Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review: 'Love on Fire' by Zach Jenkins

Midwestern author Zach Jenkins spent his time with the military seeing both coasts and overseas and now has returned to the Midwest to settle in to what appears to be a very successful writing career focusing on M/M romance.

One of the many reasons Zach’s romances work so well is that he completely avoids stereotypes: his men are men and that makes the manner in which he draws them together more erotic. LOVE ON FIRE (an appropriate title, by the way!) is Book 1 of his new series FIREFIGHTERS ON THE FOX and deals with down home firefighters and young men who face choices regarding their sexuality. As for the word ‘fox’ – could mean ‘foxy’ or refer to Fox River, Michigan – the latter is likely the case.

The synopsis offers a guide – ‘Firefighters don't date other guys. Clay Brown has always wanted just one thing: to be a firefighter. He even has the girl of everyone else's dreams, until she dumps him to chase her own career. Newly single, Clay bumps into the only guy who ever made him feel alive - and who he almost kissed back in high school, before losing his nerve. He burned me before. Never again. Ezra Kaufman, a hairdresser now living in Chicago may be lonely, but he’s not stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. When Clay saves his mother, Ezra is smart enough to keep his distance. Clay may send out all the right signals, but Ezra knows from experience that the hot firefighter isn’t willing to go public with an openly gay man like him. Some fires refuse to go out. Once sparks fly there's no going back, but can there possibly be a future when both men fear commitment, or will it take the heat of a fire to forge something new?’

Another bit of writing style that builds the impetus in this novel is Zach’s excellent use of daydreams – moments when Clay imagines Ezra on the couch he usually shares with his ex-girlfriend Lilith – very erotic while being simply embarrassed wishful daydreaming. The book is filled with unique passages of encounters and yet when Zach gets to the moment of erotica the steam soars. All this and a Happy Ever After ending make this volume 1 a fine appetizer for a new series. Grady Harp, August 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.