Monday, August 24, 2015

Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

Title: Heat Exchange
Author: Shannon Stacey
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Boston Fire #1
Main Characters: Lydia and Aidan
Release Date: August 2015
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
I've always been a fan of Shannon Stacey's writing, but even I was surprised by just how much I loved this book. There are so many amazing characters in it...not just the hero and heroine, Lydia and Aidan, although I absolutely loved both of them.

Lydia grew up in a firefighting family and knows that isn't what she wants in her life...always coming second to the firefighting brotherhood. While she understands that commitment, she doesn't want to live her life like that. As it is, her everyday family is like that...firefighting first, family second...and that's proven over and over throughout this book in both Lydia's circumstances and her sister, too, who's also married to a fireman. It was so easy to see Lydia's side of this. The fact of the matter, these guys do have to put their lives in their fellow firefighter's hands on a daily basis. They creates a strong stronger than the one that comes from home that's too easy to take for granted.

Aidan understands this about Lydia, but that isn't going to change his commitment to the fire department or his partner, Scotty, who just happens to be Lydia's brother. I loved Aidan. He's fully committed as Scotty's best friend and messing with your best friend's sister just isn't done. He knows this and his guilt over the entire situation is so 'there' on the page. He hates this and what he knows it's going to ultimately do to his relationship with Scotty and Tommy, Lydia's father and Aidan's mentor. There's no way this can end well and it's tearing Aidan up. I love how Shannon Stacey explored that with his character. It was all very believable.

But this wasn't just a story about Lydia and Aidan. There were a lot of family dynamics that came into play in this book...both the blood ones and the family made up of the firefighters. The whole reason Lydia is home is because her sister, Ashley, is having problems with her firefighting husband. His family messed up his ability to communicate. Compound that issue on top of a firefighting lifestyle and things are rough between the two of them. Lydia has to deal with her father and brother who are both firefighters and can't see what her issue is. Then there is the crew and the camaraderie down at the fire station and the hit that takes when there's stress among their ranks. 

It was a great book. When I was about 75% of the way through my ARC, I got online to order a print copy of both this one and the second book upcoming in the series. Shannon Stacey has a real winner here and I know I'm coming back for more and will re-read this one more than once.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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