I was taken a bit aback from this novel since at the beginning it seemed so much similar to the previous book I read by Rob Rosen, Diva Las Vegas, that I had to go back to that book to check if maybe I hadn’t forgotten some supporting characters there who were having here their own story. Like in the previous book, a young and pretty gay man who suddenly is without a steady job; thank to a lucky cash availability he decides to spend a good share of that sum in a classy holiday with his best gay friend. In the previous book the two partners in crime are Em and Justin, here are Chase and Brandon, like in the previous book they become unwillingly involved in a thriller subplot while at the same time trying to get laid as much as possible, even if one of them has indeed a crush on a fascinating, but a bit mysterious man. And of course when the things go barrelling into danger, our two gay heroes decide to take out their drag costume and impersonating the perfect femme fatale.
Other than the main structure of the plot, what you can find again in Hot Lava is the light and funny tone that made of Diva Las Vegas one of the favourite gay readings of last year. Even if Chase and Brandon are actually involved in very dangerous situation, and indeed a young man, Lenny, as much as pretty and gay as them, is brutally killed more or less in the second chapter, I have never had the feeling that out two men were really in danger; both Chase than Brandon took the experience like a way to lighten up they already fantastic vacation time in a posh hotel at Waikiki beach.
What instead was probably only in the background in the previous novel and that now instead comes centre stage is the romance side of the story: Chase meets his Mr Right Will in the first chapter and he will be a constant in all the following plot; the romance side is as much important as the thriller and the comedy, and in the end, I think this story will appeal even more the romance reader than the previous one. I remember that Diva Las Vegas was good, but I had the feeling that Em was only “playing the field” and that finding love was not really his main target. Now it’s not Chase in this story set out with that idea in mind, but he stumbles upon love in the path and of course he is able to recognize a good thing when he sees it.
I will recommend Hot Lava to all the readers who liked Diva Las Vegas, and in a way, if you haven’t read that one, trying Hot Lava for the first time maybe is a good idea, above all if you are a romantic reader, since, as I said, the romance side of the story I think is better developed here than there. http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=3046
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle