Review: Getting Hot with the Scot – Melonie Johnson
by Melonie Johnson
Series: Sometimes in Love #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
IT’S TIME TO FLIRT WITH A MAN IN A KILT
Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .
Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?
Content warnings: View Spoiler »fatphobia and thinphobia (a minor character is a model so we get both sides of the coin), death of a parent (during childhood) « Hide Spoiler
I’m not a big fan of Scottish or highlander romances, but the cover was so gorgeous and the blurb so intriguing that I had to read it. While I had some issues with it, overall this is a light, funny, and enjoyable read.
While wandering off on a tour of a Scottish castle, Cassie stumbles upon a man done up in Highlander gear – and ends up kissing him. Turns out it’s part of a skit meant to boost the female viewership of Logan’s internet show. If Logan can show that he can attract that demographic, he’s basically guaranteed a show on a major US network. But Cassie refuses to sign the waiver, fearing it would compromise her job as a reporter back in Chicago, leading Logan to basically hunt her down. One thing leads to another, and soon Logan’s questioning which is more important – his electric chemistry with Cassie, or the waiver.
“Cassie thought what she’d wanted was a one-night stand, had believed the experience of a hot night of foreign action would fill that place in her that, for years, had sat waiting, wanting more . . . needing more. But tonight, this perfect shining jewel of a night with Logan, this was what she’d been waiting for. This was the souvenir she’d craved, and the memory she would keep with her always.”
My absolute favorite thing about Cassie was that she was a romance reader herself. I also liked Cassie’s career-mindedness, and I really enjoyed all the parts related to that and how she was trying to go from covering “fluff” to more serious topics. Her tenacity was another trait I admired, especially how she turned a bad situation into a win for herself. On the complete opposite spectrum, Logan’s a prankster at heart, and that, and his love for his family, was rather endearing to me. It also makes him a bit of a Peter Pan, though, willing to live in the now and ignore the future, and that includes things like making commitments. Despite good reasons for his “seize the day” mentality, he was, at times, so seriously dismissive of Cassie’s feelings that I had a hard time with him. Those reasons also made him desperate to prove himself with his show, a trait he shared with Cassie that led to their main conflict.
“Maybe that was what Cassie needed to find—a hearty meal to sustain her, one with enough spice to keep things interesting. A relationship with a man she could look to build a life with, not a fling with a sexy Scot who had the potential to screw up her plans before she even got the chance to execute them.
Logan wasn’t an appetizer—he was dessert—sweet and sinful and totally bad for her.”
And that’s where my main issue with the book comes in. While I felt like their conflict was very realistic – who hasn’t had to deal with career vs relationship? – I felt like they did a poor job communicating about it. Neither person had much previous experience with romantic relationships, and it really showed. Logan was reluctant to tell Cassie exactly why he’s so desperate to get that particular clip on the air, and Cassie also didn’t seem willing to explain why that would be so bad for her career (though, for that part, I think Logan would’ve understood immediately if he hadn’t been so immature). I just wanted them to sit down and talk it out, and by the time they actually did, it was the end of the book. It felt a bit like they were going around in circles, and it made parts of the book move pretty slowly for me.
I also had a minor quibble with the whole premise behind the book. The multi-country trip is a result of a decade-old pact by a group of friends from college. The five friends all agreed to take a trip five years after graduating college to five European countries. The, well, upper-class-ness of this was a bit eyebrow-raising for me. How many people in their late twenties are able to take that much time off from work, let alone afford the contemporary equivalent of a grand tour? Oh, also, due to one of the friends’ family connections, they get to stay for free in a series of posh hotel suites. I think most readers will appreciate the escapist quality of it all, but it added a layer of disconnect for me.
While the trip didn’t sit well with me, I did enjoy the secondary characters. Logan’s family was a high point of the book for me, especially Janet. I also liked Cassie’s friends, though I’ll be honest – I kept getting them confused. I think this is an effect of having so many characters that need to be introduce, since it is the first in a series. There were times, though, that I was almost more interested in Cassie’s friend Bonnie and Logan’s friend Theo (and all The Little Mermaid jokes), who are, naturally, the starring couple in the next book.
Overall, while I did enjoy the book, the communication issues were a problem for me, enough to drop it down a star. If that’s not something that bothers you, I think you’re going to a have a great time with this book. Despite that, I’m very interested in the next book, especially since Bonnie and Theo are the next couple!