REVIEW: Mucho Caliente by Francesca Prescott
Dear Ms. Prescott,
I used to love Chick Lit books, especially those written by Englishwomen. I adored learning Briticisms and watching the underdog triumph in the end. Then the genre got stale and I got tired of reading the same old or worse. When you offered “Mucho Caliente” for review, the fact that the heroine is an (slightly) older woman caught my eye and made me decide to give it a go.
Does Gemma dare wish upon a Latino superstar? Thirty-seven year old Gemma hadn’t reckoned on being seated next to Latino heartthrob Emilio Caliente on the flight to Ibiza. She’s bravely dismissed her cheating husband’s generous divorce settlement, opting instead for a creatively satisfying, financially independent, bohemian lifestyle on a Spanish island in the sun. Falling in love with a pop music superstar eight years her junior was definitely not part of her plan.
Common sense dictates staying away from Emilio Caliente and his cinnamon kisses: his life is in turmoil, his latest single has bombed, the press want to see him naked and his hellacious manager seems increasingly deranged. But surely the chain of extraordinary events that insists on bringing them together is proof that love is oblivious to common sense? Does Gemma dare follow her heart and wish upon a pop star without undermining everything else she set out to achieve?
It’s a typical Chick Lit story – the heroine has had men problems, doesn’t have spectacular job or place to live. She is terminally unsure of herself. Yet has moments when she tears into others like – well maybe not a pitbull but she can be unpleasant and not just to her enemies. But – I like that when she does have a reason to be cruel and take revenge on her enemy, it hurts her to see her ex be so mean.
I had to laugh at her comment that she’s incapable of making a decision without consulting half the world. Celeste and Laura do finally call Gemma on some of her nuttiness and fruitcake behavior. And Gemma’s stomach certainly does amazing gyrations.
Emilio is too good to be true. He’s too handsome, too nice, too sweet, too caring and conscientious. But he does have professional problems so his life isn’t a bowl of cherries by any means. He’s also been hurt by women and let down by those who should have been on his side. But personally, he’s all RomanceLand Hero. Does his stomach even growl? Didn’t think so.
Kirsten is so sweet, nice, professional, etc., and the others initially claim her as a dear friend then seem to turn on her. Quite nastily at times. Good for her that she picked up on the bad vibes and finally called them on it.
As for Caliente’s Chicks – oh my, save me from ever getting in the midst of a group of boy band fans.
I could understand how Emilio would be hurt and wounded at Gemma’s actions if all he had to go by were the fan rags. Yet, I can totally see how Gemma felt she needed to stay to build up her clientele and stand on her own two feet instead of being another extension of a man. Celeste also had a good point that if he loved Gemma, he’d understand her reasons for staying and that the love should last while the two were separated.
Richard and Billie are quite two dimensional. They’re there to be evil foils for the good characters. But even so, I’m surprised that Richard could tolerate Billie for as long as he did. She just has no redeeming features or behavior at all.
All’s well that ends well for everyone. Celeste, Laura, Kirsten, Gemma, everybody gets a fantastic man swooning at her feet by the end of the book. Not a single tie is left undone, all plotlines are neatly finished off, wound up and taken care of. Again, this is more a fantasy romance world than real life.
The descriptions of Ibiza are well done. I could feel the heat, see the olive trees, watch the dust rise and squint from the glare off the ocean water. And considering that when I read the book it was 25 degrees F outside, I could go for a two week vacation there.
At first I did hope for something a little different from the standard Chick Lit book but really, this is just the same old with an older heroine and a younger hero. Not bad at all but nothing new in the subgenre to interest someone who doesn’t like this type of book or lure anyone back who’s had their fill.