Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Heat Exchange (Boston Fire #1) by Shannon Stacey

Book Blurb:

Lydia Kincaid's shipping back to Boston, but she's not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother's a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother's handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He's had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it's her. Aside from being his mentor's daughter, she's his best friend's sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can't uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia's flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter's wife was the hardest thing she's ever done, and she doesn't know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can't imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he'll have to decide who's first in his heart.

My Review:

Complex relationships, family dynamics, and forbidden love weave through Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey.

Shannon introduces us to strong characters and an intriguing new series in Heat Exchange.

The heroine, Lydia, is back in her home town reluctantly, after moving away two years ago to distance herself from everything expected of her...but not necessarily what she wants. I found Lydia to be strong, and she is obviously loyal to come back to the place she doesn't want to be to help her sister out. Lydia has sworn off relationships with firefighters. She is intimately aware of what the brotherhood involves, and who they put first. And she feels it will never be her...

Aiden is her younger brothers best friend,and when Lydia sees him again, sparks light up inside of her...even if he is definitely not a man to become involved with. Aiden feels the exact same way about Lydia...and soon their feelings and the flames between them are impossible to resist. But a forbidden affair is all it can be...

I liked Aiden. I really felt for him, and felt good for what he's done with his life, the positive directions he's taken. Lydia was a bit harder to like. She is harsh and at times hurtful. Even if it's a sense of self preservation kicking in, this isn't a personality trait that I like in anyone, and I find it difficult to like fictional characters who act this way. Her whole family is like this though...there is angst and hurt mixed in with the love and caring. They are an interesting group to get to know, and not necessarily one I'd want to spend a lot of time with. The push and pull between the characters felt real though, and the feelings were palpable.

When Lydia and Aiden were together, I liked how they were with each other. It felt right, but the secretiveness didn't - even for them, and I was really nervous how things would play out for them.

Nothing for any of the characters in Heat Exchange is easy, and the journey for all of them, including the secondary characters is bumpy, and you just don't know where they're going to end up! I liked this, just like in real life you just never know what will happen. Shannon writes in some powerful secondary plots along with the secondary characters, and they were just as intriguing as the main plot and characters. They are all relevant and help make up the main plot, smoothly written in.

I liked that Shannon has written Heat Exchange so well that I am able to feel strongly about certain characters. Whether or not I liked them, she made me feel!

I look forward to the next book in this series.

I'd recommend Heat Exchange to any romance reader who likes forbidden romances.

4/5 stars

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