Wild Heat by Bella Andre. Contemporary romance, with firefighters.
I picked up Wild Heat because I have actually met Bella Andre. She was introduced to me as a writer of excellent, very dirty books. Maya Jackson is having a very bad day. She is cleaning up the effects of her brother, a firefighter who recently died in a fire. Her father, also a firefighter, also died recently. She sort of flips out in her brother’s apartment and flees to the closest bar. She finds a tall drink of water at the local watering hole and proceeds to throw herself at him.
Fast forward six months. Maya is still not entirely over her brother’s death. She fights fires in her own way, as an arson investigator. She has been assigned to investigate a series of suspicious fires in the Lake Tahoe region, where her brother was living at the time of his death and where she indulged in a short-lived but intense fling with a mysterious bartender. As Maya arrives on the scene of a wildfire she discovers that her “bartender” is in fact a back country “Hot Shot” fire fighter. Not just a regular heroic firefighter but the “walk into the middle of nowhere with 60 pounds of gear on your back and run like a bat out of hell away from a wall of fire” kind of fire fighter. His name is Logan Cain, he’s super hot, he’ very heroic and he’s the prime suspect in her arson investigation.
This was a fantastic contemporary romance. There is a mystery that isn’t a weak sideline. It drives the plot and switches directions a couple of times. I did figure out who the arsonist was but it was at just about the same time as the protagonists. The conflict that stands in the way of the hero and heroine having their happily ever after is plausible. Maya doesn’t want to be involved with a fire fighter after watching her mother suffer the agonies of not knowing whether her father would come home from a fire. Logan is also the prime suspect in an arson investigation and if there is one thing she wants to be involved with less than a fire fighter, it’s an arsonist. The two of them have to actively work to build trust and respect to go along with the sexual attraction they feel.
If you’re into romance, this is a definite read. If you’re not, give this one a try, it’s quite good.