Saturday, November 22, 2008

Author Discovery: Review of 'Mucho Caliente' by Francesca Prescott

Does Gemma dare wish upon a Latino superstar?

Thirty-seven year old Gemma hadn't reckoned on being seated next to Latino heartthrob Emilio Caliente on the flight to Ibiza. She's bravely dismissed her cheating husband's generous divorce settlement, opting instead for a creatively satisfying, financially independent, bohemian lifestyle on a Spanish island in the sun.

Falling in love with a pop music superstar eight years her junior was definitely not part of her plan. Common sense dictates staying away from Emilio Caliente and his cinnamon kisses: his life is in turmoil, his latest single has bombed, the press want to see him naked and his hellacious manager seems increasingly deranged.
But surely the chain of extraordinary events that insists on bringing them together is proof that love is oblivious to common sense? Does Gemma dare follow her heart and wish upon a pop star without undermining everything else she set out to achieve?

In this delicious romantic comedy, Gemma is an appealing heroine in the midst of a major life change. Newly divorced from the dull and very unkind Richard and beginning a new artistic life in Ibiza, does she need the complication of pop heart-throb Emilio Caliente? Yes, of course she does!

Written from Gemma's chatty, intelligent first-person viewpoint, Mucho Caliente is an engaging, amusing story, full of high frolics, antics and laughter. Gemma is always prepared to laugh at herself at the foibles of the world. She negotiates her way through complications such as Kevin (another sexy hunk who, like Emilio, is interested in her), a shower consisting of a shower head and large blue plastic basin, missing suitcases, an ex-Miss Sweden and more with sunny charm. I particularly like Gemma's assessment of a bikini as 'leopard print butt floss with matching nipple warmers' and her desire to 'pound X in the tomato zone'.

There are some beautifully ironic, comic moments in Mucho Caliente - look out for the Caliente Fan club and what happens next, especially after Gemma's too-close encounter with a jelly fish.

Strong emotions such as jealousy are vividly and amusingly depicted while throughout Gemma remains sympathetic. When she and Emilio do get together it is very tender and passionate. I love the little love words Emilio uses - very Latin lover!

The setting in Mucho Caliente is also a real plus. It's clear from her detailed description that Francesca Prescott has spend time on Ibiza and she shows the island in all its natural and also frivolous glory, with some particularly lovely descriptions.

Throughout the story holds attention and it really hots up when Gemma's nasty ex Richard appears on the scene and things become really complicated, right to the very end!

Emilio calls Gemma a star and so she is. If you are looking for Mucho entertainment, look no further than Mucho Caliente.

Lindsay Townsend
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