I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
I felt a whole gamut of emotions with this wonderful book and world that Kristen Ashley has created. I love that in this Colorado Mountain series, K.A. has lingered in the town of Carnal. In the previous book, "Sweet Dreams" with Lauren and Tate's story, we see that Carnal was establishing the beginnings of community and belonging among the people who were slightly oppressed by the corrupt police department. But, no one had experienced that suppression more than Ty Walker, a half Black man who was targeted and set up for a crime he didn't commit all due to his skin color & a hidden, malicious agenda. Lexie Berry enters his life unexpectedly and ends up being his greatest tonic for dealing with the loss of freedom, power and his blood thirst for vengeance.
Now, with any of K.A. books, this one provides fantastic hero/heroine chemistry with a sexy, badass Alpha-male and a fun, beautiful, classy, and just a little goofy heroine. After reading one of K.A.'s books, I always come away feeling like she has solved the gender war, as she celebrates complete masculinity in the male leads, and a lovely, strong femininity in the heroine. And, in that respect, I loved both Ty and Lexie...I mean the pair smoldered together! Their sex appeal and connection was powerful and simply perfect.
This book also made me feel completely sad with a awful sinking feeling in my stomach, at times, because of the theme of prejudice in relation to people of color. There are also some very rocky parts of the H/h relationship that seriously conjured up my tears. Yet, the moments of elation and triumph for Ty and his beautiful sunshine, Lexie, were amazing!
This book progressed and built itself up in stages both in their relationship with one another and their involvement with their friends from town. OMG, there are so many powerful moments in this book. I will always remember Ella's (Lexie's mother figure) talk with Ty about coping with generational racism and how to deal.....OMG...POWERFUL!!!!
The villains are pure evil and they get their just reward in the end. But, a murder is left unsolved and that pushes readers forward into the next book WHICH I'M DYING FOR THE AUDIOBOOK TO BE RELEASED!!! Lastly, the epilogue was emotional, and superb. Not everyone gets their HEA, but those who really work hard at it definitely reach their HEA, including Ty and Lexie.
Narrator: Emma Taylor is a gifted and talented narrator. SHe was excellent in every accent and male/female role she took on. The only small complaint I have is about Officer Pena...I thought she laid on the Mexican accent way too thick. Otherwise, Emma T. is pretty close to perfect, as a narrator, in my book.
OK, the only negative and this is a big one for me is that I HATE it when the F-word is inserted in the middle of Jesus Christ. I think it's awful, disrespectful and unnecessary. I've never heard anyone talk this way in real life and I wish K.A. could use another string of curse words for her male leads to use that is not so offensive to a wide part of the population. I know it's completely jarring and offensive to me.
But on a positive note.....CAN'T WAIT FOR CHACE AND FAYE'S STORY IN BREATHE!!!!
OH WOW! TAKE ME TO THE BEAUTIFUL BLUFF AND COLORADO FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL AUDIOBOOK!
Nina resides in England and decides to take a 2-week "time-out" from her fiancé Niles. Who is completely oblivious to her emotional plight and needs. She rents an A-frame home nestled in the mountains of Colorado and finds that it's inhabited by the owner Max, who is not happy she's there. Yet, the misunderstanding of this booking is just the right set up for a Mountain Man to fall in love with a chic, beautiful woman whom he challenges to take a gamble on love with him. If it's hard to imagine a Mountain Man and a classy lady, then take the gamble to read this incredible story about recognizing something precious and fighting for it, despite the odds.
Regarding the leads, there were things I loved and disliked about Max and Nina, but I think that's what makes their characters more realistic. Max wields this quiet strength and dominates in a subtle, possessive manner. He's not one to explain his thoughts, feelings or background, even though he seeks to pull down Nina's emotional shields. I loved that Max made his mind up about Nina very quickly and he was determined to make her stay with him….forever. I also loved the little things that Max did. He seemed to touch Nina all the time--the sweet almost subconscious touches throughout the day, and he really listened to the things that were important to her. Also, his endearments for Nina were so darn sexy!!! ( DUCHESS, darlin', and baby).
Now, Nina is simply adorable! She has this effortless charm, intelligence and beauty that captures people's attention, unbeknownst to her. I love that she loves make-up, fashion, coupled with her genuine love for people and her courage get down to the nitty-gritty of issues is what makes her one awesome, strong heroine.
Nina finds herself in a whirlwind as Max sweeps her off of her feet in a love development that evolves around the countless needs of the townspeople who are a big part of Max's life and the bevy of characters from Nina's life who also come to make this one big adventure! Yet, there is also danger, and a murder to be solved and Max and Nina find themselves heavily involved in the solving of that case.
This book is long and if you enjoy really getting into background and character development with townspeople who are larger than life in the mountains in Colorado, then this will be a audiobook dream because Emma Taylor is an excellent narrator as she brings these characters to life! I loved this audiobook! And, since I've been running out of credits fast, it was perfect due to the length.
Lastly, the sequence of events that brought this book to a culminating end was fascinating, and so unexpected! K.A. is an exquisite writer as she keeps readers on their toes. I particularly love K.A uncanny ability to write about alpha males and the sassy, strong heroines who catch their attention. And, this romance between Max and Nina really caught my heart and attention. This story was sealed with an epilogue that was just gorgeous….so fulfilling, so endearing and so beautiful!
It's true that this book is somewhat of a departure from KA's style of combining action sequenced drama intertwined with her romances. This book is more centered on the relationship and love development between a very unlikely couple….Hopper "Hop" Kincaid, hot, tatted-up, Chaos MC biker and classy, beautiful lady, Lanie Heron.
We were introduced to both in Tack & Tyra's book (Motorcycle Man). Lanie is Tyra's best friend who had almost gotten killed because she stuck by her man (finance, Elliot Bellova) even after finding out about all of the trouble he was in due to his involvement with the Russian mob. Elliot was killed and Lanie became collateral damage as she experienced her own traumatic life events that the Chaos MC saved her from. For this, Lanie is a friend of the club and hangs out with Tyra and the gang at the compound. Lanie's beauty, cuteness (her flair for silly drama), and her "bedroom eyes" had gotten her noticed and admired by Hopper for years, but she was "class" and definitely not his usual type. Yet, it all changes when Lanie propositions Hopper for a " no complication, one night stand." (this proposition is in the prologue of the book, but not on the audiobook, unfortunately).
There are a lot of things I loved about Hop and Lanie's love affair. First of all, I love a hot, affectionate relentless alpha-male, and Hop is definitely that! Although it was Lanie who first initiated the rendezvous, it's Hop who insists on the continuation of the romance. And, this book is really a beautiful tribute of love between Hope and Lanie. Lanie has issues and Hop is patient and promises to help her win the battle with "the monster (the problems that tear her up from the inside out)." Hop is a great combination of classic biker tough and sweet, as honey, romantic. I thought it was so endearing to see how Hop cherished Lanie and told her how he'd never had "class" before. He almost displays a tender reverence or admiration for Lanie and formulates his own ideas on how Lanie needs to be treated, as a "lady"---_ Those parts are just cute and sweet. Lanie is definitely the damsel in distress here (but more due to psychologically-haunting issues), and she relents to Hop's advances and care of her. She also spoils Hop with her cooking, her deep love for him and his children.
For most of the book, their romance was blissful, but OMG, when these lovers fight while trying to merge both of their pasts, added to that, when both get mad at the same time---WATCH OUT! The drama that ensued between the lovers was really the only conflict that needed to be resolved along with telling others about their secret affair. If you are a helpless romantic and appreciate a great love story that centers on the individuals in the relationship, then you will love "Fire Inside."
Narrator: Kate Russell did a great job, as she always has with KA's audiobooks. Great listen!