Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: Heat Exchange & Controlled Burn (Boston Fire 1&2) by Shannon Stacey

 

Heat Exchange (Boston Fire #1)

Lydia Kincaid's shipping back to Boston, but she's not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother's a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother's handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He's had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it's her. Aside from being his mentor's daughter, she's his best friend's sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can't uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia's flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter's wife was the hardest thing she's ever done, and she doesn't know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can't imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he'll have to decide who's first in his heart. 


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What I thought about Heat Exchange

Heat Exchange, the first book in the Boston Fire series from Shannon Stacey deals with the unwritten rules of the brotherhood of firemen and just what it means to be married to someone in this profession.  Lydia returns home to support her sister Ashley who is in the middle of a separation from her firefighter husband Danny Walsh.  Lydia has some experience being married (and subsequently divorced) to a firefighter too, and one of the reasons she's been away from home is to leave the whole firefighting lifestyle behind.

But that's before sexy firefighter Aiden Hunt starts making eyes at her, and suddenly, she's involved with her brother's best friend and coworker.  It's clear it's not going to turn out well, and the longer Aiden and Lydia keep telling secrets and lies, the worse it's going to be.

I liked the way Aiden used his smooth seduction on Lydia, and how they move forward with their relationships in spite of what might happen to their relationships at work and at home.  The love scenes between Lydia and Aiden have some heat to them too, and there was a good level of tension keeping the story moving and the pages turning.

There's a very nice side story between Ashley Kincaid and her estranged husband that gave a second little punch of sweetness to the story.  Writing about family relationships is what made Shannon Stacey's Kowalski series a hit for me, and she manages to bring some of that magic into this story. I liked getting to know the Kincaid family in Heat Exchange.

Overall, I liked Heat Exchange and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.


Controlled Burn (Boston Fire #2)

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.



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What I thought about Controlled Burn

In Controlled Burn, firefighter Rick Gullotti gets involved with his landlord's granddaughter, Jessica Broussard. Their relationship starts out very quietly, and there's a nice build-up of their relationship as they go from friends to lovers.  I think I liked that the most about this story, but I have to be honest and say that Controlled Burn lacked something for me.

Most of the action takes place away from the station house and Rick's firefighting brothers so this installment didn't rely on the the friendships and unwritten rules of the brotherhood of firefighters like Heat Exchange did.  While there were a few firefighting scenes and some serious consequences for one of the firefighters to set up the next book in the series, I didn't feel like the firefighter storyline was strong in this book.

For me, there wasn't much story in Controlled Burn and it lacked a certain excitement.  Jessica meets her grandparents, falls in love with Rick and they have to resolve a long distance relationship. It's a sweet love story, but that's it.  I got to the last page of the book and said to myself..."Is that all?"  The story ends abruptly and without revealing how Jessica and Rick are going to resolve their living arrangements, or any of the other conflicts that arose during the story. Even their love scenes seemed a bit ho-hum to me.

This just didn't have that family feel that I got from the Kincaids in book 1 of this series, and the pacing was a bit slow as well, which is why I am rating this three stars. While Controlled Burn wasn't a bad read, I've come to expect more relationship story from Shannon Stacey.

I am looking forward to the next book in this series which centers around Scotty Kincaid.  He's a solid fixture in this world and I'm eager to see how his story resolves, so I am going to stick with this series.

ARC provided for review.


Order the next book in the series!




Boston Fire, Book 3
Carina Press
February 23, 2016
ISBN-13: 9780373002979
ISBN-10: 0373002971


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When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.


About the Author 


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

You can contact Shannon through her website, where she maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter, her Facebook page, or email her at shannon@shannonstacey.com

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