On Duty by A.R. Barley

Title: On Duty

Series: Smoke & Bullets 01

Author: A.R. Barley

Genre: Contemporary 

Length: Novel (245pgs)

ISBN: 9781488079221

Publisher: Carina Press (December 18 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Aerin

Blurb: Number one rule for a firefighter: never take your eyes off the flame. Male/male author A.R. Barley is back with a new contemporary romance series.

Former marine and seasoned firefighter Troy Barnes has always kept his sex life on the down low, until he takes back-to-back hits: physically injured in a suspicious warehouse explosion and emotionally blindsided when he’s ditched by his boyfriend. When a flirty young paramedic offers him a place to crash, Troy’s not so willing to give in. He’s never needed help before. But if anyone can break through his tough-guy act, it’s Alex Tate.

Alex has crushed on Troy since the minute he saw him. Now here he is, stripped of his turnout gear and recuperating in Alex’s bed. The tattooed hero may be a fantasy-come-true, but Alex wants more than rebound sex—and he’s not sure Troy’s ex is gone or forgotten.

As each night brings them closer together, Troy realizes there’s more to Alex than he’d ever imagined. And with an arsonist loose in Manhattan, neither he nor Alex realizes just how combustible things are going to get.

Purchase Link: Carina Press | Kobo | Amazon USAmazon UK

Review: I loved this book even though I went in it totally blind and had no idea what to expect. When I requested this book for review, there was no summary available, no genre, no cover, nothing but a title! I’m not that brave usually, but I thought I should give this book a chance, and I’m so happy that I did!

So….. do you (like me) love FIREFIGHTERS and PARAMEDICS in your books, especially when there’s a romance happening between the two? If yes, then you should definitely read this book, because it’s really good!

Troy and Alex both work at the same fire station, Alex as a paramedic and Troy as a firefighter, but that’s all the connection these two have with each other. Troy is pretty much closeted at work and in a secret relationship/friends-with-benefits situation with his best friend and police officer Ian. Alex is out and proud and has been crushing on Troy for a long time, but he knows better than to hit on straight guys.

After battling a dangerous wearhouse fire and rescuing a teenager by taking a dangerous jump out of a window, Troy is beat up all to hell and wants nothing more than a relaxing night at home with Ian. But Ian has a nasty little surprise in store for Troy, and Troy finds himself homeless and without a boyfriend. Alex offers to let Troy crash at his place (with no ulterior motives except maybe ogling tha’ ass) and a beautiful friendship is born between these two.

Troy is determined to include Alex in his group of friends because he truly likes Alex as a person. The chemistry between them is the real deal and once they make it in bed together….phew! So hawt! But Troy is not looking for another friends with benefits relationship, and Alex wants nothing to do with serious relationships after being burned in the past. Something’s gotta give!

There’s lots of action happening in this book, and there’s a sense of mystery to the story due to an arsonist who’s determined to hurt Troy’s team. There’s no dull moment and there’s no disbelieving factor about this story, which is great. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is that Troy constantly got hurt. I know it comes with the job, but did he always have to be the only one from the whole team to be constantly beat-up and cut-up (not to mention shot)? There’s only so much a guy can take and I felt like Troy was punished by the author for some unknown reason.

I’m so happy I chose to read this book, it really is a well written story! And…… FIREFIGHTERS!!!! I can’t wait for the next book!