Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Flaming Hot

Flaming Hot is an anthology of 3 short stories by Lynn LeFleur. This book is the second in a series about the Firefighters of Lanville, Texas.  All of the stories in this book were well written and complete. One aspect of short stories that always gives me pause is that often you are left hanging when the ending comes. At times, the short stories can seem unfinished with too many aspects of the story being unresolved. Other times, the story goes at an even pace until the very end where the conflict resolution happens in a rushed manner. With Flaming Hot, none of the stories had those issues. I was left feeling really good about the stories and how they ended.

The first story, Fiery, is about Quade Easton and Eve Van Den Bergh. Quade is school counselor who also serves on the town's volunteer fire department. Eve works in a fabric store owned by a friend. After 2 failed engagements, she has sworn off relationships. In spite of her resolve, she finds herself attracted to Quade. Through patience and gentle persistence, Quade brings down the walls she has built up around herself and shows her that love is worth taking the chance.

The second story, Flare, is about Cort Brennanman and Paige Denslow. Paige manages a local convenience store. Cort is a new comer to the town. Coming to the convenience store to fuel up his Harley, Colt's bad boy appearance draws Paige's notice. There is an instant attraction between Paige and Cort, As they begin their relationship, Cort's secrecy about his past raises questions for Paige. She becomes even more concerned when a theft at a convenience store in a nearby town matches up with a night when Cort was MIA. Cort is definitely a man of secrets. Could he be somehow involved with the convenience store thefts that have been happening in their region? The truth comes to light late one night when Paige's store is targeted and she is there alone. Will her bad boy be her savior in her time of need, or will he break her heart?

The last story in the book, Flash, was one that was a bit of a surprise to me. It is the story of Kirk Wilcox and a newcomer, Joshua Stafford. Stories about same-sex relationships are not a genre that I seek out. I read this one though in order to give it a review. I wasn't sure what to expect from it. I have to admit that I did like the story. Kirk and his twin brother, Kory, work at their father's hardware store. No one in town, including his family, are aware that Kirk is gay. He has dated women, but never felt any connection to them. He struggles with his secret life, afraid of what his family and others would do if they knew the truth about him. Josh comes to town and is looking for a temporary job at the hardware store. Kirk and Josh are attracted to each other and soon begin their relationship. Through Josh's support, Kirk is finally able to talk to his family and let them know his secret. Sadly for Kirk, his time with Josh is limited. Josh only planned to be in town for a few months. Time is running out and though Kirk has tried to guard his heart, he has fallen hard for Josh. Can their relationship be enough to convince Josh to stay when the time he planned to leave has arrived?

Word of warning, this book is graphic in nature.  So, if that is not something you want to read, you may want to read something else.  

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