Feel the Fire

Annabeth Albert
Feel the Fire
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Carina Press
Release Date
October 2020
Book 3 of Hotshots
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

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.

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Sep 08, 2020   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
60 people found the following review helpful
FEEL THE FIRE is really that second-chance romance done in a way that those who are wary of this trope would find themselves warming to. Luis Rivera and Tucker Ryland had left each other in the dust nearly 20 years ago as teens but a secondment to central Oregon sends Luis back to the place where it all began--and as luck would have it, straight into Tucker's path.

The fire case in itself is secondary; in fact, it's there to support how Luis and Tucker connect again, how they find a new admiration for the ways in which they're good at their jobs and pretty much, the very driving force that brings their second-chance to fruition.

All throughout FEEL THE FIRE, I was simply struck by how mature everything was, or at least how maturity rang out through both protagonists in every move that they made or almost everything that they said--right down to the compromise that came up at crunch time. There's that clear contrast between the idealistic teenage romance and the slightly more cautionary grown-up way they approach each other as they both own up to their mistakes and then find their own dreams again.

It's slow-going however only for the reason that Annabeth Albert presents their steadily-growing romance as a realistic one, interspersed with moody teenagers and their own growing-up issues. For this reason the story did feel as though it was heading nowhere at times and I did get somewhat bored with the domestic antics that Tucker was facing even as Luis's time in Oregon was coming to an end. Long and short of it, FEEL THE FIRE is a solid one, well-written with rounded characterisations; its ordinariness and relatability perhaps would be its greatest draw, with situations that mirror the frictions and the ever-changing dynamics of work and family. I wish it'd clicked a little more snugly for me despite my recognition that there's nothing at all wrong with the storytelling, just that it came up somewhat lacking in the end instead of leaving me breathless.
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Book Review by Merissa (reviewer)
Sep 11, 2020   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
60 people found the following review helpful
FEEL THE FIRE is the third book in the Hotshots series and this one deals with second-chance romance. Back when they were teenagers, Luis and Tucker thought they'd be together forever... until life got in the way.

This is a character-driven slow-burn of a book in which Tucker and Luis rediscover their attraction to each other and figure out just what, if anything, they can do going forward.

I loved this one! The guys from the other books play cameo roles in here too but the focus is mainly on Tucker and Luis. Both of them led very different lives to the ones they had imagined and it's all about their reconnection and hopeful possibilities.

I also love reading about the different jobs that are available and seeing what impact each role has. And there is also Luis' role of being the single man who can travel, plus Tucker's role as husband (ex), father, and boyfriend. There is definitely something for everyone here and I personally highly recommend it.

The only downside I can think of is you never found out who the arsonist was!
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December 08, 2021 02:24 AM ( EST )