If You Can’t Take the Heat by Melissa Brown

[I have received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review]ifyoucanttaketheheat

Story is about Whitney Bartolina, a successful casting director struggling to achieve the same comfort she has professionally in her personal life. She is offered a job to select the contestants for a future cooking reality show which could bring her a huge bonus. As this involves traveling, she does not get the support of her boyfriend Nolan and decide to break up. During her trips from town to town, she meets Charlie and Wes, two very different men who want to win her interest, but for different purposes. Whitney will soon have to choose between the ex-boyfriend determined to get her back, a funny guy who makes her laugh and a mature man who states his intentions clearly. Also, her reputation at work is in stake.

I do believe that the three different male characters represent different types of life options that Whitney has. Nolan could represent a life she already knows – she expects him not to know which is her favorite color or even cheat on her, but somehow he still brings her comfort. He will constantly try to impress her with gifts or public displays of affection and at a certain moment she even considers forgiving him. Charlie is the guy who can offer her distraction from all problems, jokes from time to time and as well can be fun intimately. So he can satisfy the immature part of her life. On the opposite end we find Wes – he expresses his desires loud and clear, no misunderstandings or misleading. He’s had his fair share of lies and betrayal and looks for a serious relationship.

Whitney Bartolina has a career which would make anyone jealous. She’s worked really hard to win the respect in the Hollywood production studios and she is very committed to obtaining further promotions. Still, when on the road to search for contestants, she becomes romantically involved with two of them. This is one of the contradictions I could not figure out: she says she wants success badly, but easily falls for one of the potential chefs just for the fun of it. This is definitely not very professional and for sure was not worth the risk.ifyoucanttaketheheat_2

Throughout the book we are mostly presented with her point of view. Charlie and Wes have little to no pages dedicated to their thoughts. While on one or two occasions we get to see in their minds, Nolan is forgotten somehow. I still don’t know whether his intentions were sincere or not. Also, out of the three men, after some time is very easy to pick the favorite. So her choice should have been obvious even early in the book.

As a conclusion, I do believe this is an interesting book, about balance in life, about reaching the desired level professionally and personally. I appreciated how the author shaped the male characters and how natural was Whitney’s behavior in most of the cases. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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