Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited, Controlled Burn
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
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Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.
Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.
At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.
This is the second book in the Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey and it was a sweet romance. Very cute.
Rick Gulotti is a firefighter that works with Aidan Hunt from the last book and Scotty Kincaid from the next book. Rick is a ladies man who is has a long string of ex-girlfriends. He’s starting to wonder why he’s not the marrying kind since his last girlfriend moved on from him fairly quickly and is getting married. Rick lives a pretty laid back lifestyle. He works as a firefighter and on his off time, he helps his elderly landlords out with whatever they need his help with. He clears the driveway out, he handles all of the handy man work around the house and he takes good care of them.
But he’s not family in the sense that the government acknowledges so when his landlord Joe, takes a nasty spill, the doctors call their estranged son clear across the United States. The son that doesn’t acknowledge them, the son that they haven’t spoken to in so many years, the son that kept a grand-daughter from them.
Enter Jessica Broussard.
Jessica is filling in for her father at work when she receives the phone call that lets her know about her grandfather’s nasty fall. She’s taken aback by the call because she’s never met her grandparents before and every time she tried to talk to her father about them, he closed up. She learned over the years to stop asking about them but with her father missing in action, she decides to fly out to Boston and help them out, hopefully get to know them.
When Jessica gets to Boston and meets both her grandparents and then Rick, the story really took off for me. It wasn’t one of those stories that is filled to the brim with angst and intense chemistry but it was a story that I couldn’t put down. I thought the romance between Rick and Jessica was real and it was interesting. I liked seeing them get to know each other, I loved seeing them circle each other while they try to figure out what the other was up to. I loved that their romance wasn’t rushed. I thought Shannon Stacey did a great job of bringing them together. Seeing Jessica get to know her grandparents and build a relationship with them was another wonderful addition to the story.
I will say that while the entire story slowly unravels (which worked for me), there were a few things that bothered me. First, there were times when I wanted to pull Jessica’s hair and I blamed those things on her upbringing. She was raised by a guy that was just truly unlikable so I tried to keep that in mind whenever Jessica would think or say something that made me want to kick her. Especially when the distance starts to get to the both of them. Jessica really tried my nerves then but all in all, I came around with her.
Another thing that I wasn’t a real fan of was that ending. What in the world?? That’s all we got? I wanted more from that ending and my grade for the book reflects what I thought of that ending. Ending aside, the characters were charming and won me over in this book (yeah, even Jess) and I’m looking forward to Scotty’s book.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5