Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited, Hot Response, Hot Response (Boston Fire, #4), Under Control (Boston Fire, #5), Under Control
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 25, 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.
Anyone who is a serious consumer of romance fiction is familiar with Shannon Stacey and her wonderful stories. This is the second book in her Boston Fire series and as I have found to be the case, her characters are strong and often unusual and therefore they pique the reader’s interest right from the start. This book is no exception.
Nothing unusual about Rick and his free for all lifestyle. He loves what he does, he loves the ladies–lots of them–and he loves the elderly folks over whom he keeps watch, almost as if they were his own grandparents. He’s a genuine caring man who has not yet decided to settle down with a family of his own, but that doesn’t keep him from caring deeply about this couple who have mourned the estrangement between them and their only son. Now they are beginning to show signs of serious problems related to aging and Rick knows that family needs to step in. His contacting their son has an unusual effect: it brings their granddaughter–a woman they have never met–to Boston. She has her marching orders from her dad, but when she encounters Rick and begins to get to know her grandparents for who they are and not the people she believes them to be, her marching orders get laid aside.
This is a very emotional story as their is lots of hurt here, lots of tension that comes from bad communication, old wounds, misunderstanding, time, and long distance. There is also deep caring, the kind of concern that puts one’s own interests aside, and people who are willing to acknowledge that they have been apart way too long. Add in that this is a love story between two people who would have initially preferred to be the metaphorical two ships in the night, maybe hooking up and then moving on. Fate or life or chance had different plans, and as their story develops, the heat of loving, the warmth of caring, and the emotions of becoming involved in one another’s lives ramps up the heat and emotional content.
I enjoyed this book a whole lot, but then again, I don’t remember a Shannon Stacey book I didn’t like. I was such an absorbing story, one that just grabbed my feelings deep down, possibly more than some I have read recently. It is well written and edited, put together in a skillful way, and is a great addition to Ms Stacey’s writing resume. She has given us a good one here, folks. It is well worth the time and effort to read and enjoy. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.