REVIEW: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey
Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.
The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.
As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.
Dear Ms. Stacey,
So far, I’ve loved the Boston Fire books I’ve read. I hoped you’d be continuing it and was thrilled when I saw “Hot Response” on offer to review. The opening scene set up the relationship to date between Gavin and Cait – not great yet but the heat is kinda there. Then … the book slowed down. A lot. To the point where I sat looking at my ereader and saying, ten more pages and if it doesn’t pick up, I’m done.
Once I got past the recap of series events and characters and the local bar there was more information on Cait, her family, her family problems and the still rough-around-the-edges professional relationship she’s got with Gavin. The attraction is there but Gavin busted it down a little when he initially called her ma’am. Nothing kills a woman’s thoughts of asking a hot man out faster than to be “ma’am-ed.” Ouch. Then she says something to him that offends him professionally and their next not-date meeting is an apology. Good that she made it but the pace was crawling.
Then it was like the book kicked into gear. Gavin gets publically caught in the semi-embarrassing act of checking out Cait’s ass – yay for social media. And the ribbing he gets from his fellow firefighters gets him to admit his interest. Learning of her home issues tenders an offer of his apartment for the night so she can have some alone time from the tensions of her recently widowed mother and sulky teenaged brother. Soon things have moved quickly to the point where Gavin is bringing Cait to the firefighters’ local bar as a girlfriend and enduring the attendant teasing.
He thinks they’re ready to take it further but is frustrated that Cait can’t seem to understand that her mother is using her as an easy crutch during her lingering grief. Cait is furious that Gavin can’t understand how depressed her mother has been nor the way Cait thinks Gavin tried to force the issue. With each feeling that they’ve lost half of themselves, is there a way to keep all sides happy as they work on the cracks of the relationship?
So yeah this one took a while to take off for me. Since it’s the fourth book in the series, I can understand some catch-up information both for those of us who have read previous books and more importantly for those who haven’t but this really seemed to drag. Then Cait and Gavin might have felt some sparks but for about a third of the book they were ones that rubbed them the wrong way. It was a lot of meh.
However I will be the first to admit that once I got past all this, things really picked up and got going. After their pizza date, things click for them and their chemistry is sweet as well as smoking. And it’s not just hot sex. I could feel that they were getting along and deepening their relationship in a “could be the one” fashion. They understand and “get” each other and have more in common than just both being first responders and living in Boston. I could feel the frustration as they try to work out what’s bothering them and keeping them from moving even closer. The hurt and pain of thinking they’ve lost each other – over something that feels realistic – is palpable. The way the impediment to their HEA is dealt with might be a little fast but then the situation has been going on for months and had been showing some signs of improvement.
The initial third – hmmm, was not exactly on fire (I know, bad pun in a book about firefighters). The rest though, I enjoyed a lot and especially since it didn’t rely on just first responder incidents to create conflict nor spend all the time in the fire station. So a C+/B+ averaged to a B.