Mexican Heat

Title: Mexican Heat
Authors: Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon
Genre: crime/action-adventure, romantic contemporary, GLBT (M/M)
Length: novel (244 pages)
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5 DIK


Tough, street-smart SFPD Detective Gabriel Sandalini is willing to do whatever it takes to bring down West Coast crime boss Ricco Botelli — including a dangerous, deep undercover gig as one of Botelli’s hired guns. But Gabriel’s best laid plans may come crashing down around him when he falls hard for the sexy, suave lieutenant of a rival Mexican drug lord. Turns out his new love interest may have a few secrets of his own: secrets that could destroy both men and the fragile bond between them.


Gabriel Sandalini had been waiting in Club Madrone for his snitch to show up when he saw him — tall, polished, very handsome — trouble personified, the kind of man Gabriel had always avoided because of what he represented; he was not into relationships, and this man could make him rethink his personal philosophy. Later that evening Gabriel is caught in a private area of the club by Miguel Ortega, the same man he had been staring at earlier. However, Miguel wasn’t going to kill him, he had a different goal in mind which became crystal clear as he overpowered Gabriel, made love to him and dissolved his mind AND his body.

A few days later Gabriel appreciated how much more dangerous his job had become when his boss’s new partner, Don Jesus Sanchez arrived, accompanied by his lieutenant, none other than Miguel. It soon became obvious that the power play between the two drug lords could have a major negative impact on Gabriel’s increasingly tenuous and uncertain future. Ricco Botelli, Gabriel’s boss, is anxious to marry off his sister Gina to Don Sanchez to seal their partnership but Gina can’t keep her hands off Gabriel which angers both her brother and Sanchez, a complication that could seal his fate. In the meantime, despite being on different sides of the drug buy that Gabriel hopes will bring the cartel down, the attraction between him and Miguel grows exponentially. Simultaneously, Gabriel’s value to Botelli declines at an alarming rate, making it abundantly clear that he should look for another line of work immediately. In the end everything comes to a head suddenly with disastrous results, changing the life of one of the characters forever.

Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon have written a powerful, multifaceted story that illustrates their undoubted skill as writers and demonstrates why their books are so highly regarded. Their blended “voice” is unique and new and although there are elements of their individual writing style, highlighted by the wonderful prose in this book, Mexican Heat is completely different from anything either author has published before.

What impressed me most about the story were the two exquisitely crafted, very complex characters, Gabriel Sandalini and Miguel Ortega, those tough hombres whose secrets could get them killed but who were only vulnerable to each other. The secondary characters — Gina, the two mob bosses as well as their henchmen and various others were so well drawn that they appeared to be real and three dimensional. Kudos to the authors for such wonderful portrayals. The plot is complicated and the pacing moves the story along at breakneck speed during the intense action segments and then slows in a smooth transition to the more emotional sequences in the latter half of the book.

This book has everything – excitement from the first page which grabs you by the throat and never lets up, outstanding characterizations, action sequences that would satisfy any aficionado of the crime and action-adventure genre, enormous conflict and tension, emotional trauma and some of the best sex scenes I have read in a while. The sex was exceptional; it did not overpower the story but without a doubt this book had some of the longest, most erotic, sensuous and hottest lovemaking sequences that I ever had the pleasure of reading. If you don’t buy another book this year, Mexican Heat must be on your “to buy” list – you will kick yourself if you don’t get it. It’s an amazing and thrilling ride with an ending that blew me away.

One last comment. I now understand what’s behind the name of the book and the reason why it’s called the Crimes and Cocktails series. I never knew there were so many different ways that cocktails or any other alcoholic drink for that matter, could be used for sex. It took a lot of ingenuity to come up with some of the drinking sequences and it would be interesting to find out who carried out the research and did they use live subjects!


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • Hi again Jesse!

    I am stay here because I can say that I will always comment about your blog and you reviews.
    I like your blog much, and it is basis to mine.

    I will speak something after for your blog. Wait to this guy…

    I can know because the boys are of Friday and not of other day of week.

    Again sorry because this false English of me boy.

    I say something for you after.


  • Hi Mary
    It’s not my fault that I happen to review great books – guess my selections are getting better *g* Actually I’ve had this for review purposes for several weeks so it’s not even the final version but close enough.

    It’s a wonderful story and you will have two more heroes to love and root for. Miguel and Gabriel are to die for and this book is right up there with DOAPK. It’s really exciting, but for you the second part of the book is really emotional. And, oh my, the sex, there’s nothing like it in AE. Btw the second book in this series will not be released for another year – the date has been changed.

    Have I peaked your interest yet?


  • Sigh. Now you’ve done it again. The money I’m spending because of you you have no idea :-p I wanted to read this one already but I felt no real sense of urgency. Of course, that was before I visited your blog today. I guess I’m lucky Amazon Canada is behind once again and doesn’t even offer the book for pre-order yet. I wonder if I’d be able to wait for a few months so when I finally read it, the release of the next book isn’t so far away?? I could just keep doing as I do now, which is pick up DEATH OF A PIRATE KING every time I’m in-between books and re-read all my favorite parts – twice :-DD Man, I got the book barely more than a week ago and I think I’ve re-read all the Jake and Adrien scenes 5 or 6 times. If possible I love that series even more than after we did that joint review. So any new series Josh is writing in, I’m following. 😀

  • Hi !Go Powerful
    Thank you for your very kind comments about my book reviews. I do appreciate them. However, it will not be possible for us to meet or correspond by email since I only discuss my reviews on the blog.

    I appreciate you stopping by and have a great day. Please feel free to drop by at any time on the blog to check out my book reviews.

  • Hi Jesse!

    I am seeing your blog and I see something interessant because I never saw something like that… Your descrition about books is something new to me and cool too. I can (if it will be possible) tell with you with emails or other way because I can meet you, the indescribable author of this blog…
    I can say forgive because of my grammar. I am just a Brazilian boy without knowledge in your language; the English.

    Without nothing anymore…

    I say something to you after…


    !GO PowerFuLL 6.0 95%… loading…

  • Hi Eve
    What I meant was that although one might recognize Josh’s or Laura’s writing style, this is definitely a composite.

    Sometimes when I read books by a writing partnership it’s very easy to pick out who wrote what if I’m familiar with their individual writing, which is not what should happen – it should be seamless. So I think that Josh and Laura were very successful in achieving a very definitive writing “voice” – a melding of their individual styles. I think that’s awesome – like reading a book by a brand new writer.

    I have my suspicions re who might have written certain parts of the book, but only because I know some of their strengths and have read most of their books, but I don’t know for sure. Does that answer your question?

  • I am really looking forward to it!

    I am intrigued that you said it has an unique voice. I love both Josh and Laura’s stories and I think I recognise their voices, so it will be interesting to read this one.

    Thriller romance is an attractive genre for me. I am thrilled they are making a series of it.

    And oh yeah, tequila is my poison 🙂

    Thanks Wave.

  • You won’t be disappointed. I started reading MH with a great deal of trepidation and then the book blew me away. If you like action adventure you’ll love it. Oh and the sex – will fry your brains (what little you have left) *g* Btw you’ll get to use your medical knowledge again to see if Josh got it right this time 🙂

    There’s some Spanish (not a lot) but what there is was done well – I think the authors had the translations done professionally. You’ll be fine. It’s one of the best books I have read so far this year – I spoke the truth in my review. Ethically I could never lie to my readers no matter how much I like an author, or they’ll never trust me again

  • Hey, they named the series. I just moved the ‘and’ a few spaces over to where I wanted it, lol.

    I think I’m a bit scared to read this, actually. I’m fond of both authors and would hate to be disappointed by tacky high school Spanish that was run through a very inaccurate online translator. Please tell me that the book is all in English, with no messican phrases. I’m allergic.

  • Emmy
    I don’t think the series is called crimes, cocks and tails. Somehow, I don’t think Josh and Laura would approve of the new name *g*

    You will love Miguel – he’s so hot 🙂 but then so is Gabriel!

  • crimes, cocks, and tails…w00t!

    This book is on my list of things to read someday soon, lol. Or I could wait to get them all and have a crimes and chocolate binge weekend. Hmmm…

  • Hi Laura
    I'm very happy that you're pleased with the review – the book met and exceeded my expectations and I was totally enthralled.

    However, I'm very disappointed that you and Josh won't be publishing the next book in the C & C series for at least another year. It seems like I just got to know Miguel and Gabriel and now the wait is going to be difficult before we renew our acquaintance.:) I do understand that your other commitments have to be met but it will still be a long wait *g*

  • Morning,Wave. Just wanted to say thank you for the thrilling review. I'm so very pleased the book meet expectations. Josh and & I slaved over this one! *g* Does this mean we should write the second book?

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