Spanish Heat by Douglas Black ~ Book Review by Lirtle

Glasgow to Malaga, ticket for one…

spanish heat cover 1 Title: Spanish Heat

Author: Douglas Black

Publisher: Totally Bound

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


Jack is looking for a new job and a fresh start, but he finds more than he expected waiting for him under the Spanish sun.

When Jack Campbell is unceremoniously dumped in favour of his high school best friend, he decides he needs a fresh start. He sees an advertisement in The Times. Clark Thomas is looking for a house sitter for his villa in Marbella. In a slightly inebriated state, Jack applies seeing this as the perfect chance to get away from his troubles at home in Glasgow, but when he lands in Spain, he finds a lot more than a just job opportunity waiting for him.

Clark has one weekend to show Jack the ropes before he leaves Spain and the memories of his own recent break-up behind for the next nine months. However, there’s just something about Jack. Instead of explaining the finer points of Jack’s contract, Clark finds himself introducing the young Glaswegian to some of his favourite Andalucian haunts, and he’s spending more time doing so than is necessary.

There must be something in the Spanish heat. All too soon Clark and Jack find themselves struggling to maintain the boundaries of their employer-employee relationship. Jack is behaving in ways he never has before, but knowing that what he’s doing is probably wrong doesn’t stop it from feeling right, and it might cause Jack a bigger problem when Monday morning comes around and it’s time for Clark to leave.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

My View:

Well, hell, this opens in a rather bloody enjoyable way. I immediately liked the writer’s style, and poor Jack, he’s at the mercy of it. He was already blushing.

*** Full disclosure: I’ve been to Spain. Granted, it was a couple of decades ago but I still remember all of it. Costa del Sol!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. ***

Side trip: oh, Basilio, you wonderfully naughty man. Cheeky! Will we see you again?

Now then, Clark, what do you have in store for Jack? Let’s find out.

Normally, a set up like this – the circumstances that bring Jack and Clark together – would ring false or exaggerated. Not in this case. Between the writing and Clark & Jack, even before they do meet, I was in.

It adds so much to the reading experience when there is personality to the writing itself. I like having a sense of the individual behind the words as they work to translate their characters and their quirks, needs, fears and laughs to the page. I got that with this writer in this story.

It’s tricky to handle transitions between scenes and the passage of time in a short story. Both are done well here. I never felt like I was missing anything and yet the progression of the characters and their actions was natural. No wasted words, along with no major gaps, definitely help make a good short story.

Basilio, I saw you coming. It was used in a typical way, that reappearance, but sometimes ya gotta use the tools ya got. The affect he had on Jack, and why, was glossed over quickly. I moved past that little hiccup just as rapidly.

The combination of freedom and uncertainty that comes along with venturing to a new place can be intoxicating. It coaxes and cajoles me into doing things I may not have considered previously and under “normal” circumstances. I love that aspect of travel. Jack and Clark are experiencing this very phenomenon and it is informing some of their decisions. Hello, Story, it’s good to see you here.

I, much like Clark, appreciate the rippling muscles below the surface of gloriously pasty pale skin on a true Scotsman. Steamy hot, these two be. Physical descriptions that are realistic and intimate make that happen.

I both know and understand some peoples’ reluctance to spend hard earned cash on shorter stories. For me, when well done, they pack a punch that no other type of storytelling can provide. This one falls into that category, for sure. I recommend this one and am going to see what else I can find by one Douglas Black. 🙂


Buy Links

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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