Monday, September 23, 2013

Early Review of How to Tame a Wild Fireman (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel, #4) by Jennifer Bernard

Title:How to Tame a Wild Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel
Series: Bachelor Firemen
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (September 24, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062273655
ISBN-13: 978-0062273659
Author's Website:
Notes: Received and eARC from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to go home...

Patrick 'Psycho' Callahan's life was sent off coarse ten years ago when he and his brother were involved in a life threatening accident. At the time, he'd been enrolled at Princeton with a career in Law or politics in his foreseeable future. But one tragic night changed everything. His father blamed him for his younger brother's near death and cast him out of the family. After finding himself banned from the hospital his brother was recovering at, he finally took the hint and left, never to return. Secretly, he blamed himself too.

While Patrick may have found his calling--to be a firefighter--that night, he lost a part of himself that has never been restored. While usually well hidden and not blatantly obvious, it subtly could be seen in the way he took chances, risking his own life at times, when others would not. While Captain Brody may not have clearly seen it, he could sense something, and so when Patrick did something really stupid--getting drunk and stealing a construction company's equipment in an attempt to dig a swimming pool/hot tub in the firehouses back yard--he sent him to Nevada where a wildfire was raging out of control near Patrick's hometown of Loveless, Nevada.

When Lara Nelson left Loveless, Nevada years ago she did so with a smile. After her parents deaths, she'd come to live with her aunt who was the equivalent to Dr. Ruth with, at one time, her own radio show called 'Ask the Sex Guru'. Her aunt also owned and ran a center called the Haven for Sexual and Spiritual Healing. Because of her aunt's unorthodox profession, Lara, as you can imagine, was the butt of constant jokes, smirks, snide remarks and speculation. She'd had a best friend who helped her get through it all, but upon graduation she'd left and never looked back. She'd become a respected doctor and loved her job. Now upon her aunt's death, she's inherited the Haven for Sexual and Spiritual Healing and has come back to Loveless to decide what to do with the facility.

Before either Lara and Patrick had left Loveless, they'd known each other fairly well because Patrick's younger brother, Liam, was Lara's best friend. While sparks of attraction had been lit before the night that had changed everything, neither had ever acknowledged or acted upon them. Now seeing each other in the midst of one of the area's worst wildfires, those sparks will be rekindled and ignite into something to rival the fire raging around them.

Can I just say I simply adore Ms. Bernards books? They're fresh, smart, funny, and I love them all. This is the fourth book in The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series and I truly enjoyed  it. If you haven't read the previous books in the series, don't worry, they can be read as standalones. Each book focuses on a different couple, so you won't feel lost. The common thread that binds them all together are the firemen and firewomen from the San Gabriel firehouse and the supposed curse that is believed to plagues them all--"According to firehouse legend, Virgil Rush, a volunteer fireman from the 1850's, had been heartbroken when Constancia B. Sidwell, his mail order bride, had run off with a robber on her way West. The other firemen, always quick to tease, tormented him so much he laid a curse on the town vowing that the firemen of San Gabriel would have as much trouble finding love as he had. Ever since then, the firehouse had possessed an unusually high number of bachelors."

I just love the background Ms. Bernard created for Lara. Just try to picture in your mind, if you will, being the niece of Dr. Ruth, the famous sex therapist, because Lara's aunt essentially does the same thing. I can only imagine all the jokes and what not that would come along with the territory. People getting the wrong idea about you. People giving you a hard time not to mention all the advice your aunt would probably try to feed you. The fact that Lara lived with her aunt at a facility named the Haven for Sexual and Spiritual Healing could only have made matters worse. Not to mention that she moved in with her aunt during those awkward preteen years of middle school and continued to live with her during high school when most people are just trying to find and define themselves. She's smart, strong, loyal and a bit of a spitfire and I'm sure part of that can be attributed to what she went through in school. 

Patrick is the type of guy girls swoon over. He's never been serious about any woman, but seeing Lara again seems to wake something inside him. There is something about her that he responds to. He finds her opinion of him matters more than just about anyone else's, but the fact she is his brother's best friend makes him hesitate to make a move. I love that this gorgeous hunk of a man is unsure of himself around her, but can't help teasing and provoking her because, unlike most woman, he feels at ease with her and eventually can't help himself.  

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. A wonderful combination of humor, romance, and family healing which gave the book a rather well-rounded feel. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. If you haven't yet tried this series, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Reading Ms. Bernard's books always put me in a good mood.

Order of the series:

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