Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

When their career paths bring two high school sweethearts together again, the forest isn’t the only thing ablaze… Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

The third installment of Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.

When their career paths bring two high school sweethearts together again, the forest isn’t the only thing ablaze…

Fire behavior specialist Luis Riviera goes where his job takes him. But when he’s assigned to an arson investigation in Central Oregon—the place he left his broken heart twenty years ago—he’s afraid of being burned all over again.

Tucker Ryland had planned to join his first love, Luis, in LA after high school graduation, but life got in the way. Now a fire management expert and a divorced father of teen twins, Tucker’s thrown for a loop when he finds himself working side by side with his Luis, now all grown up and more intriguing than ever.

Though consumed by a grueling fire season and family responsibilities, the two men discover their bond has never truly broken. Tentative kisses turn to passionate nights. But smoking sheets aside, old hurts and new truths stand in the way of this time being the start of forever.

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts. Don’t miss the Hotshots series from Annabeth Albert: High Heat, Burn Zone and Feel the Fire.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Hotshots series!
For book one, Burn Zone, click HERE.
For book two, High Heat, click HERE.


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Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press—Harlequin




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Feel the Fire is the third installment in the Hotshots series. While connected via the setting and the cast of characters, this novel can easily be read as a standalone or out of series order, with absolutely no confusion.

Tucker and Luis were best friends growing up, a deep connection that turned to a budding first love. When Luis' family relocates back to California during the last year of high school, the boys try very hard to keep in touch. Hurt feelings, resentment, distance, and miscommunication end their friendship...

Fast-forward nearly two decades later, Tucker and Luis are surprisingly in the same line of work. Luis is sent from California to help Tucker's crew solve a series of arsonist wild fires, putting them into each other's orbit for a few weeks.

In a beautiful mix of slow-burn, second chance romance, hurt-comfort, and intense connection, Tucker and Luis navigate a relationship they believe is destined to fail in the same epic fashion it did two decades ago, especially with a pair of teen twins, an ex and her family, and a regal cat.

A wholesome family-oriented romance, with realistic issues faced by long-distanced couples, faced both for grown adults and teens ready to embark on a new path.

To be honest, where I struggled is that I felt the book was longer than necessary, which had my interest waning. While I adore slow-burn and the angst of building tension, the pacing dragged at a few points.

Another issue I had was the fact that I did feel as if Luis was slightly stubborn and selfish when it came to Tucker's needs, from both the past and the present, where he learned nothing from the past, doing it yet again. There was no compromising, where both lose and gain. I didn't feel Tucker made the choice the character was written to make, but more like the author told the reader to just roll with it. It felt too much as if "If you love me, you'd choose me above everything you've ever built in your life, including your entire family, just as the ultimatum I issued years ago. But don't you dare have the audacity to ask the same of me." Tucker dreamed of a big yard, a garden to tend, yet ended up in a concrete jungle. As I said, that made it feel as if the author revealed an ending that didn't truly fit the character that was written. A few tweaks along the way would have made this more realistic and befitting of both their needs.

This is the third book in the series – and although you would feel more grounded in the environment and aware of the openness within the community if you had read the previous books, you could read this as a standalone and go back and enjoy the earlier books later.

For me, this book was just a touch long winded. Having said that, it absolutely fitted the two men and their 20 years apart, revealing that they still had strong feelings for each other. Having been separated due to Luis moving away towards the end of high school due to his father's job, and in spite of them promising to stay together even if distant, it did not happen. I enjoyed them having to deal with the fact that they are really attracted to the man that the other had become, it was not just the chemistry of their childhood years. But really even this time, Tucker, the lifelong resident in the town has no intention of leaving, and assumes that Luis has to change without consideration of whether maybe it is time for him to make a move.

I liked that to make the story stand out from the others, there needed to be a new angle – and I thought the possibility of an arsonist and needing Luis's fire behaviour skills to catch the criminal was a good plot, but I did feel that it could have had a more dramatic reveal; more could have been made of the perpetrator.

I enjoyed getting to know Tucker's family, and enjoyed his twins' behaviour, as well as spending time with the men who have featured in earlier books.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Second-Chance Romance

Luis is a great fire behavioralist. He knows fires. When he's tasked to help out in Oregon, he's more than resistant. It's where he first fell in love, where he left his first love, and where he has some truly great memories and truly bad ones. But the job calls. Fires are dangerous and he wants to make sure that he can help find the arsonist.

Tucker thought he had it all when he was young. He had fallen in love, was planning on moving with his boyfriend, and then... life happened. Now a divorced father of twin boys, Tucker still loves his life. He has a great relationship with his ex and his boys, loves his co-workers, and knows that he made the right choice to be home with his boys. But when his first love arrives at work to help out, old feelings rush forward.

Both Luis and Tucker are great at their jobs. They try to keep things as professional as they can, but once they clear the air, there is nothing stopping them from wanting to try again. I think my biggest issue with this story is that there is an arsonist on the loose that Luis is trying to figure out, but it's so anticlimactic. I wanted much more suspense when it came to that aspect of the story. And while Tucker and Luis clearly have chemistry from their relationship before, they didn't burn up the romance aspect of the story the way I would have thought they would.

It's a longer story and I think, for me, it dragged at times. Overall, this was a sweet, second-chance romance, it just lacked heat and suspense.



Author Bio

ANNABETH ALBERT grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Connect with Annabeth

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Annabeth's Angels Facebook Fan Group



Carina Press

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3) by Annabeth Albert to read and review.

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