Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: Controlled Burn (Boston Fire #2) by Shannon Stacey

Book Blurb:

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.

My Review:

Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey was just the romance I needed to read!  I loved Jessica and Rick.  They are strong, mature characters who drew me right into their lives.  For so long it has just been Jessica and her father.  An unexpected phone call takes her to San Diego to help the grandparents who never knew she existed.  In San Diego Jessica finds a lot more than she was expecting or looking for.  Not only does she find and unexpected sense of belonging and family, but she finds herself very attracted to her grandparents tenant Rick.  For Rick, Jessica's grandparents feel like his grandparents.  He's not too sure what to make of her surprise appearance...even if it's an appearance he's very attracted to.  Rick and Jessica embark on a relationship that grows and strengthens steadily during the time she is in San Diego, but when she's done what she came to do will a long distance relationship work?  Is it worth the try?

I enjoyed getting to know not only Rick and Jessica, but also Jessica's grandparents.  They are all powerful characters who give so much strength to the plot.  I like how Shannon explored and portrayed the family dynamics of Jessica's family, and the way the characters dealt with them.  For me this showed true strength in characters I really admired.  Even the portrayal of Jessica's father, who could have been made to be the bad guy, fit very well with the plot.

I liked seeing all of the characters not only get to know each other, but grow through Controlled Burn.  The struggles Jessica is facing felt real, and the relationship between her and Rick was believable.  I liked how they were towards each other from the start...cautious but open minded and protective of the the progression of their relationship to so much more.  The emotions they felt were real, and the loyalty and honesty these characters possessed was inspiring.

Controlled Burn is a book that completely worked for me!  I loved feeling like I was a part of Jessica's life, even with all the complexities woven in.  I felt good about her and Rick and really hoped they could find a way to make it work.  I felt happy for Jessica and her grand parents finally getting to know one another.  I felt hopeful for Jessica's father as well.

Well paced with great flow, Controlled Burn is a book I'd recommend to any romance reader!

5/5 stars!

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