cover image Controlled Burn

Controlled Burn

Shannon Stacey. Carina, $4.99 e-book (183p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9997-3

Stacey’s second Boston Fire contemporary (after Heat Exchange) builds a satisfying romance atop a cast of strong, realistic characters. Firefighter Rick Gullotti rents an apartment from retirees Joe and Marie Broussard and thinks of them as his own family. When Jessica Broussard, the granddaughter they never knew they had, shows up on their doorstep, Rick gets extremely protective. Despite the long-standing rift between Jessica’s father and his parents, he’s still their next of kin. A doctor leaves a voice mail saying that Joe is ill; Jessica overhears it and impulsively heads to Boston. At first she’s intent on convincing her grandparents to sell their home. She definitely isn’t expecting to go up against a sexy firefighter who doesn’t trust her motives. As the chemistry crackles between Rick and Jessica, she must decide whether to agree with her straitlaced father’s judgmental view of the parents he abandoned, or embrace her grandparents and the man who takes her breath away. Stacey’s engaging novel is pure comfort food: readers know just what to expect, and it’s deeply satisfying. (Dec.)