The Official Description: Smoke jumping is Garrick Nelson’s life. Nothing, not severe injuries nor the brutal physical therapy that follows, is going to stop him from getting back with his crew. But when a lost dog shows up on his front porch, he can’t turn her away, and he can’t take care of her on his own. Thankfully, help comes in the form of his new sexy, dog-loving neighbor. As they work together, trying to re-home their little princess, Garrick can’t resist his growing attraction for the other man, even though he knows this guy isn’t the staying type.
Rain Fisher doesn’t take anything too seriously. He dances through life, one adventure at a time, never settling in one place for too long. When his hot, conveniently buff, neighbor shows up on his doorstep, dog in tow, Rain’s determined to not just save the adorable puppy, but her reluctant owner as well. He never expects their flirtation might tempt him into stay put once and for all…
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: Burn Zone, High Heat, and Feel the Fire.
Just the facts: M/M romance, kink, age gap, recovery and adapting
A sweet romance that has two men wondering what they want for their future. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: This is book two of the Hotshots Series and you can read my review of the first book, Burn Zone – here. I loved the first book in the series. I was really caught up in Linc’s battle with himself. He had made a promise he was struggling with and the tension in the first book was palpable.
I have to say that I didn’t connect quite as well with this second book. It’s much more lighthearted in a way than the first one. Garrick is still recovering from injuries he received in the first book. He’s in physiotherapy and is switching between crutches and a wheelchair. When he arrives home one day to find an injured dog on his porch he wants to help it but it’s scared of his wheelchair. He manages to get across the road to get help from his neighbor only to discover her grandson, Rain.
Rain is as femme, wild, and free as Garrick is serious, gruff, and masculine. The wonderful thing about Garrick’s character is that he’s not judgemental at all. He’s come out to the people who matter to him as pansexual and is firm in his belief that everyone should just get to be who they are.
The two men strike up a quick friendship as Rain has offered to help take care of “Cookie” until they can find her a forever home. They are quite different from one another. Rain is very carefree. He goes with the flow around him and is often caught up in the moment. he dresses however he wants and can be a little overwhelming for Garrick at times.
Garrick is still struggling with a lot of physical things post-accident and, at first, he’s pretty nervous about even attempting to be with a man. Through very gentle encouragement and a lot of sexual exploration, Rain is able to help Garrick find the courage to ask for more help with his disabilities.
The main theme in this book is about the struggle with decisions for the future when your feelings change. Garrick is older and he’s pretty settled in his life in one way – even though he’s still struggling with his physical recovery. Rain has always wanted to be a firefighter, he has spent his entire young life chasing after excitement and adventure. It’s difficult to meet someone and want to invest some trust in them when that might mean giving up a dream.
I really enjoyed the supporting characters. It was great to see that Linc and Jacob are still happy. I really enjoyed their relationship in the first story so I was pleased to see them again. Garrick’s father was another great character: an old school fella who was doing his best to understand his son’s sexual orientation.
If you liked book one in the series, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s not quite as complex as the first one. I felt a bit more for Linc during “Burn Zone.” This story has a lighter feel, with lovely and sensual scenes.
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) Description of a dog that is slightly injured (helped immediately), descriptions of intense PT, having to come to terms with a permanent disability, vomiting (brief description), descriptions of sexual dysfunction
I received an ARC of High Heat by Annabeth Albert from Carina via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.