Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book Review: 'Burn So Good' by J.H. Croix

Maine author J.H. Croix makes her home in a small town and from that quiet farmland atmosphere she gives reign to writing her sexy contemporary romance and steamy paranormal shifter romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren't afraid to show some emotion. And she quickly adds that her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing.

That Croix understands the lingo of firefighter talk and outlook is obvious in her Into the Fire series as she introduces the male star of this romance – ‘The chilly rain pelted against my face as I leapt out of the truck. Dashing across the highway, I hurried around the car lying on its side in the ditch. The driver’s side was crumpled, and I couldn’t get a good look at the driver. “Hello? Say something if you can hear me,” I called. Nothing but the sound of the rain drumming on the car answered me. With my heart pounding out a staccato beat, I scanned the scene. The ground was muddy and slick. If I was going to have any luck checking on the driver and getting whoever it was out, I’d have to climb on top of the vehicle, which happened to be the passenger side at the moment. Oblivious to the rain, I rounded the wrecked car and pulled myself up. The passenger side window was broken, so I carefully knocked the glass loose to the ground and glanced through. “Hey…” My words clogged up in my throat, and my heart took off like a rocket. Ella Masters was in a crumpled ball, mostly toward the dashboard. A trickle of blood ran from her forehead down her cheek. I had to force myself to stay focused. This went from a routine rescue to something far too personal the second I laid eyes on her. “Ella, Ella!”.’

The chapters are divided equally between the male (Caleb) and female (Ella) characters and as is her style Croix delivers a tasty summary of the action to get us into her fine little book: ‘Ella - Life isn’t fair. I know that lesson well. I said goodbye to Caleb ten years ago. The boy I once loved is all man now.. As a hotshot firefighter, he’s all about saving others. Life ripped us apart, stealing more than I could’ve imagined. Time didn’t heal all of my wounds, and time never let me forget what we once had. Once again, Caleb comes to my rescue. This time, I’m running from a different set of demons. Maybe this time we have a second chance. Caleb - Fire burns hot and bright. It can destroy everything. Just like it destroyed what I had with Ella. What comes out of the ashes is stronger than ever. Ella meant everything to me once upon a time. We were young and foolish when tragedy tore us apart. She went running, and I was too torn up to chase after her and make it right. They say time heals all wounds. Some things never die, and the fire between us burns hotter than ever. I’ll do anything to keep her safe, to make her mine..’

The firefighter scene and steamy erotica are here and very well delivered. And this is Book 5….what a series she’s created! Grady Harp, April 18

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.