Sweet Heat

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Sweet Heat combines family drama and heated romance beautifully.  A story of love between two plus-sized black characters filled with humor and drama, it’s wonderfully appealing.

Marvin Carter is a wiz with a whisk and a spatula.  An exemplary baker, he spends his days toiling as a line cook and would do anything to save enough money to open his own restaurant.  When he hears about Food Truck Bucks, a completion reality show that gives thousands to the winner, he jumps at the chance to win enough money to make his dream come true. He teams up with Abbey, his former instructor at culinary school and co-worker, to hopefully grab the prize.

Marvin’s main competition is spirited, curvy Naomi Carson, who knows how to make people drool with her soul food and whose highly ambitious hopes for the future cannot be put aside.  One day, she’s determined to own a restaurant of her own – and determined to finally move away from her Nana, whom she loves but wants to be able to fully support instead of vice-versa. Her cousin and best friend, Kristy – who’s got romantic problems of her own -  becomes her second.

Marvin and Naomi met before the competition in the bread aisle at the supermarket where Naomi works, when he literally bumped into her behind.  Sparks flew right away – the bantery sort and the romantic. Now that they’re in competition, the heat’s getting to both of them – though Abbey remains distrustful of Naomi’s motivations.  In spite of outside stresses and Abbey’s clear jealousy, they begin to date in secret.  But will the competition pull them apart?

Sweet Heat’s central romance is so nice and delightfully zippy. Marvin and Naomi know how to flirt and banter with one another, and there’s a lot of liveliness to the attraction that develops between them.  For the two of them, love isn’t just about sexual chemistry (which they have oodles of), but fitting together, and fitting into each other’s communities.  Their block is important to them, and friendships and family roles play a great big part in this steamy romance.

I liked Marvin and Naomi, in all of their complicated glory, and their dreams, attractions and worries are easy to sympathize with. There’s not a whole heck of a lot of angst going on in their relationship after the midpoint of the novel because ultimately it’s their own values and lives that need sorting, and that provides more than enough tension.

A lot of the secondary characters are great. Marvin’s bawdy mom Liz is hilarious (her husband Willie makes a great foil for her), I loved Naomi’s Nana, who is loving, supportive and regal, and Kristy’s hot mess romance life adds an interesting subplot. I liked the character of Ted Reynolds, an ex-child star turned restaurateur who hosts the show.  Day’s knowledge of the culinary world works quite nicely, and the food truck reality show Naomi and Marvin are competing to be on sounds and feels realistic.

The weakest part of Sweet Heat is probably the subplot about Abbey’s jealousy.  For a while it felt like a simple plotline about a friend worrying about a friend, but then a semi-stalkerish, one-sided love component comes out (which the plot calls out, and resolves kindly and amicably), which didn’t work well for me.

But that’s not enough for me to mark Sweet Heat down very far. Overall, it’s a delicious, fun little ride that will please the palate of many romance readers.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo
Visit our Amazon Storefront
Was this review helpful?
I have fallen in love with this series.  This one might be my favorite, not only because it deals with food, but I loved the banter and chemistry between the two main characters.  And Mother Carter might be the best character yet.  She definitely made the story that much more enjoyable.  I am hoping the other two brothers also get a story and I can't wait to see what's next in store for the author and series.

Thanks to Kensington and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I am a huge fan of this series. Just like the others I enjoyed this one as well. Nice flow to the story. I really liked the storyline. It was a fun read. Loved the humor intertwined in the story. Definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Marvin Carter is a marvel at baking pies and cakes.  Very few are aware of his skills.  But working as a restaurant line cook is not doing it for him anymore.  Marvin is willing to do whatever it takes to win the start-up money from a cooking contest in order to launch his own business. But his prime competition is making things "HOT" all around for him.
  
Naomi Carson is a whiz at making her soul food. She is confident that she can win this contest and will use all her skills against Marvin to take first place. These two attraction to each other burns too hot for the other contestants.  Can Marvin and Naomi find a common ground that leads to a lifetime of happiness?
Was this review helpful?
I tried to read this but the beginning lost me. Between not finding a reason to care about the male character in his introduction and being grossed out in the first couple of pages of the intro to the female character, I couldn't bring myself to keep reading. Talking about things falling out of noses into food was clearly meant to gross out the other character but it, in turn, grossed me out. I felt like I should know a bit more about the male character before we switched to the perspective of the female character.

1 star = DNF
Was this review helpful?
Sweet Heat is the third Installment in the Blue Collar series. Marvin Carter is a beast in the kitchen and everyone loves his cooking and thinks he should enter a contest to win $50,000 and a Food Truck. Naomi Carson learn to cook from her Nana and she is determined to prove to everyone that she is best the cook and should win the contest and food truck, falling for her number one competitor was not in the deal. 

I really enjoyed Marvin and Naomi’s story, I loved the fun they had with each other in and out of the kitchen. The Carter Catcher is very funny. I also enjoy the fact that in Zuri books she makes the big girls feel special and loved, it was great seeing some of the characters  that I love from her other books. This is a good series and I look forward to more of the Carter brothers.
Was this review helpful?
In Sweet Heat we meet Naomi and Marvin two individuals who love to cook and bake.  Unfortunately, what they love the most might split them apart.  They are both vying to win $50.000 to fund their dream. Take a journey with Naomi and Marvin as they experience love while pursing their dream.  Sweet Heat was a simple and sweet love story.
Was this review helpful?
Sweet Heat
Zuri Day 

Sweet Heat by Zuri Day is book three in her Blue-Collar Lover series. I’m new to this author, but I really enjoyed this novel which reads as a standalone. 

Marvin Carter and Naomi Carson both love to cook and have entered a cooking contest where the prize is a food truck and $50,000 to start their business. The two hit it off immediately. The relationship should be simple and straightforward, but there are surprising twists in store for our lead characters. 

Sweet Heat is very well-written. The dialogue is humorous and engaging. The characters are fully relatable. The plot held my attention from start to finish. I loved the ending. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author. I rate Sweet Heat 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to all readers of urban romance. The explicit sexual content may be offensive to some readers. 

My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Was this review helpful?
DNF @ 40%

This is definitely a case of the book not being for me. The cover of this book immediately drew me in - fat, gorgeous lady and a man cooking? What’s not to love! I was also intrigued by the premise of a cooking contest and having the main characters competing against each other. Unfortunately, this book just isn’t working for me. I adore the banter between Marvin and Naomi and think they’re incredible characters, but I’m not feeling much of a sexual/romantic chemistry between them but there is already several instances of strong jealousy. There’s also a side character who used to be Marvin’s culinary school instructor who is aggressively pursuing him, to point she like propositions him in such a way as to say her money is his for start-up and maintenance of a food truck, should he win the competition, if he’ll have a relationship with her - and this after he’d already expressed his disinterest and told her no. I also didn’t like how many of the women treat each other, like enemies and competition with regards to their interest in Marvin. There is some great friendships and I love the Carter family, but it couldn’t save the book for me. I’m supremely upset that this book didn’t work for me, but think it may appeal to other romance readers who love cooking competitions and great familial bonds.
Was this review helpful?
I want someone to call me Jucy!Lol(You have to read it to find out!)
Loved this and cannot say enough about how well written this was.
My only criticism is that towards the end, there were some loose ends, but that doesn't detract from the book.
While this is not my first time reading a book by this author, and certainly not my last, this is my favorite so far.
Great ending and, what I believe to be a  good summer read(Beach included or not).
Was this review helpful?
This was very cute, but a little long. The families were fun and even though I didn't read the first two, it didn't take away from the book. I loved the cooking competition aspect. This was a solid read.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book as an ARC through Netgalley.

I am a sucker for sweet and sappy - or should I say sassy in this book's case - love stories. I am also a big time foodie! This book had all the elements to pull me in and keep my attention. This is my first read from Zuri Day and it will definitely not be my last. 

The two lead characters - Naomi and Marvin - were like able and lovable throughout the story. I found them both to be relatable and honest. I enjoyed the food competition aspect of the story as well. I am fiercely competitive so I had a deep understanding of Naomi's character. I loved the "meet cute" these two shared in the beginning of the story.

The story was fast pace and well written. It definitely had some SWEET HEAT! I also loved the humor throughout the story and the banter between the two love interests!!!

I would recommend this book to fans of Carl Weber or Eric Jerome Dickey! It also reminded me of a grown and sexy version of With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acedevo!!!
Was this review helpful?
I definitely think that I would have appreciated “ Sweet Heat” by Zuri Day a lot better had I read the first two books prior. Even so, overall, I felt like this was an ok read. I laughed a few times while reading and the characters really did play off of each other well. I would read more from this author in the future. 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
I have always enjoyed reading Zuri Day’s books and I liked this one as well. It started off with Marvin and Naomi meeting for a cooking contest. I liked the chemistry for the couple and the overall storyline and of course the food/cooking thread was great. Towards the middle, I did feel like the book slowed down but I pushed through because well, I like this author’s work. Naturally there were some issues but they worked it out for a wonderful HEA.
Was this review helpful?
This was a book I was really looking forward to....I love foodie romances. But I just couldn't get engaged into the story. I gave it 40% before I had to set it aside. The slang did throw me off a little but also the angst between the two protaganists just didn't work for me. I did like the characters individually but just couldn't get into this one like I wanted to.
Was this review helpful?
Decent overall good story. Good characters, plot and writing. Was I thrilled; no. But it was overall a good use of an afternoon.
Was this review helpful?
Good book overall. Both characters Marvin & Naomi played well off each other. it was a great relief to see the every day woman story. Often the author has away of wishing you were apart of the special families in her books. The Carter family members are funny and considerable, while presenting a strong family connection. Can't wait to reunite with the remaining brothers.
Was this review helpful?