Thursday, May 9, 2019

Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back—as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed—and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed—he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin—and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Kal, Rafe, and Jackson all grew up in an adoptive home. However, they started out living on the streets with their own small family. Jackson was always the protector and when they were separated from their group, he took it on himself to ensure his brothers' safety.

When the boys all grew up, they became firefighters. Running into a fire, Jackson saves a woman from a fire in her workplace. What he doesn't expect is to have this person be a blast from his past. Becks was someone who used to live with them when they were homeless. Now, she's doing well for herself and is all grown up.

This is more of a story about finding love and wanting to be a better person to earn that love. Guilt is a powerful barrier and if it's not dealt with, it can ruin a perfectly good relationship. Jackson hates to remember his past. It's painful and something he actively tries to forget. However, in order to truly love someone, the past has to be dealt with.

Jackson has to figure out whether or not his past is powerful enough to hold him back from loving Becks. I loved watching his family support him, as well as kick him in the butt at times.

I hope the other brothers get their own stories.

This is the first in a new trilogy, and I think it does a great job of setting the scene and giving us the first brother's road to romance – I am fascinated to see how the other two fare, as they are very different characters to Jackson. Three teenage homeless brothers were fostered and then adopted by the fireman who rescued them from a beach house fire. They grew up to be firemen and work and live together.

Jackson, as we get to learn, was the eldest and the protector – a role he has never really shaken off, but he has chosen to remove his past from his mind, as he insists on only looking forward. When Becks, a one-time member of their gang of homeless kids, is rescued by them at her tattoo parlour, he refuses to even try and remember her. She seriously disrupts his equilibrium and persists in behaving like an idiot around her. Luckily, we see enough of him in his good moments not to entirely write him off!

Becks has become independent due to her background, but has never forgotten her past, and even visits the encampment providing food and supplies as she can afford to – something Jackson cannot understand at all. She pushes all his buttons - good and bad – which is fascinating to watch, but also painful at times. Luckily, Becks is made of strong stuff and will not give into his requirements to ignore the past. The chemistry between them is good, but she consistently insists that he needs to accept himself fully to move forward. It is an interesting dynamic for sure, and she certainly comes off as the nicer character!

I enjoyed the family side of things, although I have a feeling that it may come into play more in future books, as we had enough to deal with with Jackson's selective amnesia about the past. It was lovely to think that Becks might be on the verge of getting the mother figure that she deserves, as well as reconnecting with her childhood friends.

It will be interesting to see them as time moves forward, and how the other two men can find their happily ever afters. And by the way, wow those guys ate A LOT!!!

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
From heartache and heartbreak to finding the one person you can let yourself actually be yourself with, this book has it all.

Jackson, Kal, and Rafe were living on the streets as pre-teens, escaping abusive home or foster home situations. Jackson, as the oldest, assumed responsibility for their group. One night a fire broke out in the house they were squatting in. They all survived, but Jackson has shouldered the guilt of that night all these years. It was his decision to stay there and that decision put his brothers in danger.

Becca was also part of Jackson's group, but had went with another in their group to a place that would take in the littlest of the street kids. She always wondered what happened to them.

Years later, imagine her surprise when the kids she knew on the street are the firefighters that put out the fire in her business and apartment. Kal and Rafe are the still friendly as ever but Jackson has a lid on his emotions.

As Becca and Jackson begin an uneasy friendship, Becca tries to get him to remember the past and talk about it. Jackson wants no part of remembering the days that he had to beg for food and sleep where he could. Becca needs him to understand that until he can make peace with the past, he can't embrace the future.

I enjoyed this book, the emotions it evoked in me, and the time it takes for Jackson to come to terms with his life before being adopted.

Jaci Burton is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play series, including Unexpected Rush, All Wound Up, Quarterback Draw, Straddling the Line, Melting the Ice, and One Sweet Ride, and the Hope series, including Don’t Let Go, Make Me Stay, Love After All, Hope Burns, Hope Ignites, and Hope Flames.

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Berkley Romance

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire #1) by Jaci Burton to read and review.

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