Heat Gauge: 2 out of 5 steamy kisses
Chelsie Combs is a young woman with attitude to spare and a job she hates. At least her waitressing gig allows her to be self-sufficient. She values her independence because she has fought for it. After the trauma she suffered she does not want to be reliant on men. Yet it is hard to resist the rock god, Devon Sawyer, when he sets his sights on her.
Noah Hayes, Freeze Frame’s guitarist, despises Chelsie at first sight. It could have been the star struck expression she wore when she met the band’s lead singer, Devon. Or perhaps it was the look in Devon’s eyes whenever they landed on Chelsie’s gorgeous body and stunning face. Either way, Chelsie Combs is a distraction the band does not need, and Noah is determined to sabotage all prospects of romance for Devon and Chelsie.
Neither Chelsie nor Noah are prepared for the chemistry that develops between them as their own friendship sparks to life. And matters are further complicated when Chelsie’s abusive ex shows up.
Note: this description applies to book 1, while the review relates to both books. I have not included a summary of book 2 in the interest of avoiding spoilers.
Jennifer Hartmann has done an exceptional job of delving into the psyche of a broken woman and the challenges she overcomes to find love again. It took a little while for the characters to develop, but by the time s**t got real they were all believable, three-dimensional people, although not all of them were likeable, but that’s life yeah?
The story was well paced and filled with good doses of tension. I was impressed by how well Hartmann employs foreshadowing while still throwing in some great plot twists. These books are so much more than a romance. In addition to all the action and drama, they explore friendship and family as well as the relationship we have with ourselves.
I loved Hartmann’s descriptive writing style with added wit and humour. The few erotic scenes she included were beautiful and touching in all the right ways. For a romance novel to get five stars from me, it needs to connect with me emotionally. The Duet series did just that. I laughed, I swooned, and I most definitely cried.
The Duet Series is a slow-burn romance full of suspense and intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books and would highly recommend them to all lovers of romance and suspense. That said, it is worth noting Hartmann’s trigger warnings: “Talk of past rape and on-page assault.”
About the Author
In addition to being a fellow Buffy fan, Jennifer Hartmann is a US based author, photographer, and family woman.