During Flynn Bensen‘s last wildfire rescue, a woman died despite Flynn’s best efforts to save her. He can’t escape his sense of failure or recurring nightmares, but he can escape to Marietta, Montana, to a new job as the head of Crawford County Search and Rescue. When he meets his scorching hot co-worker on his first day, Flynn feels like he might have just jumped from one wild fire to another that threatens to burn out of control despite his determination to keep a safe distance.
Outspoken, direct, and ambitious Kat Robinson isn’t thrilled to have a new boss—after all, if the timing had been different, she’d have been a shoe-in for Flynn’s job. But a single mom of a ten-year-old son knows where her priorities lay—with Brady, the light of her life. No way is she looking for a relationship and co-workers are always off limits. Too bad Flynn’s so darn hot, gorgeous, kind and authentic.
Will Flynn be the hero Kat needs to help her find the courage to fall in love again?
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
Ah, it’s so nice to be back in Marietta again, but especially back with the Big Sky Mavericks bunch. Although this book isn’t technically about the Zabrinskis, they’re certainly around and making themselves known – not least because Flynn’s younger brother, Ryker (Montana Darling), is about to marry into the family.
I like Flynn. He’s friendly and hard working and haunted by the rescue that went wrong. He’s also carrying a few emotional wounds from the failure of his marriage. He’s come to Marietta to make a fresh start and hopefully find peace from his nightmares. What he finds instead is Kat, a woman he can’t help being drawn to even though he’s sworn off workplace relationships. I really liked the way he sees Kat, how he calls her Katherine and makes time for her son as well as her, even when he’s trying to fight his attraction. I also really loved his relationship with his two best friends. They’re quite the dynamic trio, heroes at heart, but with very different outlooks on life.
As for Kat, she’s great. She and Flynn click right from the start, having similar goals at work and ideas for the future. I absolutely loved her relationship with Brady, her young son who is borderline autistic. She’s positive and understanding and Brady’s own portrayal is wonderfully done. He’s super smart, but at ten doesn’t always think things through – and not only because he’s not great at interacting with other people. I loved how Kat helps him to manage that, without taking over. Added to all of this are secrets from Kat’s past and her own family history of Alzheimer’s, both of which only add to the strength and struggle of her history and future.
However, I can’t help feeling that with so much going on in this book some other things were quietly pushed aside or ignored altogether. Flynn’s nightmares, for example, didn’t play as large a part as I expected, while the shady doings of his predecessor at Search and Rescue faded into the background. I also expected more to come of Janet’s antagonist approach. I can see why these things were quietly pushed aside, because everything else definitely takes over and there wouldn’t have been room for them, but there was so much early effort put into building them up that I felt they weren’t given the resolutions they maybe deserved.
So the plot does feel a little mixed at times, but the romance is lovely right from the start. These two make such a great team and I loved how they drew each other into their worlds, sharing friends on one side and family experiences on the other. This book also neatly sets up where the Big Sky Maverick series is headed next, now that the Zabrinskis are all paired off, leaving plenty of fodder for the future. Enjoyable and easy with a bit of excitement and a touch of emotional turmoil, I really enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to see which of Flynn’s friends is up next.
Montana Hero is out August 13th!
Visit Debra Salonen for more details.