For this blog tour we’re looking at the latest book in Annabeth Albert’s year-long tale of MM romances set in the hyper-macho world of “hotshot” firefighters. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Up In Smoke by Annabeth Albert.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
Another Solid Entry In Series. This is another solid entry in the series Albert has created over the last year featuring MM romances set in the hyper-macho world of western US “hotshot” firefighters and smoke jumpers – the front lines of any wildfire containment efforts. Here, we finally get smokejumper Brandt’s story, and it is at least as good from the romance angle as any of the other entries in this series. Maybe even better, since it runs a bit smoother with lower angst, minimal separation, both equally hoping for the other’s success, etc. Has an almost A Star Is Born vibe to it at times, though without the more depressing elements of that tale. But the biggest thing that will be hit or miss depending on exactly what you feel about it is the baby stuff in particular. Even as a childfree married male who generally doesn’t like babies (older kids are much cooler, though I’m always grateful that I can leave when I need to :D), I didn’t find the baby aspects *too* detracting, even for my tastes. Because the story really did focus on the interactions of the adults, with the baby providing the realistic distractions that adults having to care for a baby would actually provide. But if you’re particularly opposed to anything remotely baby related… well, you were told in the description that this one had one. 😉 Overall a truly solid story, and very much recommended.
Below the jump, about a page long excerpt from the very first scene of the book, when Brandt and Shane first meet. Followed by the publisher information. 🙂
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Up In Smoke by Annabeth Albert”
Very Vivid And Vibrant. This is one of those hyper-descriptive books that wants you to know the exact color of the dresser in the room where the lead couple first “gets together”. That wants you to be able to smell the exact scents around them as they first open up to each other. That wants you to be able to hear the various island sounds all around them as they go from secluded beach to downtown party. That wants you to be able to taste the Cuban inspired flavors of Key West. In other words, this is one of the most sensual – as in, the literal dictionary definition meaning “devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites” – books I’ve ever read. Oh, and there is a solid romance in here too. Yes, one that perhaps wraps up a bit too tidily a bit too quickly, but eh, that is a common feature of many RWA-strict romance books. As the introduction to a new series, it introduces at least two characters what are obvious targets of subsequent books – without being overly obvious as to which is in the *next* book. And it seems to indicate that it will be a series with call it “medium” ties between the books – characters from each book will show up in other books, but you’ll still be able to read any book in any order (provided you’re not averse to hearing that a lead couple in one romance book actually wound up together – shocker, I know 😉 ). So there really was a lot to like here overall, and only minor quibbles ultimately as far as anything at all to nitpick on. Very much recommended.
This review of Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras was originally written on March 1, 2021.
Welcome back to yet another Blog Tour from Carina Press, the first of two this week in as many days. Both feature excellent though very divergent tales, and we’re gonna see my own reviews of each, a couple of pages from when the characters first see each other in each, and all of the relevant details to make it really easy for you to jump over to your eBook market of choice and buy the dang books. 😀
First up, we have the most recent entry (and possibly last, if it is a trilogy?) in Annabeth Albert‘s High Heat series, Feel the Fire.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
Feel-Good Finale. This second-chance romance tale, seemingly the last book of this year’s Hotshots series, was a solid way to go out. It is *very* loosely coupled with the previous two books – both prior couples make cameos – but can largely be read as a standalone. Fans of the MM genre will like this one, as it contains pretty well all of the standard elements of the genre. But that actually gets to one of my quibbles with the book. One of the guys here is alternatively described as both demisexual and asexual – which are both elements of the spectrum that don’t get mentioned as much, and thus it is always awesome to see. Yet in playing too much into genre expectations, to me it felt like Albert did the asexual aspect a disservice in almost making it seem that an asexual may just turn out to be a horn dog… with the right person. Similar to a character described as being comfortably childfree winding up with a kid at the end of the tale. (Note, that is just an example – in this particular tale one of the two is actually already a father.) The other quibble? Not enough actual firefighting in this book, particularly relative to the other two books in the series. Though the jobs here are actively away from the front lines, and for what they are, the jobs seem well represented in and of themselves. Still, a solid tale and a satisfying conclusion. Very much recommended.
And after the jump, a 2 page-ish excerpt from near the beginning of the book, when one of our leads learns he is about to run into the other for the first time in many years:
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Feel The Fire by Annabeth Albert”
Cops and Firemen and Arsonists Oh My! Pine has long worked with police procedurals in her Cold Case Psychic books, and she has broken away from that with her Lost Treasures books. Here, with the advent of a new series, we see Pine combining the police procedural and family elements of the Cold Case Psychic series but ditching the paranormal and replacing them with a wider look across the spectrum of First Responders. And yet again she does an excellent job crafting a compelling story and beginning a larger universe, completing the romance angles of this tale for a RWA-rule-meeting HEA while leaving other plot points open, presumably for continuation into at least one other book in the series. Which should be one wild ride. Very much recommended.
This review of Gunnar’s Guardian by Pandora Pine was originally written on May 3, 2020.
This week we look at an intriguing book about a female firefighter dealing with fires both physical and metaphorical. This week, we’re looking at Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.
One of my favorite songs growing up and even to this day has been Garth Brooks’ Standing Outside the Fire. For me, it has always been a source of inspiration to overcome any obstacle set before me – no matter what it is, where it comes from, how hard the solution is, or anything else. But what does it have to do with a book about a female firefighter? Don’t firefighters make it a habit of standing inside fires?
Well, in this book our heroine has a problem. You see, we open up with her being awarded her city’s most prestigious award for valor for her efforts in saving a group of kids no one else could. She truly is among the best, if not the best, firefighters in her (not small) town – of any gender. But she’s standing outside the fire in her relationships. She got metaphorically burned pretty damned severely on her 16th birthday by multiple people, and a decade later she hasn’t managed to move on. She’s acted like she has, and she’s become a “model citizen”. To the outside world, she is perfectly awesome. But because she’s been outside the fire and has yet to actually deal with the burns she got on her 16th birthday… her life is about to spiral out of the tight control she’s maintained over it for the last decade.
In the process, she’ll grow. She’ll learn things about everyone involved in the dumpster fire of her 16th birthday, she’ll meet new people and learn about them, and most importantly she’ll learn things about herself.
Overall an excellent tale that uses a reliable and relatable first person narrator well. Very much recommended.
As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of the Week: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center”
Prepare to Cry. It really is as simple as that. McDonough’s tragic tale is told in a style that has you hanging on to every word, even if you know the ultimate story from following the news 5 yrs ago or from seeing Only the Brave, the movie based on this book, last year. Simply amazing, and heartbreaking. The *only* quibble I have is Page 270, where McDonough calls for a wildfire firefighter union. Other than that, this book is simply a phenomenal combination of McDonough’s own memories combined with clear research into the science and sequence of events of the tragedies – particularly Yarnell.
This review of Granite Mountain by Brendan McDonough was originally published on September 28, 2018.