{Review} Midnight Heat by Cat Johnson


FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books (via NetGalley).
{Review} Midnight Heat by Cat JohnsonMidnight Heat by Cat Johnson
Series: Midnight Cowboys #3
Publisher: Zebra on February 23, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Pages: 320

Our Rating

4 Stars

He needs to escape...

Justin Skaggs is on the road to anywhere—as long as it's far from home—when fate throws a kindred spirit across his path.

She needs to get to Oklahoma...

Phoenix Montagno can't believe her luck when she runs into the hottie from the bar. He's the key to her getting everything she's always wanted, but she can't tell him that. Luckily he's not interested in learning her story any more than he is in sharing his.

Both have secrets they don't want to share...

It's the perfect arrangement. No personal details. No talking at all. Just two strangers sharing the cab of a truck heading the direction they both need to go . . . until they decide to share a bed, too.

This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.

Midnight Heat by Cat Johnson

Adopted when she was just a baby, Phoenix is now searching for her birth mother, but the only clue she has leads her to a vacant home and a cowboy who’s loading up all the furniture and boxes for a journey to Oklahoma — and he’s not answering any questions, either.  Justin’s hauling furniture as a favor to his boss and an excuse to get away from the house of sorrow he shares with his grieving mother.  With his father dead, his brother killed in Afghanistan, and his mother unable to cope with the loss, Justin’s not looking for happiness; he’s just looking for a little escape.

The Verdict:  Midnight Heat by Cat Johnson is a bit of a departure from the series in that it brings in a new character and strays from the ranch in favor of a road trip for a while.  But once the full plot arc is revealed, the change makes perfect sense.

Phoenix has a lot of questions, and she’s hoping that finding her birth mother will clear them up.  Her only clue, though, is really more of a wild guess, and just when it seems it might actually pan out, it leaves her at the door of a vacant home, asking about one Bonnie Martin.  The surly, often irritating cowboy she finds there is none too keen to give her any information, either, but she manages to beg a ride with him to Oklahoma, hoping she’ll finally find the answers there.  Justin’s been living his life under a black cloud for way too long, and when his boss Rohn offers him a chance to get away for a few days, he jumps at it.  What he doesn’t expect, though, is to find himself road-tripping partway across the country with a young schoolteacher who’s awfully curious but not the least bit forthcoming when it comes to the reason for her search.

It might have been easy for these two to fall into some kind of serious relationship too soon, but Cat Johnson plays it smart by deferring to the heavy issues they’re both dealing with first.  Phoenix’s search is all she can focus on, and Justin’s in no place to rush into anything, despite his attraction to Phoenix.  A couple of days on the road doesn’t change that all too much, though they do get to know each other quite a bit better on the drive.  Through their growing relationship, though, Phoenix’s big secret keeps getting in the way of anything more substantial.  She’s understandably private about her search for her birth mother, since she doesn’t really know why she was given up for adoption or if her presence as an adult will be welcomed.  Justin’s problems are a bit more complex, since there’s no real solution to losing half your family.  But his dedication to his mother is heartwarming, and it’s great to see things slowly begin to improve, despite the lack of a miracle answer.

The best part about the book, in my opinion, is that it closes the door on that one big question left at the end of Midnight Wrangler.  While the story of Bonnie’s giving up her daughter for adoption and having absolutely no information to find her was probably very realistic, it did hang there in the end like a sad cliffhanger.  And as Rohn himself has played an important role in all three books, I really wanted the rest of that happy ending for him.  Midnight Heat is a solid read, made that much more satisfying to readers of the series by resolving that one, big missing piece we’ve all been waiting for.

The Breakdown
Cover Design
4.5 star rating
Plot & Pace
4 star rating
4 star rating
Style & Editing
4 star rating
Story Conclusion
4 star rating
Overall Rating 4 star rating

About Cat Johnson

It all started in first grade when Cat Johnson won the essay contest at Hawthorne Elementary School and got to ride in the Chief of Police's car in the Memorial Day Parade...and the rest, as they say, is history. As an adult, Cat generally tries to stay out of police cars and is thrilled to be writing for a living. She has been published under a different name in the Young Adult genre, but released her first romance in 2006.

Today, she is a NY Times & USA Today best-selling, award-winning author of contemporary romance and contracted with Kensington and Samhain Publishing. She's also sponsored real live bull riding cowboys.

Author: ysar

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