Trey Arnold and Jenna Maxwell's whirlwind romance culminated in a quick marriage only one month after they met. Uncertainties and insecurities on both their parts led to a break-up when they hit a rough patch a short time later. They've been separated for two years, but neither has ever stopped loving the other. In spite of that, Jenna believes it's over and it's time for her to move on. She serves Trey with separation papers that he refuses to sign without seeing her again. Reluctantly she makes a trip to Florida to try to convince him to let her go, but Trey isn't giving up without a fight. He pulls out all the stops to romance her in the best possible way, remind her of what they shared, and to convince her that he's no longer the same person she walked away from two years ago.
Hot and Bothered turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. I'd never read anything by Kayla Perrin before. In fact, other than seeing her name mentioned once or twice, I really knew nothing about her. Therefore, I was somewhat shocked to discover that she's a pretty prolific author who's been published for going on two decades, with quite a number of books to her credit. Of course, not knowing all that going into reading this novella, I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be a very good read.
Trey and Jenna married after a whirlwind romance that only lasted for one month. They were crazy attracted to one another and the sex was off the charts, but they perhaps didn't know each other as well as they should have before making such a serious commitment. That's why when a major conflict arose, Jenna went running back home. I have to admit that I was a little concerned in the beginning of the story, because their rash actions didn't entirely make sense to me. But after reading the entire novella, I'm happy to say that every question I had was answered to my satisfaction. It just took a little while to get there.
Trey and Jenna have been separated for two years with no contact, and now Jenna is feeling her biological clock ticking and has decided to get on with her life and find someone new. The only problem is that in New York, she has to file for a legal separation and remain in that limbo for a year before officially seeking a divorce. She sends Trey the separations papers, but he won't sign them without seeing her first, so she must travel to Key West, Florida to convince him to let her go. This leads to yet another problem for her. Being around him again, stirs up all the feelings she's been trying to put to rest, as well as the combustible chemistry they share.
I loved that both Trey and Jenna have remained faithful to their marriage vows for the entire two years, and neither has sought out a relationship with anyone else, even though Trey, as a bartender, has been propositioned by women who come into his establishment. I also like that they both still love each other to distraction, and Trey is willing to do almost anything to get Jenna to give him another chance. He's grown as a person since the blow-up fight that drove Jenna away and willingly admits his mistakes and explains everything that he couldn't before. Jenna also comes to realize that she wasn't entirely innocent in their break-up either. With a little help from Jeanna's best friend, who has always thought they were soul mates, Trey pulls out all the stops to romance Jenna and remind her of their wedding night. I love that he remembers all her favorite things and knows her so well even after all this time. His actions totally made Jenna (and me) melt. Their love scene is deliciously sexy and filled with emotion too, which was the icing on the cake.
I wouldn't have changed a thing about Hot and Bothered. It was a very tightly plotted little novella that was quite satisfying in spite of its short length and was yet another winner for me in the Perfect for the Beach anthology in which it's found. Now that Trey and Jenna had all their concerns out in the open, I was totally convinced that their reconciliation was going to be a success and that they're definitely getting their happy ending this time around. This may have been my first read by Kayla Perrin, but it won't be my last. I look forward to checking out her backlist and finding more great reads by her.
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