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Friday, October 8, 2010

Safe From the Flames by Sandra Sookoo

Safe From the Flames by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Darren Kaestle wants nothing more out of life than to do his job. Putting out fires and keeping the community safe is his idea of a good time. Throw in a few beers with his best friend Tyler, and life’s good—until he finds an unconscious woman at the scene of an abandoned house fire. He carries her to safety, and after having her check out at the hospital, takes her home. Only then does he find out about her paranormal status.

Hadyn Bernson has lived in a run of bad luck all her life—ever since her family perished in a fire when she was twelve. Since then, she’s harbored anger and fear deep inside herself until it manifests in a rare phenomena. She can burst into flames whenever her emotions get out of control, and they threaten to do just that when she opens her eyes and finds a sexy firefighter staring back.

Together, these two people from opposite ends of the spectrum must find a way to settle their differences and quench the flames inside before the real terror of a dangerous blaze ends one, or both, of their lives.

Completely combustible: Safe From the Flames, is sparked by a capricious combination of fire and love, attraction and danger. It starts in a blaze: literally.

Firefighter Darren Kaestle is a convincing leading man-slash-hero; The story opens with him struggling through the heat of the flames of a burning house. His courage, his reliance of his friends, and his soft heart are all so beautifully established at once. You can’t help but hope things work out for Darren.

Hadyn Bernson, our leading lady, is a strange character and difficult to understand, right from the start. We see she is both dangerous and oddly vulnerable, but plainly Darren finds her compelling. She’s hard to predict, and about as volatile as her red hair suggests. Darren, however, really has no idea just how dangerous she is; how could he know her long association with fire, or be expected to understand her problem? He doesn’t want to believe that he too, could be in danger. He seems to believe what she tells him, but acts as if it is not true. Darren’s peculiar acceptance and dismissal of the threat works for readers in a weird way: we do, for some reason, believe Hadyn. And, somehow, we like Darren all the more. When his friends try to warn or help him, (Tyler even tells him Hadyn is a lunatic,) Darren remains just as stubbornly committed to her. As the story goes on, he simply shines; like some true hero of old. It takes longer for us to even detect a glow from Hadyn…and to say more would be to give away too much. I love that this ‘paranormal’ is so normal, without dark auras or any of the usual accouterments of the unusual. I loved wanting to know from one moment to the next, just what was about to happen.

Throughout, believable descriptions bring us right into the heart of the smoky action. The vagaries of chance and change threaten to more than singe the both of them – but Darren is a firefighter, and we want to believe that he can stand the heat.

Do read: whether you love romances or want a change of pace, this story will suit. This is simply a fun read! What can beat a love to set the world on fire?