Published by Carina Press on November 24th 2015
Series: Boston Fire #2
Genres: adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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.
Controlled Burn is the second book in the Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey. Each of the books can be read as a standalone, and I have to admit that I had no idea this was book 2 in a series, until I pulled it up on goodreads to write this review. (That should tell you that it really can be read a true standalone.) Now I am very curious to check out who book one is about, and get my hands on a copy of that as well. Controlled Burn is a great contemporary romance. I really connected with the subject matter of the book because it deals with something near and dear to my heart with the elderly and the issues they face while aging.
It warmed my heart to see Jessica come to help out her grandparents, even though she had never met them before. It was really touching to see. And I loved how real their family dynamic was. There was no black and white good buy/bad guy for why they had all fallen out of touch. Both sides (parent and Jessica’s father- the son, each had a part to play in their separation, and it was all very real life. Shades of gray galore.) But it wasn’t the focus of the story, it was just a part of the characters backstory. The real focus to me was watching Jessica and Rick and Jessica’s grandparents interact. I loved watching Rick with them just as much as I loved watching Jessica with them. It was so easy to see how much Rick cares for them.
Controlled Burn is a feel good romance. There is no ulterior motive, there is no huge secret looming, threatening to break them apart the second it is exposed, and that was refreshing for me to read. This was the story of two people coming together and making it work, just as much as it was a nice story about family. Sure, there were roadblocks and obstacles, but they were not what they are so many times in romances. I really, really enjoyed Controlled Burn. Plus, there are lots and lots of firefighters. Let’s not forget about them.
Bottom line: Controlled Burn is great for readers that like family centric romances, that feel true to life. Plus points if you love grandparents and firefighters.