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Friday, December 26, 2008

A Heated Romance

A Heated Romance by Candace Gold
Publisher: Highland Press
genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Books
Reviewed by Lilac

She battles blazing fires and battles for respect…

As a woman firefighter, Marcie O'Dwyer can never let down her guard. She knows it might cost her life. However, Ray Smith just might slip past her defenses. He poses the biggest her heart.

There is no room for her in his life...

Hard-hearted, Ray Smith has sworn never to fall in love again. Only, Marcie is slowly working her way under his skin. This woman has no place on the Squad. No place in his life.

Passions burn as bright as the fires they fight...

But can their attraction survive constant doubts, a misunderstanding and the threat of a maniac arsonist bent on murdering them both?

A fascinating romantic suspense, A Heated Romance tells the story of Marcie O’Dwyer, a female firefighter who has had to struggle to prove herself. Used to the chauvinistic comments made by some of her male coworkers, she is not surprised when a new transfer, Ray Smith seems to have a problem with a female firefighter. But even with his attitude, she can’t help but find the man attractive.

Having lost someone in the past to a dangerous job, Smith believes that a woman shouldn’t have such a dangerous occupation. Despite his misgivings, he finds himself falling for Marcie, but fears losing her. Doubts, misunderstandings, and a serial arsonist plague the couple and try to keep them apart in this suspenseful tale.

While written in third person, this complex story is mostly told from the point of view of Marcie. One of the many fascinating characters of the story, Marcie is a tough heroine following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather as firefighter despite the misgivings of her family, friends, and others. I really enjoyed Marcie’s wit and attitude and found her very likeable. We learn quite a bit about her and what makes her tick as the story seems to focus on her.

In my opinion, rather than the romance, most of the book seems devoted to telling us about Marcie and her life as a firefighter as we are told about some of her calls, her coworkers, and the things she puts up with as a female firefighter. Her interactions with and memories of her family also made me smile and understand her a bit better. I found some of this very interesting and had a chuckle or two at a few of the events and stories, but at times these things almost seemed out of place in the story and messed with its flow.

Personally, I wish more focus had been given to the romance of the story as I found Marcie and Smith’s relationship intriguing. At first Smith is hostile toward Marcie, but we soon learn the heartache behind his attitude. You could almost feel the tension between the couple and I enjoyed their sarcastic banter as well as watching as they handled all life seemed to throw at them. I felt their relationship took a bit of a backseat to the suspense and other aspects of Marcie’s life, but in a way it worked for this story as the focus seemed to be more on Marcie herself.

While the first part of the book seems to focus on the romance and Marcie’s daily life, the second part seems to transition into a suspense novel as Marcie witnesses something suspicious at one of the fires. Her life is endangered by what she possibly knows and I found myself anticipating the outcome almost as much as Marcie despite some obvious clues in the story.

In spite of my minor issues with the story, A Heated Romance as a whole is a fascinating story that I found enjoyable.