cover image Pure Heat

Pure Heat

M.L. Buchman. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-8

The flames of passion burn brightly in this meticulously researched, hard-hitting, and suspenseful contemporary. Carly Thomas is the senior fire-reader for Mount Hood Aviation, which provides aerial support for Oregon wildland firefighters. Steve Mercer is a former California smokejumper, sidelined due to injuries and now retasked as a drone specialist. Sparks fly between the two, both on and off the job, as they battle a series of deadly forest fires. While they eventually admit their mutual attraction, they both have emotional and physical damage to overcome. Their greatest challenge comes as all hands are mobilized to fight a near-catastrophic blaze, turning up a hostile surprise hidden deep in the forest. Buchman writes with beauty and simmering passion. His characters are complex, and the underlying romance is both sweet and intense. A memorable supporting cast includes characters from Buchman’s Night Stalkers military romantic suspense series, but this high-stakes romance is easily accessible for new readers. (May)