Title: Smolder (Vertex #4)
Author: Soren Summers
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Genre(s): Horror, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian, Gay Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 129 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Ambitious office drone Zachary Glazer just wants to come home for the holidays, but strange things are happening in the snowy town of Huster.
There’s this man at work with a razor smile and a cadre of alluring executives. There’s that handsome stranger who just moved in next door, the one with a perfect body and a shrouded past. And what about those fires all over town?
Huster is supposed to be quiet, and boring, and cold. Why all this weirdness? Why now? The questions stack up like kindling in the back of Zach’s mind, and a single spark is all it will take for his whole world to go up in flames.
This romantic horror story is approximately 40,000 words in length.
Soren Summers is one of my favorite discoveries of 2016. He blew me away with his take on romantic horror with Monster and Smolder; his follow-up kept me just as engaged.
Check out my review for Monster
What should you know about Smolder? It doesn’t follow our MC’s Gabriel and Jarod from the first book. We pick up with new guys, however, the storyline ties into a series of events that occur in Monster.
Smolder takes place in the same universe, and Vertex is still the big bad with overarching abilities.
Zachary works for Tobias Wexler, the CEO of DomestiCore, a company that is about to merge with Vertex. He’s a glorified personal assistant.
Nathan is Zachary’s next door neighbor. His incredibly hot (haha you’ll see what I did there if you read both books. I made a corny funny!) next door neighbor. Zachary is caught spying on Nathan through his window while he settles into his new apartment. Rather than make things awkward, Nathan comes over to introduce himself and asks for Zachary’s help with a minor home repair. Cheesy? Absolutely but it works, and it’s a pretty adorable way to make the reader fall for Nathan.
At work, things are stressful for Zachary. He’s only been in his position for six months. He’s wondering if he will be able to keep his job once the merger happens. He’s assured that he will. He has goals. He wants to get a promotion and do so much more. He wants to show his parents and his ex back home that he’s cut out for big city life in Huster.
The opening scene of the book takes place at a meeting with the CEO of Vertex Jonathan Hargrove, Tobias Wexler, and Ayesha with Zachary sitting in and taking notes. Ayesha works in human resources for Vertex (which is a funny and highly accurate title for her job). She’s beautiful and impressive much like Jonathan Hargrove and the rest of employees at Vertex. They all seem perfect. Perfect looks, perfect clothes, perfect jobs.
SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT IN DODGE and it all begins with an awkward encounter between Zachary and his friend Stuart.
Um, did I say how much I love Soren Summers? His stories start off slow, and I always find myself saying, “Uh… is anything interesting going to happen here?” BUT HE’S SO BRILLIANT BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT’S ALL SUPPOSED TO GO DOWN.The slow burn people, the slow burn, is so worthwhile.
I didn’t think this story would work considering the short page length, but it does. It works because I know there’s more to come in the universe where Vertex rules all and I am on board for the ride.
4.5 scorching (haha another corny funny) stars. I honestly crack myself up writing these reviews.