Book Reviews

Tongue Wagger – Heat by Lis Lucassen

I thought this would be yet another Summer Romance.
In front of my inner eye I was already seeing Olivia Newton-John’s performance of “Summer Nights” in Grease.
At the end of the book I myself was blearing “tell me more, tell me more!” but only because I really wanted Lis Lucassen to tell me more…about anything! Not only about Dan and Lynn. About whatever she wants, because she really has a strong, clear voice I feel drawn to.

In my reader’s heart there are particular spots reserved to authors and books that marked me – some are milestones of literature, others are highly acclaimed contemporary writers, others are books by authors that are amazing yet very few have heard about them.
I’d like to assign a spot to Heat, because it weaseled it’s way among the best books I’ve read so far and I am pretty sure I will dive into it time and time again. Because, you know, “a good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader” (Vladimir Nabokov).
Heat is amazing.

I am immensely glad that I did get the chance to read this. I always am, because I feel every book deserves to be read, but I’ve found a new book-highlight in Heat, so I am doubly grateful, because I don’t think I would have read it otherwise – in a sea of books, I am not sure I would have stumbled upon it at all.

Heat is a tale of tragedy and vulnerability, of rage and fear.
It is nothing like I had expected .
It isn’t easy, it isn’t pretty…
It is realistic.
Heat depicts life, if only in the perspective of two young people – Dan and Lynn – drawn to each other by the pain they have in common and by the need to break down the walls surrounding them.

This isn’t your typical Summer Romance.
These aren’t your usual boy and girl falling in love and living happily ever after.

Dan and Lynn are troubled by circumstances and choices, trying to find themselves and get their life back on track; they struggle against each other (he more than her), trying not to sink further into their own little world of self-pity and fear and rage, yet not really wanting to abandon it completely. Walls are really hard to tear down, especially if they are fortified.They both are very real, very communicative characters.

I felt Lynn’s frustration, her indecisions.
I felt Dan’s wrath towards the world, the fear of rejection nagging at his soul.
Lis Lucassen really did an amazing job in depicting the suffering of the characters throughout their ordeals.
The story – I won’t tire to repeat it – was very real and I knew from page 1 I would love it.

Heat is a story about life having shown it’s worst. Yet there’s hope shining through a darkness you thought would swallow you whole.
Because shit happens and circumstances change you, but it’s up to you to stear that change towards the positive or the negative.

How does the saying go?”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
What I didn’t realize ’til the very end, was that Heat is part of a series and that there are more books on the way. Which made me insanely happy, because I’m already obsessed with Heat!
I’m a book-stalker, no use denying it.
I tend to go coo-coo crazy when I like something (don’t judge me!) and I my mantra is “the more the better”.
So, lay it on me.
I want it.

Heat is a reading experience you really don’t want to forego.
Highly recommended.
I really don’t regret loosing sleep over it.


Heat Synopsis:B&W close up portrait of a passionate couple

Under a burning sun more than a thousand miles from home, Lynn Stevens is trying to get her life back on track and leave memories of that one fateful night behind. She meets Dan, a young man with strangely erratic behavior and smoldering brown eyes, who is on an involuntary vacation with his parents. In him, she sees her own struggle reflected every time she is starting to get too close.
Dan doesn’t like being touched. But when he sets out to uncover Lynn’s secret, it means he’ll have to tell her some secrets of his own.

‘Heat’ is Lis Lucassen’s New Adult debut novel. This book puts her on the map in the Netherlands as the first-ever NA author from her own country.

Purchase Heat:

Amazon | Amazon-UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play |


Heat Excerpt:

Dan. The heat overpowered him. In his memory, it had never been this sickeningly hot. The fabric of his shirt stuck to his back and Dan fought the impulse to roll up his sleeves. Or to pull the shirt over his head and get rid of it. Not an option.

The skin on his right shoulder felt itchy. If this damn bus trip was going to take much longer, he swore he was going to pull the handbrake, stop the bus himself, and get off this vehicle. Getting off in the middle of nowhere had to be a thousand times better than sitting in this sweat lodge on wheels for one second longer.

“Is the AC dead? You been messing with it again, huh? Dan reached out to adjust the controls above his seat, only causing the vent hole to cough up a sputtering wave of lukewarm air.

His little brother sitting next to him looked sideways. “I didn’t touch anything. You were the one fussing with it.” He extended his hand to adjust the air vent above his own head. He extended his hand to adjust the air vent above his own head. “Mine isn’t working either.” He shrugged. “Well, we can’t be far off. Are we there yet?

Dan groaned at the expression. If Jason went all Donkey-in-Shrek-movie on him, he’d personally grab the wheel and … He looked aside, straight into his mother’s disapproving eyes.

“Please, Daniel.” The exhaustion in her voice was evident in the way she used his full name. It was visible in the lines on her face, in the way her green eyes lucky Dad hadn’t heard him. From the looks of it, his father was fast asleep, his head resting against the bus window and his ears oblivious to the continuous twang of the music that the bus driver had picked to play over the sound system. The bus made a sharp turn and he could only barely stop himself from shifting sideways against Jason. Dan cast a look outside and saw they’d entered the circular driveway of the hotel. The driver hit the brakes abruptly and Jason slammed into the seat in front of him, still clutching his tablet.

“We’re here,” Dan remarked dryly.

“You don’t say,” Jason grinned.

The driver was blessed with the most monstrously big mustache that Dan had ever seen. The thing seemed to have a life of its own and it was the first thing he’d noticed when the man had been there to pick them up from the airport. Jason seemed to nurture the same fascination with the man’s hairy mass. Dan mockingly put one finger under his nose, imitating a certain German World War Two leader with a similar mustache. Jason responded in like, pressing two fingers against his upper lip and saluting his brother with the tablet against his temple. “Knock it off! You’re both behaving like three-year-olds,” their mother hissed in dismay. Dan dropped his arm and put his hands in his pockets. He quickly followed Jason to the hotel lobby, where he dutifully lined up next to his younger brother to listen to a male hotel employee welcoming them with a fake smile plastered on his face. The guy bore a striking resemblance to a Ken doll. The way he was standing just a bit too close to the girl accompanying him made Dan suspect this life-size Ken had a lot more going on between his legs than Barbie’s plastic, male companion, though. The girl shot him a look, a frown burrowing between her eyebrows when her eyes traveled down his long sleeves. Her blue irises were clearly asking him something. He averted his gaze, because the familiar sense of embarrassment made him feel even hotter than he already was. Lynn. He heard her when she said her name. She had a beautiful voice, an edge of vulnerability coloring her words as she wished the guests, him included, a pleasant stay.

Dan sighed and walked over to get his backpack, which the driver had put in the lobby together with the other suitcases. The sooner he could get to his hotel room, the faster he could rinse off the sweat and his mounting irritation under a nice, cold shower.

Simona-Blog-Separater-RawrMeet Lis Lucassen:

Lis Lucassen writes dark romance and new adult. In daily life, she works as a journalist and communications specialist. Her story ‘Tree of Kings’ won first prize in the Dark Romance writing contest organised by Storm Publishers in 2014. Her dystopian novella ‘The Tribunal’ came in third in Storm Publishers’ Dystopia writing contest and is included in the novella collection named ‘Defiant’, published by Storm Publishers in 2015.

Lis is a dreamer and a romantic soul. As long as she can remember she has been fantasising about True Love and quiet heartbreak. Her own True Love crossed her path during her time at university, and he swept her off her feet and gave Lis her very own ‘happily ever after’.

Whenever Lis isn’t writing her own stories, she reads other people’s books. She feels inspired by authors such as J Lynn, Jessica Sorensen, and Lisette Jonkman (a Dutch author of romance books). Lis lives close to the German border with her fiance, two beautiful daughters, and two evil cats.


Lis Lucassen’s Web Tracks:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Publisher’s Profile



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