Review: Hot Mess

cover-hot messTitle: Hot Mess
Author: Amy Andrews
Series: Hot Aussie Knights #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 22nd May


“I never thought I’d get a second chance at a first time with you.”

Firefighter Logan Knight thinks it’s fate when he meets Arabella Tucker again, nine years after their brief, intense relationship ended. Until he realizes that Bella doesn’t recognize him and all of their memories together are completely erased from her memory.

Bella may be oblivious to their history but she can’t deny their scorching chemistry and the possibility of a future with the mystery man from her past. Logan wants a future too, but he can’t go there until Bella knows everything they shared. Her parents, though, want to protect her from the emotional cost of old memories and so Logan is reluctantly persuaded to let the past lie.

But when Bella starts to uncover the truth, she is shocked by the revelations. Can she move beyond the hurt of her shared history with Logan and begin their new story?

Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley

This book surprised me with how emotional it was. I’m not a fan in general of amnesia plots because too often there’s a quick fix involved that papers over all the cracks and suddenly everything’s fine again. That is definitely not what we get here, instead it’s painful and hopeful and sad and sweet, with grief and love and history all combining to make this an absorbing read.

Logan has a hard road ahead in this book. He starts off seeming like a regular Aussie bloke, a firefighter who isn’t entirely PC at times, but once Bella walks back into his life he’s soon revealed to be a guy who feels deeply and with an intense loyalty that not even nine years and a decade of lost memories can remove. His hope that Bella would somehow suddenly remember everything, and the main reason why, was almost as painful as his grief over what tore them apart the first time. I felt for him so strongly throughout, not least because of the dilemma he faces over what to tell Bella and when.

I liked Bella too. Her strength in rebuilding her life despite her lost memories was admirable, and I liked how she fell for Logan all over again. I also felt for her when Logan was hoping so hard for things she’d already grieved over. She’s extremely patient with him, even though it hurts them both. I was, however, a little frustrated by her lack of fight at the end, when she’d promised she’d do better this time around. I was also annoyed at the predictable way a few things were resolved, but as long as Logan was happy, I was ultimately happy too.

Overall, this is an emotional, stirring read that doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to grief and love. If you’re expecting something sexy and light, you won’t find it here, but if you’re looking for something a little deeper that doesn’t go in for magical quick fixes, then give this a go. I look forward to learning more about the Knight family.

Hot Mess is out May 22nd.
Visit Amy Andrews for more details.


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