When offered the opportunity to read a story involving a yummy sweet-natured, yet tortured soul of a firefighter, how could I refuse? Actually, there’s a nice, but ‘bruised of heart’ heroine to match him too, but in the interest of full disclosure I am forced to admit that she didn’t catch my attention until I read the story. The story did indeed grab my attention in the beginning and kept it until the final page was turned.
Juliet Baker is returning to her small home town after a six-month absence to begin anew by turning the old family farmhouse into a B&B venture. She has renovations to do first and her sister has even secured her a lodger to help defray costs. Juliet is glad for the busyness of the tasks she has set before her because it will keep her mind off the reason she left town in the first place. Six months before, she learned that her two year relationship with boyfriend Kevin was a farce when she discovered that he was sleeping with nearly every woman in town it seemed like and his brotherhood of firefighters had watched his back and kept his secrets. Now all firefighters and men in general are anathema to her.
This is too bad since her new boarder is the hunky new Fire Dept Capt. Shane Gaskell. Shane is starting over and wants nothing to do with a long term relationship so he knows he’s in trouble when he catches sight of his new landlady who is not the darling old doilie-producing lady he thought he was getting. But truthfully, the first impression he gets is a woman who needs his protection when an unwanted ex just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. It is not long before anonymous threatening notes and mysterious fires show that Juliet has a stalker and needs him more than ever.
After some hemming and hahing, the two of them chuck it all and give in to their attraction, but instead of alleviating the unwanted connection they find that things just get even more complicated. And the stalker is still out there waiting and watching, but he’s getting impatient.
This story turned out to be an enjoyable reading experience even though there were moments when the two main characters drove me nuts the way they were acting. I wanted to smack one or the other (mostly Juliet because she was the biggest offender) or just both upside the head more than once for freaking out over their feelings and saying stuff they didn’t mean and wanted to take back. Then it was compounded by all the withdrawal behaviors. I cut them some slack because of their pasts and besides the tendencies to snarl there were also many sweet moments too, but it was a near thing.
The focus of the story is predominantly on the main characters’ romance with the action stuff mainly off scene and just mentioned in passing. The stalker plot line was there, but it wasn’t as intense as it could have been because as the reader I was allowed to know who it was instead of not knowing and looking on every one with suspicion.
The passion between Shane and Juliet scorched up the pages once they came to an understanding. They were definitely combustible together.
This was a really good read that I can recommend to those who enjoy Contemporary Romance.
Thanks go to the author for gifting me this book for which I have given my honest review.
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