Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Spark & Blaze
SERIES: Guns & Hoses
AUTHOR: Brenda Cothern
PUBLISHER: Wench Publishing, Inc.
LENGTH: 234 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2016
Brett Malone has been working for Tampa Fire Department for over three years and the last thing he needs or wants is a rookie who can’t follow orders on a scene. He doesn’t need to be attracted to the rookie either, especially since his closet door at work is firmly welded shut.
All Evan Carmichael ever wanted to be was a fireman. He graduated top of his class at the Fire Academy, but nothing he learned there prepared him for the harsh reality of the job. Back to back shifts of one trauma call after another send him quickly to his breaking point.
Thankfully, support from his co-workers and the attention from the one fireman he thought hated him, helps him survive his first few brutal shifts. However, it’s attention of another sort that he may not survive at all.
I can’t decide if my favorite series from this lady is this Guns & Hoses series or her Mad Dogs series. But it doesn’t matter, because I jump the minute one comes out in either series! I really enjoy her writing style and characters.
In this latest installment, Spark & Blaze, we are back once again with our familiar characters from the series, predominantly comprised of Tampa police and Tampa Fire and Rescue personnel. This time we’re focused on Brett Malone, a fireman who works with a couple of the guys from the previous books. He is heavily in the closet at work, even though he hangs out at Bradley’s in Ybor City at night picking up guys at the pool table for quick and dirty sex.
Evan Charmichael is the newest rookie at the station house. He starts out on the wrong foot when he questions Brett while they are clearing the building during the fire at the Shadows nightclub. Then he tries to report Brett to their Captain for negligence. Things don’t go so well.
Evan is straight, and Brett is closeted at work. But after a spark, comes a blaze, and neither man is ready for what comes next. Can the guys get by their mutual dislike of each other? Only time will tell.
It is strange sometimes what sticks with you from a book. I loved this story and its characters, but it was a minor character that will haunt me. I was sitting behind a Kia Forte a few minutes ago and found myself feeling really sad. Upon reflection, I realized it was because it was a Forte and I was thinking of little Charlie. You’ll understand what I’m talking about when you read his part of the story.
For those of you who read the Mad Dogs series as well, the fire at Shadows was a direct tie over…but the characters still haven’t met each other. I’m hoping they will at some point! After all, what could be hotter than a bunch of cops, firemen, shifter soldiers, vampires and whatever else all catching up with each other?
Ms. Cothern consistently writes interesting stories. I’ve yet to read one that I didn’t enjoy. I liked this one a lot, and look forward to future installments! The books in this series are all standalone, but it helps if you read them in order since the characters roll forward into subsequent books.