The Heart of Bali by Rebecca Raisin

In brief: Aurora is in Bali, heartbroken after a romantic break falls through. Is Marcel a good choice for a holiday fling, or could he be something more?

The good: Both romantic and sexy in a sultry atmosphere.

The not-so-good: More please!

Why I chose it: From Net Galley and Escape Publishing – thank you.

Year: 2014

Pages: 42 (eARC)

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Bali

My rating: 9 out of 10

I may never have been to Bali, but I know people who simply adore the place. They say it has a magic quality that erases your worries and that you can’t help but smile when you’re there. That’s something that the protagonist of Rebecca Raisin’s new novella, Aurora, needs desperately. She’s organised a trip to Bali with her not-very-reliable boyfriend Denny to recharge herself and rekindle their relationship, but Denny fails to arrive at the airport after a heavy night. What’s a girl to do then but sit at the bar, drink cocktails and watch life go by…

It looks like Aurora’s going to miss out on that Bali magic until Marcel, the manager of the hotel she’s staying at, steps in. He offers to show her the real Bali and the attraction between the pair is magnetic. It’s one of those instantaneous connections that just crackles with lust…or could it be something more? Aurora’s ready to let herself go for a holiday fling, but how will she and Marcel react when their new relationship is tested?

This novella ignites off the page – the attraction between Aurora and Marcel is instant and incredibly hot. He’s somewhat older than her, but that doesn’t stop them (quickly) acting on their feelings. (You’ll never look at a chauffeured car with blacked out windows in the same way again). But even after the initial passion is spent, there’s a strong connection between the two. Marcel is kind, considerate and worldly – and a gentleman like that defends his lover to the nth degree. There’s a wonderfully written confrontation when Marcel meets someone who’s hurt Aurora badly – his defence of Aurora’s honour is swoon worthy. I’d like to know where to find a man like Marcel! The downside is that Aurora and Marcel only have three days together before Aurora needs to return to her business and real life – what will become of this holiday romance?

This book is fast paced and intensely sexy, balanced with a sweet romance and hero who is both handsome and a lovely person. I’d love to read more of Aurora and Marcel, as I’m hoping they can turn that holiday fling into something more!

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