive" would have been plenty of happy ending to satisfy me, and frankly more believable. But again. Cynic.

A pleasant diversion. Good, not great.
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,471 reviews243 followers
March 18, 2018
Heat Wave is an insta-lust leads to insta-love steamy novella featuring two neighbours who have become friends but harbor secret fantasies about each other. A city heat wave and loss of power leads them to explore something more in the dark where inhibitions pale in comparison to desire. It's a sexy and entertaining treat with a happy ending, a nice addition to the Dirty Bits line.

This story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.
Profile Image for Kari.
3,620 reviews87 followers
March 14, 2018
This one doesn't come out until late April, so I couldn't find a good description. The story involves Ben and Faye. They have been neighbors for 4 months and have slowly built a friendship. They are another couple who have wanted each other form afar, but were afraid to act on their feelings. When there is a heat wave in the city and the lights go out, Ben and Faye find that acting in the dark might be the best decision for them. I really enjoyed this one as well. It was really cute. The couple had built a relationship over the months before the night in the book. It made it more believable. I highly recommend this one when it come out!
Profile Image for Lauren loves llamas.
816 reviews63 followers
April 29, 2018
Talk about a heat wave! This novella, part of Carina Press’s Dirty Bits line, is short, super steamy, and cute! It’s also the first book I’ve read that could make a BART ride sound romantic!

“Hi, Faye, how’s the new apartment?”
I laugh but play along.
“Oh, it’s pretty good.”
“Cats are settling in?”
“Yup, they’re exploring all the new scents.”
“Haven’t bought any hamsters since we spoke last?”
“If I had, the cats would have eaten them.”
“Want to come over so I can make you waffles and make love to you till you scream my name?”

Faye moved in to the apartment next to Ben’s a few months ago, and since their first meeting, they’ve become everyday BART commute buddies. Though ever since overhearing Ben going at it with with a date one night soon after they met, Faye’s been lusting after him – and wearing out her vibrator! A power outage during a particularly bad heat wave finally lowers Faye’s inhibitions enough to give in to her lust for him, but when the lights come back on, will this just be a one-night-stand or the start of something more?

“When we first met I never thought you’d be this way.”
“What way?” He nuzzles my neck, licks where the dress strap sits on my shoulder.
“So dirty and unashamed by it.”

Wow, I think this is the steamiest Dirty Bits I’ve read yet! Not only that, but the story worked really well for me. While the novella takes place the night of the power outage, there’s short flashbacks to various events during the months since they’ve met and plenty of friendly banter to reinforce that they already have an existing relationship. Ben was both a ridiculously hot dirty talker and a delightfully sweet guy who handled Faye’s insecurities well. For such a short novella, it felt packed full of relationship silliness, character development, and, oh yeah, seriously hot sex.

Overall, this is my favorite novella from the Dirty Bits line! I’ll definitely be looking up the rest of this author’s work!

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Babel.
2,125 reviews174 followers
April 6, 2018
Too hot, too dark, too sexy!

Nice novella. I got enticed by the promise of desire when the power goes off and two neighbours engage in improper behaviour. The story is good and well written, short of course, but well rounded. Ben is adorable, tender, and is genuinely interested in his shy neighbour who doesn't hesitate to give in to her fantasies when she's alone, yet he can hear her behind the walls.

I really liked how the author explains the friendly relationship that's been building up until the fateful night when they act on their desire. Some things are seen in retrospective which added a less linear pace and I liked that. The steamy times are oh so good, and better because Ben is so sweet and eager to make them an official couple. He works through her insecurities and they find their adorable happy ending.

Lovely quick bite.
Profile Image for Gladys.
10.8k reviews118 followers
April 28, 2018
Quick and deliciously hot read. An insta-love, friends to lovers romance. Faye and Ben are neighbors. They are attracted to one another and fantasize about each other, but neither has ever made a move. When a heatwave causes a power outage, darkness closes in and temptation comes out to play and things really heat up. Lots of dirty talk and sizzling scenes. A very pleasurable read. I'm posting a totally honest, voluntary review.
Profile Image for T Van.
1,618 reviews28 followers
April 29, 2018
A woman who is insecure for unknown reasons, takes advantage of an unexpected heat wave/blackout to take it to another level with her neighbor and friend. The prose sort of mimics the disorientation one would be expected to feel while overheated and stumbling around the dark. Both cover and character descriptions suggest the narrator is in an interracial relationship with a Black man, but that's as far/deep as that goes...race doesn't factor into the plot at all.
Profile Image for lisa.
2,071 reviews300 followers
April 13, 2018
I don't know why there's no blurb on Goodreads but it's about two neighbours, who've been having feels for each other for a while, finally getting it on during a blackout. Heat Wave is a fast-paced, sexy read, and it's just what I need right now.

E-ARC is received thanks to the publisher via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Karen.
283 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2018
I love these "Dirty bits" short stories, now I didn't really like the heroine in this book I'm not good with wishy washy people and she was but I took a day to think about it and since I have strong feelings about miss wishy washy I'm giving it a 4 not a 3 like I was originally going to do, because obviously I feel strongly about it, so bring on the next one.
Profile Image for poppy.
4,592 reviews25 followers
August 27, 2018
Good quick smoking hot read and a fantastic addition to the Dirty Bits series. I really liked this little read and it might just be my favorite so far. For me, this is the steamiest book yet I just loved Faye and Ben and really enjoyed the glimpses into their time together before the blackout. I cannot wait to read more from Ceri
Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,863 reviews16 followers
April 20, 2018
Heat Wave by Ceri Grenelle is the story of Ben and Faye.
Ben and Faye are neighbors for the last few months and there was a instant attraction but nothing really happened until the weather changed to a heat wave...that brought this hot couple together.
Short hot story!
Profile Image for Tammy.
8,902 reviews35 followers
April 30, 2018
This is a quick and steamy read. Faye recently moved to California and hears her neighbor having sex. Now she can’t stop fantasizing about him, what will happen during a heat wave when the power goes and he is at her door. Fun, entertaining and hot. A good read.
Profile Image for Claire Louisa.
1,557 reviews92 followers
May 14, 2018
A short but sweet and steamy romance between neighbours who are both looking for something more. I enjoyed this 'The Dirty Bits' read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Carina Press for a copy in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emma Bryson.
Author 1 book7 followers
May 19, 2018
Heat Wave is such a great addition to The Dirty Bits line! One of my faves. I love the set-up, how it was inspired by real life. The characters are likable and the romance is the perfect blend of steamy and cutesy - what more could you ask for?
Profile Image for Gavinsmommaloves2read.
927 reviews6 followers
April 21, 2018
Sweet and sexy. This is a cute neighborhoods to friends to lovers story. I lived it so much sexy hot story perfect for the afternoon.
Profile Image for C.C..
9 reviews
July 16, 2019
Ceri Grenelle's short novella 'Heat Wave' is a titillating exploration between apartment neighbors turned lovers. Like a heat wave, the character interactions are hot and vivid. While I appreciate the cleanliness and tightness of the prose, I couldn't help but want more plot. Both characters had a goal, no a needy desire to be with one another in more ways than one, but faced obstacles as thin as their bedroom walls.
Profile Image for Kim.
938 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2018
Ceri has out done herself again with this book. Strong characters and a great story line that will keep you entertained while reading this book. I so couldn't put it down once I started reading it either and neither will you. I can't wait to read more of her work either too.
479 reviews8 followers
November 20, 2018
I usually hate erotic novellas. This one is great. Funny and real, sexy because it trips wires in the brain, not just the pants. I need to read more from this author.
Profile Image for Brandi.
1,168 reviews3 followers
June 29, 2018
Quick short read of how a heat wave gives two neighbors the chance to unleash their hidden desires. Faye and Ben finally realize what they have long denied one another.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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