Friday Filter-Nikki Heat Series

One of my favorite shows currently is Castle. I have always loved mystery in stories. I guess because I hate it in real life so I live vicariously through the excitement of the stories, all the while knowing nothing is really surprising is happening to me.

In Castle, the main character-Richard Castle-is a novelist who shadows NYPD to get insight for his latest series.

Bonus for us, they actually hired individuals to write these books from the fictional novelist.


I read the first four this summer. I was not able to put them down once I started.


Naked Heat



I find it interesting that some of the covers look somewhat racy, and one of the main characters in the book Jameson Rook moonlights as a Victoria St. Clair-a popular romance novelist.

I will say that if you like the show Castle, you are going to fall in love with these books as soon as you start. The book characters mirror those in the T.V. show, so that was fun to see that. You can also tell that this was a love letter from Castle to Beckett, which in the T.V. show she takes a long time to realize. Ugh I can’t wait to see if she says yes or not!

The books all follow the lead detective Nikki Heat as she solves crimes. Each book focuses on one particular case (sometimes involving several murders), and with each book they of course get more twisted and more intense than the one before. I love sequels though because they just keep adding layers to the characters. And then you don’t have that sadness when you realize that your relationship with the characters is over. Deadly Heat is coming out in September, just in time for the beginning of the newest season!

In these books, there is always an attack on Nikki’s life, and of course how she barely escapes alive. Rook is always in the thick of it humorously trying to save Nikki. Sometimes doing so, but sometimes just putting in some romantic comedy. It is an action murder mystery at it’s best.

Just when you think you can predict the next suspect they twist you around and show you new details that has you gasping. There were many nights Tom begged for me to turn off the bedroom light and just go to bed. I just couldn’t put it down. (And now I read by a red bulb headlamp…)

I don’t want to give too much away on the plots because half the fun is figuring it out on your own.

Each book is slightly different and shows the variety of what happens in NYC. Throughout the four novels though, you watch Rook and Heat fall in love (much like Castle and Beckett). You see them razz each other, but also how to be there for each other when times get tough. You watch them break down each others emotional walls, which I believe was Castle’s way of telling Beckett he would be there when she was ready to be raw instead of closing up all her feelings. I feel that the underlying tone of how it paralleled the show’s characters is why I found it so endearing. You can tell that even though Castle was trying to pay homage to one of the great NYPD detectives, he was really trying to tell her that they were meant to be together and would protect her, while also making her laugh. There are parts of the book that had me busting up laughing (which makes for an awkward lunch when you are alone in the courtyard). Then there are other parts where I thought I was going to chew my finger off from nail-biting-induced anxiety.

My favorite one is the last book, Frozen Heat. The case is much more personal than those shown previously. It goes into detail about Nikki’s mother’s death and a web of spies. The plot twists are perfect. They are expectedly unexpected. This is really the only book that doesn’t finish the case completely, so you will have to read the next sequel to find out what happens to a certain spy. (I also find life of spies fascinating. Why they ever took PanAm off the air is beyond me!) But, don’t fret, some pieces of the mystery are solved. One, I almost threw the book at the wall I was so mad-in a “NO WAY” kind of mad, not a “I hate this story” kind of mad.

My absolute favorite part of this series though are the afterwards. Since it is “written” by Richard Castle, he writes what a typical author would as far as thank yous go. For some reason I just get a kick out of these because they are thank yous to his fellow characters in the show. (Thoroughly confused?) He also manages to thank the real live actors subtly as well. I find this to be captivating to go through this weird lens of imaginary and real-when it is all in fact imaginary. Fascinating.

These are a particularly easy reads that have suspense, love, and some hilarious moments. It is an investment for the series if you start one because you won’t want to be left wondering what happens to Rook and Heat. If you have never watched Castle, you can still easily read these and never miss a beat. I think they [T.V. and book] are both able to stand well enough on their own, but I think are made all the better if you are invested in both the show and the book series. Like I said, they are intertwined marvelously, and I believe that is one reason why I was so riveted by this series.

But hey, I am a fan so I am probably biased. I am also a sucker for the drama!

I hoped you liked my first entertainment review!

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions and are not influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Friday Filter-Action!

“We get the bum rap for not being the ‘money making field,’ but the arts are probably the only kind of unifying thing in our society…Stories are the only thing that tie us all together. I don’t know a physicist from a garbage man who doesn’t like a good story…We are all connected by that. The challenge is to find the stories that the physicist, the garbage man, the ballerina, and the fireman can all sit in the same room and enjoy or find something that speaks to them.”

(This is a quote I clipped a long time ago and put in my planner. I honestly have no idea where it came from or who it was by.)

Growing up, I remember sitting in front of the record player listening to the various musicals my step-mom had on hand. This perhaps persuaded me into my music and theater careers.


Saturdays, it was a ritual to watch Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Quinn, Early Addition, and Walker Texas Ranger with my mom. It still feels wrong to eat chicken nuggets without the mac and cheese and peas combo which we ate pretty much every Saturday in conjunction with our line-up.

Sundays were movie night with my dad. You always hoped it was your week to choose the flick at BlockBuster. Sometimes Dad was nice enough to let Randall and I both pick! Probably just to keep us from throwing a fit or fighting with each other, and I don’t blame him.

I also loved when summer came around because it meant the book reading contests happened at the library. If you read 10 books, you could pick out a free one. Ugh, how many can I get? Reading the entire series of the Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley Twins, and Nancy Drew-game on! Reading got me through so many personal crisis and teenage angst…let’s be honest also adult angst.  A little reading is all the therapy you need sometimes.

Reading.....I LOVE the story telling world. Hmm no surprise why I became a history major. It’s just story telling!

I grew up always wanting to go to these made up places, whether it is in movies, books, or t.v. I am just absolutely fascinated by the stories people can tell. It was an escape from my reality, and I could imagine being anyone I wanted for those brief moments I spent enthralled by these tales.


I even dabbled at my own story making when I was a kid. I “wrote” and “illustrated” many short novels-as I used to call them. I would even bind them with string, who cares if they were only like 5 pages long. Trying to make my own Belle library I guess, but that ended quickly because well, I am just not that good at making up the stories. My parents did a good job supporting my self-acclaimed authorship though for awhile there.

I have a book with me at all times, just call me Rory Gilmore. You think I am kidding, but I am not. Kindle has made it a little easier to do this, but that just means even more books. You never know where you are going to get 5 or 10 minutes of wait time, so why not fill it with some light reading?

Anyway, this infatuation for the art of storytelling has inspired me to do a series called “Friday Filter.” It will be me filtering through what I call entertainment. It is going to be a review of sorts on television, movies, and books. I am no expert at reviewing, and it will strictly be my opinion, reaction, or just plain ramblings. As my husband tells me I am into teeny boppy things, so who knows where this may go or if you will find what I review up your alley. It may end up being more for me than it is for you. My own book club meeting per say.

I hope you come back this Friday when I review the book series of Nikki Heat from the show Castle, which has pretty much consumed my summer.