cover image High Heat

High Heat

Annabeth Albert. Carina, $8.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-1-335-45951-0

The heartfelt second entry in Albert’s Hotshot series (after Burn Zone) fans the flames of attraction between smoke jumper Garrick Nelson and aspiring firefighter Rain Fisher, a man Garrick thinks of as a “hippie veggie kid fond of pink pony shirts”—and, he’ll later discover, lacy underwear. The guys get their requisite meet cute when Rain helps Garrick take in an injured stray dog, Cookie. As Rain assists Garrick, who has a spinal injury from a smoke jumping accident, in caring for Cookie, Garrick helps Rain, who hopes to join a hotshot firefighter crew, get into shape. The slow development of their bond is sweet and sexy, culminating in a steamy hot tub encounter. But their budding relationship is threatened as Garrick grapples with insurance woes and the reality of his condition, and Rain considers a dream job elsewhere. Albert again turns a spotlight on issues of communication and trust, but she also emphasizes mutual care and pleasure, making Garrick and Rain an easy couple to root for. This affable May-December romance delivers all the well-developed characterization and sensual love scenes Albert’s fans expect. Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (Aug.)