After getting wounded during her investigation of a domestic case, PI Kat Vargas is recovering at the Twilight Cove home of her former partner, Jake. It is so peaceful and quiet that Kat is beyond bored. When Ty Chandler shows up at the door asking for her professional expertise to help locate a long lost daughter, Kat breaks her promise to recover and take life slower. Ty's stubborn determination to find the daughter he fathered nineteen years ago, and only recently learned even existed, convinces Kat that they may succeed despite the odds.
There is not a tearful happy ending when Ty and Kat finally track down Ty's troubled daughter, Sunny. Sunny has a small child and lives with some less than savory friends. At first she gives Ty the brush-off, then shows up without any warning at Ty's doorstep, ready to move in with him. In the meantime, Ty and Kat have become more than PI and client. As Kat sees Ty bond with Sunny and his grandchild, it causes her to deal with her issues from the past. She is afraid to let down her guard and take a chance on another heartbreak.
All three main characters have been wounded by past and present hurts and are trying to cope in their own way. Ms. Landis lets us get glimpses inside their heads, which makes for a poignant and touching story without it sinking into a maudlin feel. By the end of the book, the reader feels a strong empathy for them all.
There is also plenty of sizzle in Heat Wave. The hero and heroine may have built walls around their hearts, but they generate a heat wave of their own independent of the California beach weather. Most of all this is a story of hope and second chances.
The settings come to life through the author's vivid descriptions of places she has lived and loved. This book is the second in a series set in Twilight Cove. Heat Wave stands well on its on, but the reader will want to also read the first oneLover's Lane. Jill Marie Landis has shown in both these novels that her bestselling style works well for both historical and contemporary books. I will be anxiously awaiting the third book in the Twilight Cove series along with her other fans.