The Nardio Review
Is It Worth Your time?
If you enjoy the TV series Castle and also enjoyed the first book, Heat Wave, you’ll definitely enjoy Naked Heat.
What Did You Think Without Spoiling It?
I felt like the characterization of Rook and Heat were definitely better in the second book, however the plot itself ends up being a little too convoluted. Still the banter between Rook and Heat is spot on and, of course, there are the references galore to the Castle series.
Why it Works
While the plot took too many twists and turns, it was enjoyable. I felt like Rook especially overcame the shadow of his TV counterpart Richard Castle. The titular character, Nikki Heat, is fleshed out even more. We get to see her more vulnerable than in the first book and it makes her more relatable. Sure I still heard the TV characters in my head, but this book is much stronger as a separate entity from the TV series than the first. While it’s longer than Heat Wave, it’s still a pretty quick read. This isn’t great literature, but it’s a lot of fun. There’s enough mystery, romance, comedy and action to keep you turning the pages. As with the first book, there are plenty of “easter eggs” for Castle fans, but they seemed to have toned it down a little bit. By the way, make sure to read the acknowledgements.
Naked Heat is not a standalone book and to get the most enjoyment out of it you should definitely read Heat Wave. The pacing of the story, while generally good, did fall flat at some moments. I also felt like my suspension of disbelief was definitely tested at certain parts of the story. Still, I enjoyed myself and finished the book in a couple hours.