REVIEW: Burn Zone (Hot Shots #1) by Annabeth Albert

The Official Description: Introducing Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts…

Smoke jumper Lincoln Reid is speechless to see Jacob Hartman among his squad’s new recruits. Linc had promised his late best friend he’d stay away from his little brother. And yet here Jacob is…and almost instantly, the same temptation Linc has always felt around him is causing way too many problems.

Jacob gets everyone’s concerns, but he’s waited years for his shot at joining the elite smoke jumping team, hoping to honor his brother’s memory. He’s ready to tackle any challenge Linc throws his way, and senses the chemistry between them—chemistry Linc insists on ignoring—is still alive and kicking. This time, Jacob’s determined to get what he wants.

Close quarters and high stakes make it difficult for Linc to keep his resolve, never mind do so while also making sure the rookie’s safe. But the closer they get, the more Linc’s plan to leave at the end of the season risks him breaking another promise: the one his heart wants to make to Jacob.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Just the facts: M/M romance, smoke-jumpers, age gap, homophobia, coming out

A solid romance set in the world of forest fire fighting crews.  – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: 
Jacob’s older brother died working at the same job that Jacob has always dreamed of having. When he finally gets there as a rookie, he encounters his brother’s best friend… Linc. As a kid he had a bit of a crush on Linc…as an adult… it could be much more. But Linc made a promise to Wyatt before he died; he promised to stay away from Jacob.

There are some interesting themes in this book. There’s definitely an exploration of loss. What does the loss of a best friend do to someone? What about the guilt that survivors live with? Albert does a wonderful job of giving the reader a glimpse into the world of the person who has been left behind.

There’s also a bit of homophobia in the book. A lot of it is internalized and that’s intriguing as always. Linc is a complex fellow. Sure, he’s made a promise to stay away from Jacob out of duty to his best friend but there’s more to it than that. His father was abusive when he was young and disgusted and homophobic. All of that baggage has come along with Linc into his adulthood and it’s a challenge. Well, when he’s single and just being the dutiful worker it’s not…but when he’s around Jacob he feels it.

I think Linc was my favorite character. He’s pretty complex and I love when romance authors take the time to develop their characters! Annabeth Albert always has the best characters so these two didn’t surprise me. Linc broke my heart a few times; he’s a real contradiction. He’s so confident and strong on the job, being the dutiful Uncle, but he’s so hard on himself, guilty and doesn’t seem to be able to give himself anything that might be good. He just can’t give himself a break.

there’s a lot of details about the lives and training of firefighters and I think Albert did it justice. I don’t have much personal experience with it but it read as authentic and it was certainly interesting.REVIEW: NetGalley

This is a great, solid romance! Annabeth Albert never disappoints.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Death of character off-page, mourning, loss, descriptions of forest fires, description of an accident in the field that results in severe injuries.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author //

I received an ARC of Burn Zone by Annabeth Albert from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.


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