Title: Burning with Desire
Author: Patricia W. Fischer
Series: Men of Marietta #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 18th April
As the new owner of the Main Street Diner, chef Gabriella Marcos has taken a huge risk. After being duped by her fiancé and her boss, she invested her entire savings into a place she’s never seen, in a town called Marietta she’s never been to and brought her reluctant teenage daughter along for the adventure. Gabriella is also determined to prove to her overprotective family that she doesn’t need a man to make her life complete. Too bad her sexy new neighbor is impossible to ignore.
Since arriving in Marietta last summer, fireman Kyle Cavasos has enjoyed the anonymity that small town life provides. It’s a far cry from the opulence of Bel Air where he grew up. Here, he can be a Navy vet and a first responder, not the love child who caused a flurry of gossip and tabloid headlines decades ago. Kyle has no intention of getting involved with anyone in Marietta until Gabriella moves in and life gets interesting. Fast.
Despite agreeing to pose for the Marietta Men For All Seasons calendar in order to raise money for Harry’s House, Kyle hopes to stay out of the social media chaos, while he gets to know the new girl in town better. But when the calendar goes viral, will it all come crashing down for the both of them?
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
Well, having been waiting to see what Kyle’s secretive nature was all about since the start of this series, I’m sad to say I found this a rather underwhelming read. It isn’t bad, but it didn’t thrill me either. Kyle seems nice enough, Gabriella is also nice and Marietta is there in the background, but… well, it’s all a bit bland.
Kyle and Gabriella are attracted to each other from the start. There’s no mystery, no messing around, they like each other and they’re not afraid to show it. Despite this, they want to take things slow, which is fine, but it also felt a bit forced because without that there really is nothing keeping these two apart for so long. The only cloud on their horizon is Kyle’s past, and since I fully understood his reasons for keeping his secrets, it also felt like a storm in a teacup waiting to happen for the entire book.
There’s also a lot about family being what you make it and not just being down to blood. For both characters. Gabriella’s daughter also has a hard time with this, and worrying about moving to a new town, but thankfully Marietta’s finest are on hand to help out.
In all it’s not a bad read, but I expected more… more romance, more drama, more something, I can’t even put my finger on it. Not much happens, to be honest, and even though I liked the characters, they never quite drew me in enough to get over the lack of everything else. Especially when it was obviously all moving towards one big showdown at the end, which then turned rather too cheesy and perfect for my liking.
So it’s okay. Not my favourite of the series, but definitely not the worst. Overall, this series promised a lot and sadly didn’t quite deliver. I loved the idea of all these first responders, with or without the calendar shoot, but barely any of them did any real work, which made the whole “first responders” draw a bit hollow. Still, it’s always nice to spend time in Marietta, and I hope to see more of Harry’s House in the future.
Burning with Desire is out April 18th.
Visit Patricia W. Fischer for more details.