I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Fighting Fire #2
on September 8, 2014
Source: the Publisher
He knows exactly how to make her burn...
Fire captain and bar owner Becker Thomas usually spends his nights alone, trying to escape painful memories from his past. When he meets a sexy, free-spirited brunette outside his bar, he knows he's found the perfect way to forget for one night. But when he discovers the woman he wants back in his bed is his best friend's sister, everything comes to a halt.
Megan Jansen has one rule--no firemen. Just out of a toxic relationship, she's only in Hidden Oaks long enough to visit her brother and photograph the local calendar before she slips off on another adventure. The brooding man who gave her the best sex ever is an unexpected surprise. The problem is, he's her brother's friend...and a fireman. She knows she's going to get burned, but keeping their hands off each other is easier said than done.
Meghan Jansen lost her father in a fire when she was only a little girl. After her mom spiraled into depression from the tragedy, Meghan and her brother Travis were forced to fend for themselves. Meghan promised herself that she would never fall in love with a firefighter, not after experiencing the pain and loss of losing her loved one in a fire. It’s a promised she’s kept ever since her father’s death as she travels the country doing all sorts of odd jobs. When she returns to her hometown of Hidden Oaks to photograph the local fireman’s calendar for her firefighter brother, she meets Becker Thomas on the back porch of The Panting Dog, Becker’s very successful bar. Becker and Meghan hit it off right away and enjoy a night of explosive, passionate sex. They agree to keep seeing each other while Meghan is in town. Until the next morning when Meghan discovers that Becker is also captain of the volunteer firefighter’s squad. Meghan is upset because she refuses to date firefighters and Becker is equally upset by the fact that he slept with his best friend’s sister. But how long will they actually be able to deny this burning chemistry between them?
Meghan is a feisty, independent artist who dreams of opening her own tattoo parlor. She’s adventurous and maybe even a little reckless, but with a good sense of humor and deep commitment to her family in Hidden Oaks. I really enjoyed the brother-sister relationship with Travis who was a total ham, but was always ready to play the protective older brother when the situation called for it (read: Becker making eyes at his sister in public). But Meghan is still battling the emotional turmoil caused by her father’s tragic death in a fire from almost twenty years ago.
Becker is carting around some emotional baggage of his own. Before moving to Hidden Oaks, he worked as a firefighter in Chicago, but lost two of his men in a major blaze. He blames himself, despite the deaths not being his fault in any way, shape, or form, but the survivor’s guilt is crippling and prevents him from opening up to relationships with women.
Meghan and Becker’s inability to move past their painful memories essentially make up the entirety of the plot. Meghan tries to stay away from Becker because he’s a firefighter. Becker tries to stay away from Meghan because she’s his friend’s sister and he is still wracked with guilt from losing his firefighting buddies in Chicago. There are also times where the dialogue is stilted, cheesy, or unnatural. I just felt like the characters were saying things that didn’t match their personalities or that people in real life just wouldn’t say.
For the most part, however, the book is a fun, easy read with some endearing antics by Meghan and Becker. The sex is steamy and Meghan and Becker compliment each other very well. The character growth and theme of learning to move past survivor’s guilt was very sweet, believable, and would probably hit very close to home for someone who is also experiencing survivor’s guilt. Overall, enjoyable without being too angsty, despite some very serious subject matter.