Review Post : Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey (4 Stars)

Posted July 18, 2015 by Nix in review / 0 Comments

Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #1
Published by Carina Press on 2015-08-25
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eBook

Lydia Kincaid left Boston to get away from the firefighting community—but family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother's handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He's had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it's her. She's his mentor's daughter. His best friend's sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can't uncross.

As flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter's wife was the hardest thing she's ever done, and she doesn't know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can't imagine walking away from Boston Fire—the job and the brotherhood are his life. But if he wants Lydia in it, he'll have to decide who's first in his heart.

FTC : I got this from NetGalley for review.

Why I requested the book : I love Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski family series so requesting it was a no brainer.

One sentence review : A sweet, best-friend’s-sister-trope romance with a nice guy hero and a spiky heroine, facing the true realities of trying to hold down a relationship when one of them is a fireman.

So, when I went into this book, I was excited by the fact that it is a Fireman hero. I love the fantasy of a Fireman (the uniform, the heroic behaviour, the physique, the saving puppies from fire…) but I did not get the romantic version of a fireman romance. At all. What I got was the realities of dating a Fireman (the unpredictable hours, the job-comes-first attitude, the trauma, the constant life or death situations) and a heroine who had been there, got the t-shirt and the divorce papers to prove it. The surprising plot, along with a writing style that really works for me, made this a book that I mostly enjoyed.

Aidan was a typical Shannon Stacey hero. She writes nice, sexy guys who are completely upfront with their feelings and treat their heroine’s with respect. He pursued Lydia from the second she showed him some interest and he never, ever played games. He had some totally swoon-worthy quotes and, quite simply, I adored him. The only issue I had with him was the fact that he allowed her to treat him quite badly at points because of his focus on the end goal of getting her to like him. I wanted him to stand up to her, to tell her that she should be treating him with the same respect that he gave her and not being a complete arse because her ex-husband was a douche. He did eventually but he certainly took some verbal poundings in the time it took him to do it.

Lydia did not want to want Aidan and boy did she turn into a bit of bitch when she couldn’t stop her feelings towards him. She took all her inner conflict out on him and I simply didn’t like her in parts of the book. Trust me, I understood her feelings towards dating a fireman and I have to admit, as the book went on, the fantasy of dating a Fireman truly died for me, but she was horrible to him for a choice he made long before they got involved (him being a Fireman) and then she blamed him for her feelings as-well! I actually wanted Aidan to run for the hills at points but when she forgot what he did for a living, they were truly lovely together and I could see their HEA on the horizon. And then her mouth engaged….. *sigh*

Although I enjoyed this book there is one major flaw for me; I was more fascinated by the side romance of Lydia’s sister and her estranged husband than that of the main couple. To me, the side romances should be enjoyable but not steal the show and that romance was more of a draw than that of Aidan and Lydia. It was unexpected and, although it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the book, it was a little off-putting. I’m looking forward to the next in the series and I do recommend it to others who like Shannon Stacey’s work. It just had issues I didn’t anticipate.

Overall, a good solid to start to the series. It may have killed the fireman fantasy for me but I loved Aidan in-spite of it. Well recommended.


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