Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey, narrated by Tatiana Sokolov

Controlled Burn audioWhy I read it:  I’m a fan of both the author and the narrator so I bought it.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  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.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Alas real firefighters don’t walk around in their turnout pants and no shirt. And, the firefighters I’ve actually seen in action, are mostly not as hot as the ones on book covers. They do exist though – I’ve seen the calendar. The firefighters in Shannon Stacey’s Boston Fire series however are the real deal. I enjoy their camaraderie and closeness and their sensible approach to a very dangerous job. Work health and safety is not seen as sexy but there is something awesome about a guy who does the right thing and doesn’t showboat. Rick Gullotti is a lieutenant in the Boston Fire Department. He’s not a grandstander after glory. A good day for him is when they put out the fire, save the people (and animals) and his team get home safe. It’s competence porn at its best.

Rocky Retreat by Vivian Arend, narrated by Tatiana Sokolov

RockyRetreatAudio-222x222Why I read it:  I’m a fan of the series and buy these whenever there’s a new one out. Rocky Retreat is a novella length audio I’ve had on my TBL for a little while.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Finding white-hot love in a white-out…

Eight months ago, Lee Coleman met the woman of his dreams…then lost her to another man. He buried his disappointment by throwing himself into work on the family ranch, but when a winter storm leaves him stranded, Lee finds more than shelter in the rustic safety of a hunter’s cabin—he finds a second shot at love.

Rachel Malone’s heart has been broken and stomped on by her cheating ex, and she’s determined to never fall in love again. But a rebound fling? Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, especially when she’s snowed-in with a gorgeous, sweet-talking Coleman.

Despite their off-the-charts chemistry, Lee makes it clear he wants more than a temporary romp. In fact, he’s made it his mission to put a smile back on her face, even if it means taking it slow and resisting the scorching heat between them. This time around, he wants forever, while Rachel is positive that forever is a fool’s dream.

Lee can’t wait to prove her wrong…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Rachel Malone is licking her wounds after finding out her husband of only six months had been cheating on her for at least five of them. She takes a few days off to regroup, staying in a remote hunter’s cabin. When Lee Coleman is stuck in a storm and takes shelter in the same cabin they are forced to hang out together for a few days, until the weather clears enough for them to get safely down the mountain. Lee has had a thing for Rachel since he first met her but because he’s 24 and she’s 33, she shrugged off his advances, thinking they weren’t serious. Lee realised his mistake (ie not persisting) when Rachel married douchebag Gary. Now that Gary and Rachel have split, Lee sees his chance and he’s not going to make the same mistake twice.

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