I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Published by Carina Press on November 24, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
Jessica Brussard has never met her paternal grandparents (they don’t even know she exists) because of her father’s estrangement with his family. When she learns there might be a medical emergency involving her grandfather and her own father is “unavailable,” Jessica uses the opportunity to go meet them and handle things. Rick Gullotti is a Boston firefighter who stays in the upstairs apartment of the Brussard’s home and helps them maintain the property. When Jessica shows up, they’re both wary of each other’s motives.
This was such an interesting story with so many dynamics in play. Rick views the Brussards as family and is naturally predisposed to protect them. Jessica’s not certain if he’s just an interloper intent on taking advantage of her grandparents. And, she’s struggling with the strong desire to bond with them versus her father’s obvious duplicity in his characterization of his parents. Rick’s also about ten years older than Jessica, looking to finally settle down but she lives in San Diego with a completely different lifestyle. To say their relationship comes with some thorns is an understatement.
I really enjoyed this story, especially the aspects of being a firefighter that were presented. I wasn’t so much interested in learning about fighting a fire as much as knowing the complexities of their day-to-day existence; that was delivered on and more. There are many things about the lifestyle I’d never considered even though I’d suspected it was unconventional. This added a level of authenticity to the story, complicating an already gnarly relationship. I loved the maturity of the romance in the midst of some very troubling issues. And, there wasn’t a neat bow tied at the end, leaving the door open for even more layers in future stories.
I’m very much liking this series!
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