Review – Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey

Posted December 15, 2015 by smutmatters in Contemporary, Firefighter, Holiday, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – Controlled Burn by Shannon StaceyControlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Carina Press on November 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Barnes & Noble

Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.
Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.
At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.

This series isn’t the same type of small-town romance (it takes place in Boston), but it has some of the same feel. It may not be in a small town, but it involves the members of a fire station, so it mostly takes place within a specific neighborhood and still has some of that small town ambiance.

Jessica and Rick had an immediate connection, and I really liked both of them. They’re both in their thirties (I think. Jess mentions that she’s thirty-four. Rick doesn’t specifically mention his age, but I get the impression he’s a few years older) and I love reading about couples who aren’t still in their teens or early twenties. The characters are just more settled in their lives and know what they want more than someone younger does. The downside for these two being so settled is that they’ve settled on opposite ends of the country. Rick grew up in Boston. His family is there, both his biological family and his firefighter family. Marie and Joe, Jess’s grandparents, are there, too. They’re Rick’s landlords and he’s become attached to them, seeing them almost as another set of parents. He doesn’t want to leave. Jess is settled in San Diego. She grew up there, her father is there, as is the business the two of them built together. She doesn’t want to leave there.

I think that complication was probably my biggest gripe with the book. It wasn’t really settled or wrapped up. There were a lot of issues in this book involving Jessica and what she really wanted out of her life, her father and his relationship with his parents, the distance between Rick and Jessica. None of it was really wrapped up. I know that Rick and Jessica love each other and want it work out, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen. I don’t know if Jessica’s father is going to reunite with his parents, I don’t know what Marie and Joe are going to do about their house, and I don’t know what Jessica is going to do about her career. Maybe this will be addressed in a future book in the series, but that’s not typically how Shannon Stacey’s books work, so I doubt it.

The first 9/10 of the book was really enjoyable. The final tenth wasn’t un-enjoyable, it just felt like it was left off. I was shocked when there was no book left. Jessica and Rick were so cute dancing around each other and trying to pretend they weren’t interested. Their whole “we aren’t going to kiss again” thing was adorable, especially since we all knew that wasn’t going to fly. And I thought Rick’s relationship with Marie and Joe was charming, too. I liked how much he took care of them. The biggest problem for me was the open ending, so I hope those issues are addressed later. The next book in the series will be out in February, it’s already preordered, and I can’t wait to read it.

About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.