Release Date: 11/24/2015
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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*ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*
I really enjoyed Controlled Burn. It was a great follow-up story to Heat Exchange, Boston Fire book one, and I loved Rick Gullotti. He’s a great hero, steadfast, heroic, mature, and I enjoyed his interactions and romance with Jessica because things progressed gradually and felt true to both their characters. They made for a great pair and I loved how much they cared about Joe and Marie, her grandparents and his elderly landlords. These are two mature, responsible adults and that showed throughout the book.
Like Heat Exchange, this book told more about the community, both the town of Boston and the firefighters in Ladder 37 and Engine 59, while also giving bachelor Rick his happily ever after with newcomer, Jessica. I thought this was a great, well-balanced, and mature book, and I love that it dealt with a lot of family issues, and contained scenes set around the holidays. This wasn’t as fast-paced as the first book, more of a slow-build romance, but it worked for these two characters because they needed the time to get to know one another and I loved reading about all the little moments between them. It made everything feel real and more natural than a faster paced romance would have felt.
I do think the ending of this one felt a little rushed, but not so much it messed with my overall view of the book. This was a great, well-written story, with a terrific cast of characters, and it further heightens the promise for the rest of the series.
One thing I love about Shannon Stacey is how well she incorporates a large cast of characters in a believable, fun-loving community. Her stories always ring true for me, which is why I will buy and read any book she writes and recommend her work time and time again to others. So, if you haven’t read the Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey yet, I highly recommend jumping in and checking it out. At two books in, it’s proving to be yet another great romance series by a talented and terrific 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.