Title: Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Published: October 2020
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA+
I received a copy of Feel the Fire from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The third installment of Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.
When their career paths bring two high school sweethearts together again, the forest isn’t the only thing ablaze…
Fire behavior specialist Luis Riviera goes where his job takes him. But when he’s assigned to an arson investigation in Central Oregon—the place he left his broken heart twenty years ago—he’s afraid of being burned all over again.
Tucker Ryland had planned to join his first love, Luis, in LA after high school graduation, but life got in the way. Now a fire management expert and a divorced father of teen twins, Tucker’s thrown for a loop when he finds himself working side by side with his Luis, now all grown up and more intriguing than ever.
Though consumed by a grueling fire season and family responsibilities, the two men discover their bond has never truly broken. Tentative kisses turn to passionate nights. But smoking sheets aside, old hurts and new truths stand in the way of this time being the start of forever.
Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts. Don’t miss the Hotshots series from Annabeth Albert: High Heat, Burn Zone and Feel the Fire.
Tucker grew up believing that he would leave his small home town in Oregon and follow his boyfriend, Luis, to LA when high school ended. Flash forward twenty years and Tucker’s still in Oregon, his twin-sons a year away from graduating high school, and suddenly Luis is back in town, investigating a series of suspected arson cases and liaising with Tucker during the height of the fire season.
Second-chance romances aren’t always the ones I reach for, but this one was a lot of fun. There’s a lot of history between Tucker and Luis that we learn about throughout the narrative, and the reasons behind the decisions they’ve made. Despite any anger or bitterness that remains between the two of them, there’s also a clear sense of connection and togetherness.
One thing I think Albert does really well in her books is weaving family life into the romance of her stories. It’s not in every book, but when it is it feels very natural. We learn that Tucker and his ex-wife got pregnant really young and had twins and they worked hard to stay together for the sake of the two boys but ultimately realised that it was better if they were apart, but raised the boys together. So now you have a (common) blended family scenario with Tucker and his ex-wife (and her new partner) co-parenting successfully and without animosity. I especially loved the detail of weekly family dinners with all of them – highlighting the importance everyone places on family and connectedness – and the importance of that when Luis is eventually invited to participate.
I also loved the twins – their teenage high school drama and general sassiness was just on point and so much fun.
Feel the Fire was a very enjoyable read, filled with romantic tension, as well as the nods to the fire community, too.