cover image Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Elyse Springer. Riptide, $17.99 trade paperback (253p) ISBN 978-1-62649-516-6

Springer introduces more heat and a bit of light kink as she continues to explore the spectrum of millennial queer love in the summertime edition of her New York–based Seasons of Love series (after Thaw), but recurring series characters function as plot rather than feeling like community, and the central couple’s immature behavior leads the reader more toward annoyance than empathy. Sara Walker is surprised by a call from her ex Robbie’s new ex, Laura Murphy, but is even more surprised when they fall into a drinking, dancing summer friendship with benefits, since Sara considers herself straight. Sara slowly allows herself to believe in her romantic feelings for Laura, but Laura’s behavior is erratic: she gets jealous of Sara’s male friends, tries to keep their relationship casual, and prepares for a California move. Sara’s soul-searching about her identity is fussy and not particularly deep, Laura is sexy but not likable, and most of the relationship’s interest comes from novelty and insecurity, so there’s no warm glow about their obligatory concluding attempt to make a go of it. (Aug.)