Series: Senses and Sensations 03
Author: Susan Laine
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Slight Kink
Length: Novella (148pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th March 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3½ – 4Hearts
Blurb: Just off work one wintery evening, EMT Jack Waters comes across a blazing building, and he sets out to do his job. A day later he wakes up in a hospital, suffering from severe burns. For a man who values his beauty, the injury is devastating.
But Jack hardly has time to process what’s happened. Waiting by his bedside are his cop ex-boyfriend, Kevin Thompson, and his fireman rescuer, Luke Kennard, who both seem determined to compete for his attention—burns or no. Jack pushes Kevin away, fearing the man will want nothing to do with him now, and seems to be proven right when Kevin leaves without a fight. The scene is set for seductive, playful Luke to begin a flirtation with Jack, soothing his fragile ego.
When new fires break out all over town, targeting rescue personnel, clues point to someone close to Jack. He survived one fire, but he might not be so lucky next time. For it seems he is pursued by a relentless foe. If he isn’t careful, the flames will reduce him to ashes… unless the love of two men burns him first.
Review: This story is part of a series and is best enjoyed in order, although this story can be read as a stand-alone. When Jack hears a woman’s scream and a child’s crying when he is on his way home from work, as an EMT he doesn’t think twice about running into a burning building. Waking up in hospital with burns is hard especially when his ex-lover Kevin is in the room. But, he rallies when sexy fire-fighter and his rescuer, Luke, comes to visit. Kevin is pushed away as Jack seems to welcome Luke, and Kevin refuses to just step aside. As Kevin investigates the fires a chilling pattern is found and Jack becomes the target of the arsonists rage.
This is an interesting story of opposites attracting, but finding it difficult to connect in a relationship. Add in an admirer and a firebug with an obsession and we have an explosive story. Jack comes across as flighty. He loves attention, he loves flirting and he’s boisterous and energetic and although he has deep feelings for Kevin, he can’t work out why they keep going their separate ways. Kevin is a more staid man. He’s quite, keeps his emotions to himself and is prudent and stoic. He loves Jack and thinks he knows why they can’t stay together, but he isn’t giving up on them.
Luke is introduced as a potential love interest, but don’t be fooled he is pivotal to the storyline, but not how we first suspect… and not how we secondly suspect either (is that mysterious enough for you *g*). This story has two main focal points, the first is the relationship between Kevin and Jack and them working out between them where they keep going wrong and the second focal point is the mystery of the firebug and his reign of terror and his obsession. Kevin and Jack keep missing the mark and it isn’t until they have a heart to heart that they both face the facts and recognize their own failings. But, their love always brought them back together and now they might be able to move forward… but then there is Luke, the sweet sexy fireman with his penchant for bringing roses to Jack.
The mystery surrounding the firebug is really interesting and the way that Jack gets dragged into danger by being in the wrong place at the wrong time adds some tension. You get pulled into the story even while you think at times that Jack acts like a child. You truly want to slap him, as he rubs Luke in Kevin’s face. Luckily, Jack wises up, but you still want to give him a little slap. I really did like this storyline with its twists and mysterious firebug, and I also liked the way that Jack and Kevin had to delve into themselves to fix their relationship. Their relationship isn’t perfect, but they don’t give up even when tempted by external forces. I really do hope that Susan Laine will write a story for Luke, because after everything in this book he really deserves his own story.
I have to recommend this to those who love messy relationships, admitting your faults, grabbing onto love, a mystery, danger, hot sex and a happy ending.