I’ve read Lynn LaFleur in the past and have enjoyed her work for the most part. Unlike a lot of anthologies where we experience different authors works, this is all LaFleur and reads as a follow up to her ‘Men with Tools’ series. I didn’t read any of that series, so I can’t compare either characters or plot. Unfortunately for me, all three stories in this book are more about the sex than the romance because I didn’t see romance in any of them.
This was my least favorite story in the series. Julia Woods had just arrived to town. She’s recently made the move from California where she broke up with her ex-boyfriend the prior month. As she’s new to the small town, Julia’s staying with her mother’s friend until she can secure a job and get her own place. Stephen McGettis is a roofer and volunteer firefighter. Once he sees Julia and her breasts, he’s captivated by her beauty. I think I might have laughed out loud with the focus that both Julia and Stephen had on her breasts.
On her first day in town, Julia sees then meets Stephen and soon after that they’re on their first date. Julia misses the sex that she had with her ex and Stephen seems like a good candidate. It seems that Julia’s attracted to guys who likes the fast life. But she doesn’t want to be because she’s afraid that she’s going to be hurt when any one of the dare-devil adventure sports that her current partner participates in either injures or kills him. What’s funny to me with Julia is that she was so focused on the sex, she forget to get to know the guy she’s going to bed with. I had no sympathy for her when she found out what Stephen did in his spare time.
I didn’t feel any of the attraction between these two. Stephen didn’t have much of a voice and he didn’t start showing a back-bone until the last couple pages. This story absolutely didn’t work for me – the sex was too fast and too much without any credible plot. Like all readers, I would like at least a modicum of plot with my erotica.
My favorite in the stories, this is the story of Rayna and Marcus Holt. Rayna walked out on Marcus five years ago after a tragedy that rocked their lives and their marriage. Rayna is back in town to take care of her grandmother after she has a heart incident and is hospitalized. This is coincidental to a fire that ravages the community and Marcus is one of the volunteer firefighters that battles the blaze . During the fire he’s injured and while at the hospital tending to his injury he sees Rayna for the first time since she left him.
These two worked most likely because they history and knowledge of each other. As I’m not a fan of the quick wham bam – that history went a long way with me. Their chemistry was there, maybe because we get both Marcus and Rayna’s stories separately and their thoughts and actions are well plotted. The sex was good but apparently in this town, everyone likes ‘scratching’ and perky (versus non-perky) breast.
What I didn’t accept was Rayna’s explanation for her departure and I think that Marcus should have pushed harder on that because I could see that happening again when the going gets tough. I really enjoyed Rayna’s grandmother and their relationship, there’s a lot of knowledge to be had and gained from their interactions.
Talia King moved to town two years earlier and has been in love with volunteer firefighter Dylan Westfield just as long. Dylan has had a thing for Talia for the same amount of time but until now he’s been unwilling to act.
Talia has been asking Dylan to go out with her and he’s been turning her down – every single time. I actually felt sorry for Talia for being in love with someone who clearly didn’t want anything to do with her in a romantic setting. I honestly didn’t understand why she kept trying and didn’t move on instead. I’m not saying go to bed with the town man-whore but at least realize where you’re not wanted.
Dylan’s excuse for not pursuing a relationship with Talia had more holes that swiss cheese. It was just plain silly. But the way they has sex for the first time was laughable, there’s alcohol and a fire truck – so cliche and forced. Their chemistry was lacking and I didn’t feel their love that I should have. Even with their previous history, I never saw what they loved about each other because they clearly didn’t know each other very well.
Happy Reading folks!
Overall Rating: C
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lynn LaFleur
Release Date: March 25, 2014