Title: Fan the Flames
Author: Katie Ruggle
Series: Search and Rescue #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Available: 7th June
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…
As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.
Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
I have to admit that at the start, as a non-American, there were probably more guns than I was comfortable with. The sheer ease that people could go in a buy one was a little unnerving, and the casual way she was selling serious weapons to people who shouldn’t have even been looking at such things let alone buying them, was worrying, but by the end I was wondering when Rory was going to pick up a gun and take those, er, people down.
Because that’s what this book – and series – is so good at. It drags me into worlds I’m not always familiar with, immerses me in the story, makes me like the characters and leaves me wanting them to get out and succeed, no matter what. This one also manages to produce a thoroughly adorable romance from two people who are not remotely cute and cuddly in any way, and yet are just so sweet together.
If you read the first book, then you’ll know all about the headless corpse found in the reservoir and the veil of suspicion that’s been thrown over Ian. You’ll also know that (almost) no one believes it. Well, in this book we dig a little deeper – not really into the murder itself, but into Ian’s background and what makes this gorgeous firefighter a suspect. I have to admit I wasn’t entirely convinced about the necklace thing, since the evidence was found long before Rory’s troubles, but the bike club certainly provided a menacing shadow throughout.
I really liked Rory. She has lived a sheltered, skewed kind of life that has prepped her perfectly for a zombie invasion, but not so much for real life. I liked how she is a bit awkward with people, a lot shy with Ian, yet completely capable of taking care of herself when necessary. She’s strong and competent, as well as vulnerable too and I adored how her relationship with Ian progresses.
Oh, Ian! He may have a poster-worthy body and some seriously divided loyalties, but I loved how he came through for Rory – and found her a new family with his firefighting buddies. And the way he’d been carrying his feelings around for her for so long – too adorable. They make an excellent team, and I loved how he gradually sneaks under Rory’s guard throughout. It’s pretty slow going and there’s not a lot of emotional talk, but it fitted the characters and worked really well.
Away from the romance, the suspense side is pretty good too. There are some tense moments, some action bits and plenty of menace. I do kind of wish the murder plot would get wrapped up, since clearly this area has the scope for more than one major crime at a time, but I can see the point of tying the books together with it. However, this also stands alone well enough that you can read it easily without having read the first one.
If you like your romance with a lot of suspense, or your suspense with a bit of romance, like heroes that are sexy and a little dangerous, and heroines who are strong and can easily take care of themselves, then give this a try. There are guns, there is snow, there’s some firefighting, some shooting, lots of friendship, a cute slow-burn romance, an adorable guard dog, some chickens and enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment of the series – can’t wait for the next one!
Fan the Flames is out June 7th!
Visit Katie Ruggle for more details.