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Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey (Boston Fire #1)


Lydia Kincaid’s shipping back to Boston, but she’s not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother’s a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother’s handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He’s had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it’s her. Aside from being his mentor’s daughter, she’s his best friend’s sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can’t uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia’s flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter’s wife was the hardest thing she’s ever done, and she doesn’t know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can’t imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he’ll have to decide who’s first in his heart.

Source: egalley from Carina Press in exchange for an honest review (thank you!)

Release Date: August 25, 2015

Lydia Kincaid is reluctantly going back to Boston, temporarily, to help her sister, who’s recently separated, and her dad to run the family business, a bar. Having grown up in Boston with her dad and brother as firefighters and marrying a firefighter, she is not ready to get back into that life. Not long after she returns to town, she is struck by an attraction to Aidan, her brother’s best friend and a fellow firefighter. Not that anything can come from it because he’s younger than her and also works with her brother, Scotty, making her attraction forbidden. Aidan is also wildly attracted to Lydia, but he actually makes a move, and they begin a secret relationship to scratch the itch, hoping to get it out of their systems.

This is the first book in the Boston Fire series by one of my favorite authors, and oh, what a great beginning. There were many different conflicts at play here. Aidan sees Lydia’s father as a mentor and surrogate dad. He also works at the same station as Scotty, which makes any person related to or in a previous relationship with Scotty off limits.  For her part, Lydia does not want to become involved with another firefighter.  Her ex used the job as a way to meet women and it is one of the reasons that Lydia has moved out of state.

As Aidan and Lydia’s relationship becomes less about sexual attraction and more about the L word, there is frustration on all sides. Aidan does not like lying to Scotty and everyone else about where he’s going and with whom he spends his time. This, of course, puts a strain on Aidan & Lydia’s relationship, as well as her insistence that she will be moving back out of state as soon as her sister is able to work again. Her sister, Ashley, has a pretty great storyline, as well, involving her uncommunicative and seemingly unemotional husband, Danny, also a firefighter.

It’s been a while since I read any contemporary romance, but this book has made me crave more. Shannon Stacey has a way with characters, making them likable and complex. She is also very good at drawing you into the setting.  I really forgot that the book was set in Boston because it had a very small town vibe about it. I loved that aspect of it. I also loved all the various family dynamics and the thrilling emotional rollercoaster of a romance between Lydia and Aidan.


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