Gypsy Heat is the third standalone story in the Gypsy Beach series from Jillian Neal. After reading the first book in the series, I was curious to learn more about some of the secondary characters as I really liked them. This one was a second chance romance which is one of my favorite tropes, so I was really interested to read about these two. While there were things that I enjoyed here, there were also some issues for me that kept this one from being a book I really loved though.
When Nadya's world falls apart she heads back to Gypsy Beach, the one place that she both wants to return to yet dreads as well. Having been gone for fourteen years a lot has changed, but she knows returning will mean coming face to face with Grady. Grady and Nadya grew up as best friends when they were children, and once they reached high school they became more. But when unexpected disaster struck them at the age of sixteen, Nadya did the only thing she could think of and ran. Though they have both tried to move on with their lives, they have never forgotten one another or the connection they once shared. But now that they are around one another again, they realize that though they want to make things work they are different people than they were all those years ago. Knowing that the kind of connection they share comes only once in a lifetime though, the two set out to talk about the past and move forward with a future together. But when their pasts and threats to Grady's family threaten everything they are building, will they be able to take a second chance at love?
I liked Grady and Nadya. They were great together, and it was so clear that love was never their problem. They both were very young and had made some decisions at the time that seemed to be right for them, when in reality they could have handled things differently. They both accepted that they made poor choices though, and while they were upset they didn't place all the blame on each other which I was really glad to see. I felt like these two always belonged together though, and I liked that their connection hadn't dimmed with all the time and distance between them. Their chemistry and bond was as strong as ever here, and it was really a matter of being more mature and facing what life had been like apart for these two. I enjoyed seeing them heal from their past and move forward towards a future together.
I will say that I felt like things were pretty easy between the two of them though, and I felt like there was something missing when it came to how quickly things happened between them. It just didn't strike me as very realistic, especially considering what Nadya had just been through. I would expect a bit more struggle than there was. I also felt like this story was a bit on the slow and repetitive side. There were times that I found myself wanting to skim paragraphs, and honestly I wasn't missing much. The dialogue was at times repetitive, and I also felt like the story was a bit as well with the first book in this series also being a second chance romance. Add to that the struggles with the town against anyone with gypsy blood and this one felt like it was a bit too similar to that story. I wish that the author had explored a bit more of their past both together and apart, and I think that this one would have been something new and different, rather than feeling too familiar. So while this one had some really enjoyable moments and I believed in Grady and Nadya as a couple, this one fell a bit flat for me. I was left wanting more and feeling as though there were some missed opportunities here.
**ARC Provided by RockStarLit PR**