The heat is on all right and the couples aboard the Aphrodite — the Greek version of the Love Boat — are doing all the sizzling, even without the cruise ship’s specialty drink, the Heat Wave. These two novellas dovetail neatly, with overlapping scenes, couples and plot all leading to a startling and satisfying conclusion. Lyons fans get a healthy serving of sex, mystery, tourism and wit, as well as charming supporting characters who add depth to an engaging read.
Liz and Peter can’t think of a more fun place to get married than the Greek Islands, so they’ve rounded up a small group of family and friends and boarded the Aphrodite for an unforgettable wedding. In “Rock the Boat,” wedding planner Gwen Austin isn’t thrilled to discover that she’ll be working with a last-minute replacement cruise director. Santos Michaelides finds Gwen so appealing, he can’t lie to her: he’s working undercover for an insurance company trying to catch a white-collar criminal who got away with $5 million and he’s sure the person is among the wedding guests. Under the warm sun and throughout the romantic nights, Santos and Gwen are drawn together in a steamy affair that, no doubt, will end when the ship docks. Right? In “Making Waves,” Crown prosecutor Kendra Kirk has joined her family for the big day and is stunned to see Flynn Kavanaugh among the guests. She had failed to get a guilty verdict when she had tried the IT consultant for a $5-million theft and now here he is. Flynn always claimed he was innocent and now he has the opportunity to talk to Kendra privately. As Kendra comes to believe in his innocence the attraction they once denied flames up. When information about the true culprit surfaces, Flynn realizes he can never reveal it to Kendra. Where does that leave their shipboard romance? (HEAT, Jul., 325 pp., $15.00)