Review of Zero Chill by Carolyn Elizabeth
This is book 3 in the Curtis and Reynolds series which follows the lives of autopsy assistant Corey Curtis and emergency physician Dr. Thayer Reynolds who manage to get themselves into trouble with both criminals and police alike. Even though in theory this book could be read as a standalone as the mystery starts and is solved in this novel, I would strongly recommend that you start in book 1, Gallows Humor. They are all excellent books so it’s no hardship to read the whole series and preferably in order.
Thayer and Corey are one of my favourite lesfic couples ever. Having read more than 700 lesfic books (at least, as I lost count of some) that tells a lot. Seriously, they manage to be sweet, hot, funny, imperfect, and vulnerable, and together they have this amazing chemistry that seems to have no end. Kudos to the author to make them so real that I wouldn’t be surprised to meet them one day in person (I wish). It’s hard to maintain the same level of reader’s investment throughout a series and that what makes this one so special.
Ms. Elizabeth says in the acknowledgments that she wrote Zero Chill during the pandemic which affected her writing process. I admit that it made me a bit wary of what I was about to read but I’m happy to say that if the author hadn’t mentioned the struggle I wouldn’t have had a clue. There are some mentions of the pandemic in this story but they are superficial. Don’t expect people wearing masks or keeping social distance or any other of the burdens that humanity had to go through during the Covid crisis. Personally, I prefer it this way at the time of writing this review (April 2021) when the end of the pandemic isn’t in sight just yet. Maybe the book won’t age well, who knows. What I know is that I normally read for escapism and I’m not interested in being reminded of the current reality.
What makes this series even more spectacular is the cast of secondary characters. They all are fleshed out realistically and have mini subplots around them. This book introduces a couple of very exciting new characters that I hope will appear in a future book or books. I assume there is going to be at least one more book as there are some loose ends in the main characters’ relationship which should be addressed in a future book. The intrigue parts of the plot are resolved in this book but they aren’t the strongest aspects of the story. The same goes for the action parts which aren’t as strong as in book 2. However, the mains chemistry and the network of relationships around them make this novel worth a read.
I’ve listened to the audiobooks of books 1 and 2 and I hope that the audio version of this one will be released soon. Note to the publisher (Bella Books): please ask Lori Prince to continue narrating the series, she makes a dreamy voice for Thayer, and any other narrator, no matter how talented, cannot emulate this. Just saying.
Overall, another very entertaining installment in the Curtis and Reynolds series. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.