Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Candy Hearts Romance review: HOT STUFF by Cj Fosdick

About the Book:

Hot Stuff takes on double meaning when klutzy Kate is faced with rookie cop Dallas looking for a stolen lawn statue. In her quiet, crime-free Wisconsin village, Kate has her hands full writing slogans for candy hearts and keeping her kleptomaniac brother with Asperger’s Syndrome inside the law. Even her grandmother’s famous Snickerdoodle cookies can’t ameliorate the crime when a stolen lawn statue turns out to be a drug dispenser. Will Kate rise above her concern of what Dallas’s uniform represents and admit the charming Texas rookie is the man of her dreams?

“Over the years, we’ve learned some lawn d├ęcor Evan brought home belonged to that category you call a 10-99…er…some might call it this.” He finally smiled when I pulled a handful of candy hearts from my pocket and singled out the one that read Hot Stuff.

“Billington knows about all this?”

“Certainly. Our neighbors are aware of this, too. When something goes missing, they usually show up here first to see if it’s planted in his garden. If they can identify it, we simply have a custody exchange, then mollify my brother with a trip to a local garden shop for some kind of a replacement.” I popped a candy heart into my mouth and offered him one after flicking a strand of cat fur off the Kiss Me heart.

He screwed up his face, clearing his throat. “Valentine candy in July?”

“I won a six-month supply after writing new imprints for the company. The candy has a long shelf life,” I added.

He declined my offer.

"Bite Me.”

“That was one of my slogans. The candy boss wanted something modern. You Know was another one. Kids today can’t get through a sentence without sprinkling it with ‘you know’.

He studied me with a lopsided grin. “Why didn’t Billington tell me all this?”

“I don’t think he knows I write slogans and ads.”

He pulled on his ear. “I mean about your brother stealing yard ornaments.”

“Oh well, I suspect Evan’s fancy may be an inside joke at the precinct.”

My Take:

When I read the title, I did not expect the author's play on the meaning. "Hot Stuff" in this sweet story  refers to stolen goods, and a laugh out loud bumbling caper with a side of slapstick and some gooey romance thrown in for good measure. And I loved every twisty minute!

Our first person narrator is Kate, a work-from-home copywriter, who supports her grandmother and autistic brother Evan. The sticky fingered brother has a penchant for garden decorations, but luckily the local police have an equally large penchant for Gramma's snicker doodle cookies and letting Evan off the hook. That is, until they send the new rookie to the door. Kate nicknames Officer Dallas "Hot Stuff" the moment she lays eyes on his hard body when he arrives to ask questions about a missing lawn statue.

Kate and Dallas end up dating, and their kisses steamed up my ereader. But the mystery of the missing lawn statue deepens, and Kate's not sure where she fits into the officers plans... If he's dating her as part of the case or if he feels the same deep connections that she does. Slapstick misadventures ensue, making this book a fun, fast read and definitely worth 5 candy hearts.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, CJ Fosdick has freelanced for over 30 years, writing stories and articles for local and national  publications. She has stories published in three anthologies, including Minnesota’s Blossoms &  Blizzards. Her debut novel, The Accidental Wife published in 2015, evolved from an award-winning short story. She pursues her novel dreams on a wooded country hilltop in Rochester, MN, with husband, family, and a menagerie of wild and domestic animals. Find her website online at http://cjfosdick.com

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