The safe guy or the sexy guy? The answer is always...Pass the Hot Stuff Blythe Townsend is a belle who is in desperate need of having her chimes rung. But the man she is dating would have to get his head out of his briefs - his legal briefs - long enough to notice. She is a frustrated romantic obsessed with Turner Classic Movies. She lives in the French Quarter with her dog, Lady Marmalade, and is determined not to go sour on love even though she has dated every nutcase along the Mississippi Delta. Now, she is trying her best to make it work with her deadly dull boyfriend. Blythe accepts him - boring business dinners and all. There's always steak, but never any sizzle. There's only so much a libido can take; and when she repeatedly spots a man around town she christens Tall, Dark and Eye Candy, she starts to feel what she's been missing. So, what's stopping her from tasting something a little... sweeter? She refuses to be hurt again, and this sexy New Orleans guy has all of the trappings to do just that. Blythe will have to find her inner big-shouldered broad to deal with the craziness in her life; and she has a group of hilarious, mouthy women helping her sort through the crazy. Their story is a sultry dance to Delta blues and soulful jazz that drifts the reader into the romance of New Orleans. So, sit down at the kitchen table and pour yourself a drink - we're gonna pass the hot stuff.
Excerpt: She walked around the table and put her arm around Robert’s waist. “Hey,” she smiled. “I haven’t seen you all night.”
“Not now, Blythe,” he chastised and turned away. Blythe stared at his back as she stood there feeling awkward and embarrassed. Her face went hot, and she felt a knot in her throat. Biting her lip and rubbing her arm nervously, she quickly looked around the table to see if anyone noticed. It felt like she was being dismissed by her father. She went back to her seat, but quickly turned from the table.
Blythe marched out of Brennan’s and onto Royal. She stood in front of the pink building in her little, black dress, which garnered way more attention on Rue Royal than it had from Robert. Two frat-boy tourists, obviously lost and looking for Bourbon Street, stopped momentarily to admire her before they seemed to be seduced by a higher calling of beer, beads and babes. She was sure she was nothing but a blur to them. They probably thought they were seeing two of her. She politely smiled before they took off for the Promised Land; it was nice to be acknowledged even if it was by a twenty-year-old guy wearing a neon orange sweatshirt and flip-flops. But nothing could ease the embarrassment she felt from Robert’s dismissal.
She realized she had left her coat inside but brought her wine glass instead. She folded her arms around her waist. It was January and cold by New Orleans standards. The wind whipped her hair around, and she let out an exasperated, belabored breath. Now, what was she going to do? Leave like a petulant child? With everyone wondering what happened to her? Well, everyone but Robert, that is.
She gave in and started to go back, but she stopped abruptly when she spotted Robert still circling his bosses. She knew she was still too angry.
As she headed back out, she faced up to a man coming into Brennan’s. She looked up at him to say excuse me, but she was caught off guard at the way he was looking at her. He stood there for a moment, drinking her in, with a cocky little grin. This was much different than being admired by the frat boys. His stare had some heat. She forgot about her anger long enough to enjoy the view. Just as he looked like he was about to say something to her, he turned to greet a friend who approached, “Hey, Jonah.”
Blythe turned and walked down the sidewalk away from the entrance. She needed some quiet to collect her thoughts, and what better place to meditate and get Zen than the French Quarter she mocked herself. She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned with an expectant smile. “Oh... Robert.”
“Where have you been?” Robert asked with annoyance.
“I needed some air.”
“Why?” He was abrupt.
“Because these evenings can be long and tedious, Robert.”
Robert looked away in disgust. “Stop whining.”
Blythe’s jaw dropped. “I’m not whining. I’m stating a...”
He interrupted. “I need you up there, Blythe. It looks good to them. You know that. We’ve talked about how they value stability, and no one makes partner if they show up to these things alone.”
She thought he sounded like he was reading from a script. “Robert, lately, all of our dates have consisted of business dinners and the only times I’ve enjoyed myself is when Ellen is there. In fact, Ellen and I are a hell of a lot closer than you and I are right now.” She looked around to see if anyone was watching them, but they were far enough away that no one noticed. She spoke in hushed tones, just in case. “I’ll come back in. Just give me a minute.”
Robert lowered his voice and used a dulcet tone as if he were reasoning with a child. “Blythe, don’t cause a problem.”
“I’m not the one causing a problem!” Blythe snapped.
“Either come back in with me now or just go home.” His calm indicated that he knew he would naturally get what he wanted.
Blythe stared at him but didn’t speak. She was too stunned to speak. She watched as he coolly strode back into the restaurant as if he expected her to follow him. She stood there for a moment, trying to decide what to do. Then she followed Robert back inside and stood in the entry way; taking one last sip from her wine glass, she handed it to a server, turned around and left.
She began to walk home but stopped momentarily to see if Robert came back out for her. She didn’t see him. Instead, she caught a glimpse of that guy outside of Brennan’s turning around to find that she was gone. She pulled out her phone, dialed and took a deep breath. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”
Review Rating: 4.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: Hey, can somebody pass the hot stuff?
Yeah, corny, I know. Just had to do that!
In review seriousness, I enjoyed this book. Blythe is an engaging character, and it was enjoyable to follow along with everything she's trying to accomplish. Love, life, and so much in general, Pass The Hot Stuff is a story that engages the reader, sweeps them into a journey full of laughter, tears, and emotion. I enjoyed Ms. Page's voice, as the writing is fresh, fun, and full of zing.
There were so many things that surprised me. The story is filled with twists and turns. I think Blythe is a character any woman can relate to...She's just trying to get by in a world full of craziness. Her family...they crack me up!
Pass the Hot Stuff is more than just romance, it's a book that will make you think, and you come away after reading it with a good feeling. To me, that's very rewarding.
Dana Page was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Born just down the road from Memphis in Helena, Arkansas, she considers the Mississippi River Delta her own personal inspiration. Having earned a degree in journalism from Texas A&M University, she has utilized her writing skills in varied areas - small-town politics, human interest stories and writing an entertainment column, to name a few. To support her writing habit, she has worked an odd job or two. Don't ask her about delivering singing telegrams; some things are best forgotten. Pass the Hot Stuffis Dana’s debut novel.
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