Skip to main content

Review of "Controlled Burn" by Shannon Stacey

controlled burnOMG.  I LOVED this book.  LOVED it.  There aren't enough capital letters in the world to discuss just how much I loved this book.  It was my very first Shannon Stacey book (I KNOW) and it did not disappoint, which is saying a lot since I've had it on my TBR pile since Netgalley granted my request to read it back in September.  Yes, I have waited two months to read this.  Two months.  You do not know the kind of willpower I had to exert in order not to read it the moment it arrived on my bookshelf.  I started reading it yesterday morning and read most of the day (when I wasn't shopping for the Christmas party I'm going to this weekend).  I literally had to force myself to go to bed last night.  As soon as I was awake enough to make sense of the written word, I powered on my Kindle and sank into the story (only popping up to eat and eventually catch another horrifying mass shooting, playing out on CNN).

Jessica Broussard has never known her grandparents because her father always told her that they "weren't our kind of people," whatever that meant.  Now, she has found herself flying across the country to cold and snowy Boston to help them figure out how to deal with the fact that they're getting too old to keep up with their big house.

Rick Gullotti doesn't know how to feel about his landlord's beautiful granddaughter, who seems to have just fallen from the sky.  To say they were surprised to find out she even existed would be the understatement of the century.  All he knows is that the more he's around her, the more he wants to be with her, despite the fact that she lived and worked in San Diego.

There are two types of fictional characters--the ones you don't mind spending a few hours with and the ones you wish were real, so you can meet them and make them your friends.  Rick and Jess were the second type.  I think I fell for them within the first few minutes of the book.  It was easy to see things from both of their perspectives and even when they didn't agree on things, they still made sense.

This is apparently the third book in a series (I'm going to have to find the others because this one was so good), but it can be read as a standalone.  You don't need to know anything about the other firefighters in Rick's department (yes, this series is about HOT firefighters) in order to understand what is going on in Controlled Burn.  The connections between the characters are made quite clear, so you know who everyone is, but Ms. Stacey doesn't get into the plots of the other stories.

What surprised me was that this is a Christmas book.  It starts sometime in December and there is a bit about buying a Christmas tree and part of it involves exchanging presents on Christmas Day.  In fact, there was more of that holiday in it than in many of the books that were actually designated Christmas Stories this year.

I did have one big issue with Controlled Burn and it was the fact that the ending just jumped out at me and nothing was resolved.  Jess still lived in San Diego and there was still the problem of her grandparents' house.  Obviously, she's going to move to Boston, and while I don't need it spelled out to me, they never even discussed it.  It didn't make sense.  That should have been a conversation that was had before their HEA.  The fact that is wasn't is just weird to me.

The last thing I want to know is where Joe and Marie live and how they afford a big house in Boston.  I don't think we're ever told what Joe did before he retired, but Marie was a high school math teacher, so it is doubtful they'd have the kind of money it would take to have a house like the one we're told they have, especially since it was mentioned they lived close to Brookline.  I lived in that area and it is not cheap.  The houses are definitely big and judging by the house I was lucky enough to rent the basement apartment of, they're expensive as hell.  I'd say my landlord's house was easily worth $2 million.  Yeah, Joe and Marie had apparently lived there for a long time, but Joe mentioned having financial difficulties when Jessica's father was in high school.  How'd they keep that house?

I digress.  Controlled Burn was a fun, fast, and hot holiday read and I know I said something similar in my Christmas books post earlier, but if you buy one Christmas book this holiday season, it needs to be Controlled Burn (plus, Amazon has it on sale for $4.99!).

4.5 Stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …