Friday, July 12, 2013

SEEING RED by Jill Shalvis

SEEING RED (Firefighters) by Jill Shalvis
Published: August 6, 2013, Forever Yours

Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Twelve years ago, Summer Abrams barely survived a fire that destroyed her family's warehouse and took her father's life. It was also the last time she saw her next door neighbour and best friend. She packed up and left town shortly after she recovered, to get away from the grief and the memories. She makes her life as an outdoor guide and only returns for brief visits. But now the same warehouse, which is still in the family, was hit with another fire, and Summer comes home to Ocean Beach to help her mother deal with the investigation.

As an eighteen year old, Joe Walker was head over heels for Summer, but she never saw him as more than her best friend. Seeing her after all these years at the same warehouse, at yet another fire is more than a little unsettling. But as one of the fire marshals, it look like Joe has no choice but to deal with the one person he had ever been close to, the only one who made his childhood bearable. This time though, he is determined not to lose his heart again, and have her walk away.

Summer recognizes Joe immediately, but only because she had known him so well. He had grown into a big, strong and very sexy and self-assured man, and she felt an immediate physical response to him.
But there was so much awkwardness between them, much left unsaid and undone. For the most part from her side, and she feels she needs to explain, to apologize, but words have never come easy. Joe can still read her like a book though, just like he could when they were younger. 

Summer decides to stick around Ocean Beach until the investigation has come to a conclusion, and temporarily work with her mother and aunt in their business.  Just when she is about to leave, there is another fire, and Summer wont be leaving after all. As her encounters with Joe are heating up and her feelings become more involved, someone is starting to send threats. 

Joe was set on keeping is distance, but how is he supposed to keep her safe and not give in to his feelings for her at same time. When Summer finally decides to make a leap of faith, she may already be too late.....


A story from Jill Shalvis' Firefighter Series, originally published in 2004-2005 and re-released in 2013, this is the third and last book.

As a romantic suspense novel, SEEING RED, does not disappoint! Engaging from the prologue onward, there wasn't a moment where I wanted to rush the story along, or felt dissatisfied. The pacing was perfect, the buildup of suspense nicely executed, and the chemistry flawlessly translated into words, just as I have become accustomed to in Ms Shalvis' writing.

The characters, Joe and Summer, had me a little frustrated at times. The push and pull of their interactions and the indecisiveness with respect to their relationship is just something that goes against my nature. I am all for throwing your stuff out on the table and dealing with things head on. The fact that Joe continues getting suckered in to letting Summer use him for what amounts to a physical release, without him laying down he law, just doesn't sit well with me. But this is all about differences in personality, between the characters and myself....and the fact that I managed to get engaged enough to actually get frustrated with them, shows the quality of the author, in making the characters come alive on paper. So if this is a reflection on Ms. Shalvis, it would only be in the most positive of ways, her talent in creating credible people from words alone.

Having said that,  I would not have minded seeing some of the secondary stories a bit more particular the connection between Joe's partner and Summer's mother. Now that is an interesting sub-plot right there, older woman with tons of baggage, with younger man. 

As a mother, one thing tugs at my protective instincts, though. Would I ever, in any way, put my sibling's needs over even the remotest possibility of a threat to one of my children??? The answer is a solid NO. 
And once you have read the book, you will hopefully understand what I am alluding to with that statement.

A scorching hot and twisted tale of love and connections!!

**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in return for an honest review.**

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