My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Nov09/heartsafireseptember.pggmb.html
“High Heat” by Philippa Grey-Gerou
Up-and-coming restaurateur Roman Geary loses nearly everything when a fire destroys his restaurant’s kitchen. To keep himself solvent until rebuilding, Roman has to keep his catering business going, and to do that he has to find a kitchen he can use. When he rents the catering hall of the local fire department, Roman is relieved to find everything needs…and then some.
Firefighter Jacob Niemczyk is gorgeous, friendly, and no slouch in the kitchen himself. But where Jacob’s confident in relationships, Roman isn’t. Roman isn’t sure he’s ready to jump into a relationship, but the desire he feels for Jacob is too tempting to resist. And Roman’s about to learn that the right kind of heat is worth risking a few burns.
Though a fire nearly destroys Roman’s business in the beginning, it also gives him, and readers of “High Heat” something wonderful back – a charming romance that’s both sugar and spice. The mix of sweet and spicy-hot love scenes in “High Heat” is perhaps fitting for two heroes who know their way around a kitchen. One of the best things about this story is that Philippa Grey-Gerou has created characters that are incredibly likeable. Roman, Jacob, and their friends are all people I would love to be friends with, were they real. For that reason, not to mention Ms. Grey-Gerou’s writing style, once I started “High Heat” I couldn’t stop reading until I had finished the tale. Roman and Jacob’s romance is simply a perfect afternoon read.
“Five-Alarm Lover” by Michael Barnette
On Endurium Moon Three, the “suits” and “grunts” of Rowland Mining Company don’t mix. But rules, even unwritten ones, are made to be broken and when firefighter Del Preston responds to a mine fire he’s immediately captivated by executive Aaron Halford. The gorgeous blond is everything Del could have wanted, and more than he could have expected.
Aaron’s life is anything but average. Blessed, or cursed, with a strong psi-talent, the telempath is used to being rejected by most those who can’t bear his ability to read emotions and thoughts. Aaron knows the handsome firefighter who saved his life is attracted to him. What’s more, Aaron feels the same. Yet, for all his desire to be with Del, Aaron fears that going against the unspoken social structure could ruin his career. It’s up to Aaron to take that chance and gamble everything for a love that could last a lifetime.
The title says it all for this red-hot story by Michael Barnette. “Five-Alarm Lover” is sexy as hell, with two heroes who know how to turn up the heat on both the physical and mental plane. Aaron is a perfect match for his dominant lover, fitting Del like the final piece in the puzzle. I adored both men and cheered their determination to make their relationship work, despite the professional risk. In the end, all I can say about “Five-Alarm Lover” is that it’s interesting, erotic, and, despite the tragedy that begins the tale, fun.
Hearts Afire: September features two stories that have some wonderful similarities, despite their different settings. Both “High Heat” and “Five-Alarm Lover” feature strong, patient firefighters and their work-conscious lovers. Each tale is also supremely sensual and utterly fulfilling, making Hearts Afire: September a wonderful read any month of the year.