Title: The Fireman’s Pole
Series: Dreamspun Desires 44
Author: Sue Brown
Narrator: Finn Sterling
Length: 5 hrs, 16 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2nd February 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts
Blurb: The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.
It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire – and attention – of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.
Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.
Unfortunately, the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.
Review: I love to read a good romance by Sue Brown. For me it means I get to indulge in a little romance set in England. For me The Fireman’s Pole fulfilled this expectation as well as giving me the thrill of seeing a fireman being romanced by a minor aristocrat. It spoke to and made me happy since I once was obsessed with reading Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian romances (of course MF, but nobody’s perfect).
After ending things with his closeted ex, who he used to work with, Dale Maloney gets transferred to the other side of the country to the village of Calminster. (In saying “the other side of the country” that doesn’t seem big to me since England is so small geographically it’s enough distance for Dale). Things don’t go too well on his first day and his luck just continues with his first encounters with the local Lord of the Manor, Benedict Raleigh, Baron of Calminster. It’s actually really amusing hear their interactions.
Encountering Dale sets off something inside of Ben. He has always known he was gay for what he considers to be practical reasons, Ben has stayed closeted and even has a girlfriend. Besides the fledgling relationship between Dale and Ben making small, shaky steps, there is also a mysterious series of small fires being set around the village and the cops and fire service don’t what to make of it at first.
Ben and Dale make a good couple and their story is really sweet, really cute without too much drama and angst – for me that was perfect. They got great chemistry and they got character that develops well. These guys are truly interesting. The other thing that I really like is that Brown didn’t make a massive song and dance out of Ben’s ex-girlfriend (in fact she’s a bit of an ally) and doesn’t make her out to be the Wicked Witch of the West because she has been dumped. It was refreshing. What was also refreshing was how Dale’s ex turning up didn’t become some stupid all out shoot-up, or some sort of violence or attempted murder.
With narration by Finn Sterling, now this is only the second book I’ve heard narrated by the man, I found the tone and emotion in the book was well conveyed. However, it did take me a couple chapters to fully settle with being happy with the narration. I found the accents a little too choppy at times, but once the rhythm was found, I was happy to continue without further questioning.