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5.0 out of 5 starsLove Liam!!!
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2017
I love Liam!! In the first two books in the series he stood out to me with his range of emotions and love for his family. He felt strongly about his 2 sons with no regard to himself and getting along in his life after his wife Kitty had died of cancer. It has been three years since her death and he is ready to get on with his life and enter Sophie, a firefighter. There is an instant attraction to each other, she starts working part-time at the O'Neil pub and they are thrown together. The issue that comes between them is the fact she is a firefighter, loves her job, is used to the danger of entering a burning building and this concerns Liam. His youngest son Mike has a fear of everyone leaving him because of his mothers death and Liam becomes over protective of him. Mike becomes close to Sophie and Liam doesn't want to see his son go through losing another person he loves in his life. Liam is not sure he can handle Sophie continuing as a firefighter and she is not giving up her job. Will they work it out? Can they give up each other? Great story and look forward now to the next brothers story.
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2019
This was my first book by the author and I don't think I'll be getting any more. From the reviews I think some of her other stories are better, but from the glimpse into the characters and narration I got here, I'm just not interested in anything else. My problems are: 1. The depiction of dialogues between men (I'm a woman, but they just read really forced and over-the-top and super stereotypical and at the same time corny, I just didn't buy into anything the men said between themselves and thought it was bascially what a female author thought it should be to fit the storyline - kind of reminds me why Jane Austen never depicted men talking only by themselves, because she had no idea how they spoke without being in the presence of women). 2. There were too many characters and it was very difficult to follow who was who and what their relationship was and things like that. I think the plot should've been trimmed regarding that (have more of them be traveling, or if they show up, have them barely interact because I seriously don't care if someone has marital problems if I don't remember who she or he is and what their relationship is to the main characters). 3. Some lines of dialogue were over-expository and they just seemed dumb: "Yes, I'm at your sister-in-law's house" says Sophie at one point - as if the male character doesn't know who his sister-in-law is. I get it, it's a reinforcement for readers, but if you think your readers aren't able to follow that, then maybe reconsider how you phrase it. 4. The arsonist thing was unrelated to the main plotline and was meant to add tension but I just skimmed through it. 5. The relationship was super slow and the characters had cero chemistry - yes, he's hot, yes, she's hot, but between them, meh...
I didn't hate the writing, although there were a few instances in which certain terms or phrases were used incorrectly. I don't know if there wasn't an editor or what happened, but I feel like, overall, this could've been trimmed and plotwise, better structured.
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2018
Liam wife died three years ago, his youngest son Michael seems to be taking it the hardest, looking sad all the time. Cleary his other boy seemed to be okay. Liam feels better now that he pulling his weight of earning, now with fixing breakfast at the pub. Sophia is working at the pub, to earn extra, her regular job is a firefighter. Attracted to her,but she has a dangerous job, doesn’t want to risk losing someone again. His family tellIng him like it is, and they have his back. They want to see him, find someone and be a family again, they can tell he is angry and lonely. Her books are real, of the emotion that Liam is going thru. Makes good reading of how it was handled.
So many contemporary romances put sexual exploits ahead of relationship development that I was surprised at the time this author took to develop both main characters as well as their often difficult relationship.
One of the most interesting aspects of this novel is that the usual roles of the two main characters. Liam is the lonely, still grieving widower raising his two sons in the bosom of his large, extended family. He co-owns a bar with his brothers and is their chief cook. Sophie is a fireman on dangerous active duty. Firefighting has been her dream since the age of 10 and she has confronted both the physical demands of the job as well as the prejudices inherent in a male dominated field. Their outlooks, deepest concerns and perspectives are flip-flopped from what you’d find in many contemporary romances out today,
The central conflict is Liam’s deep concern over becoming involved with a women he might potentially lose to the hazards of her job. His sons are still dealing with the death of their mother so his concerns are justified. I found his sensitivity to his sons’ needs and his concerns for them as well as himself, a bit unusual when most contemporary novels promote the ultra-masculine, dominant alpha male. It’s refreshing to see a man with a well developed sense of responsibility to his children’s emotional health. Liam is no weakling, but he puts his kids front and center.
I also liked the communication between the two main characters. There were no contrived, silly misunderstandings, closely guarded, hurtful secrets or silences between the two. I feared that Sophie would cave in to Liam’s demands to leave the fire service but what they ultimately decided was realistic and respectful of both of their needs.
Bottom line: this is a contemporary romance for grownups that even though it is the 4th book in the series, can be read as a stand-alone. I applaud Ms. Shay for creating unique, relatable characters.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2019
Liam had been living the life of a widower looking after his two boys when he first met Sophie. She was the first women that had taken his interest in a long time but as their relationship developed so did his concerns about her job as a firefighter. His youngest son was still suffering from the loss of his mum and he broke off with her. The story is about the danger in her work and how they try to make it work.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2012
Firstly I will say this about Kathryn Shay. She knows how to write a sex scene. The couples are more than likely to be half undressed in front of the milkman as they finish rather than spending 14 hours christening every room in the house (which they do after).
I have to say this book was my favourite of them all, however certain bits of it didn't quite 'fit'. It read at a steady pace and gave the characters a bit more time to develop. I thought Liam's depression could have had some more depth, he went from depressed to confident sexual 'god' in about 3 pages. However I did enjoy this book. Good story about 2nd time love. I liked the banter with the brothers and it was quick witted and sharp.
I must say one of my favourite things about Kathryn Shay's books, the main characters are slightly older (late 30's and 40's) it made a change and gave them a bit of background and life.
You would need to read the other 0'Neil books before you read this one without a doubt. You would feel you have missed out on the other brothers romances otherwise.
Liam potentially the saddest of the brothers since his wife's death 3 yrs earlier finally meets a woman who make him want to jump back into the ring. However she is in danger every time she goes to work because she is one of America's Bravest. As a fire fighter she is used to placing herself in danger but it becomes their hearts that are more in danger here. Again the O'Neil men struggle with the strong women entering their lives. Again lots of action thrills and spills. arsonists, missing brothers, babies on the way and a relentless reporter who just won't take her teeth out of their backsides. beautifully written series that has me laughing and crying equally. Tying in with previous series read on America's Bravest series post 9/11 very factual as well as entertaining. loved it loved it loved it.
Another well observed story by Kathryn. Liam loved his wife and his children are now all he has. He's ready to date again but chooses a redheaded firefighter. Sophie is committed to her career despite the danger. Liam isn't sure he can expose his young children to another loss. Just a great story.
Although I found the book a bit repetitive there was enough substance to keep me reading. I would have liked a bit more about the sub plot in this book, it was there in the background and did have a few pages dedicated to it but then the ending did seem a bit rushed.