Spoiler Alert: We all loved this book. So this is more of a long discussion post than a duel.
Spires, Book #1
Heat Factor: Sex first, emotions later
Character Chemistry: I’m not entirely sure why Darian puts up with Ash, but I’m glad he does
Plot: One-night stand becomes something more
Overall: I finished this book and immediately made Erin and Ingrid agree to read it because I needed to talk to someone
Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sex, and the sex does a lot of work, but it’s poetically rather than graphically written
Character Chemistry: “It doesn’t make any sense, but something in you speaks to something in me.”
Plot: Ash puts himself way outside his comfort zone and challenges himself to embrace the happiness he finds there
Overall: This has been on my TBR for a while, and I had a couple false starts because Chapter 1 was really uncomfortable, but the rest of the book was really beautiful
Heat Factor: It’s kind of like eating dessert first, and then getting a little uncomfortable, so when you get the real food you’re kind of relieved/grateful and also just deeply satisfied?
Character Chemistry: This is probably a healthy dose of sexual healing mixed with a serious case of the ole grumpy + sunshine
Plot: Ash meets this glitter pirate, Darian, who just oozes joy at a stag party and tries really hard to pretend this man isn’t leading him into a life where he can find his own happiness and it DOES NOT WORK.
Overall: This book is absolutely like that song you hear on the radio and you’re like, oh god I’m not going to be able to stop humming this later, and that’s exactly what happens but you really love it…
Character Chemistry: For the first time, her skills are appreciated.
Plot: Angelique is desperate for money, so she’s been counting cards at the vingt-et-un table at Alexander’s gaming club. (NEVER DO THIS.) When she gets caught, Alexander offers her a job. And then her brother is arrested for murder.
Overall: This is the most romantic suspense-y of Bowen’s books I’ve read, but it works pretty well
Plot: Juliana wakes up after her (traumatizing) wedding night in a pool of her husband’s blood. Naturally, she is the prime suspect. She enlists the help of lawyer/investigator Ash to save herself from the gallows.
*Content Warning for violent sexual assault before the book opens. It’s never described, but it is frequently referred to, and enough details are included throughout the text for the reader to get a pretty good idea of how bad it was.