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Publisher's Summary

A Balls to the Wall Romance

Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands 5-foot-6, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate - and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe - humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life - his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

©2017 Tara Lain (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fire Balls

3.5 Stars

This book is on the shorter side but still cute and pretty light and fun to read and listen to. The romance is a little fluffy, but the storyline is pretty straightforward and flows well. The timeline in this book is really fast, taking place over the course of like a week or so.

The characters meet. Go on dates with others. Go on dates with each other. Have sex with others. Have sex with each other. It’s all a little messy, but still on the fun side. You really cannot take this book seriously, since it’s a little over the top ridiculous in the romance department, but it is still cute.

Rodney is an artist who paints portraits of naked men. He is outgoing, outrageous and a little over the top in everything he does, and also has a little twist to his personality and character that you wouldn’t really expect till you get to that part of the story. He’s a great friend to the people he is close to. One of his close friends is Jerry. Jerry and Rodney both see the same guy, “Hunter”, and instantly fall into lust with him. But Jerry scores a date with the hunky firefighter first…

It all gets really messy and complicated from that point on… There’s quite a bit of hot sex in the book. There’s some homophobic and family drama. There’s a fire. There’s some other stuff thrown in as well. Overall I have to say it’s another good addition to this series.

Audio – Nick J. Russo does a great job with this one and keeping his voice on point with Rodney’s character. I think he really captured everyone’s voices and personalities well in this audiobook. I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Two worlds collide.

Fire Balls is the second novel in the Balls to the Wall series but can definitely be listened to as a stand-alone. Characters from the first novel make an appearance but knowing their back stories isn’t necessary to fully enjoy this one.

Rodney Mansfield is a gifted artist who paints under the pseudonym Roman. His magnificent artwork features beautiful nude men, and with his paintings selling like hot cakes at the Laguna beach Art Festival, Rodney should be on cloud nine. His secret crush on a stunning local fireman leaves Rodney feeling like something is missing, however. Being a sassy flamboyant young man with dyed white hair with bright pink or blue streaks, multiple ear piercings and brightly coloured clothing make him a hard man to overlook. That fact alone is enough to make the stunning fireman wary, and Rodney’s unrequited crush could be permanent; much to his chagrin. Rodney has a black belt in Karate but it’s his inner strength that has the potential to break down his crush’s walls, particularly if he can accept Rodney for the amazing man he is and ignore his preconceived ideas, and the opinion of others.

Hunter Fallon is a 6’2” hunk of a man who has spent his life trying to meet his father’s expectations. Hunter believes that his father’s acceptance of him is conditional on him being a man’s man. Living out his father’s dream of being a firefighter and dating masculine me, like Rodney’s surfer friend Jerry, might make his father happy, but Hunter is not living authentically and it’s making him question his choices. When Hunter follows Jerry’s urging to become a model for Rodney, unexpected longing takes root and try as he might Hunter can’t seem to resist Rodney’s charm. Getting bullied at the station, and talking to Rodney about poetry as he poses, sets Hunter to thinking about his long held desire to put his Masters in Literature to use teaching. Other unexpected desires are surfacing too and it all comes to a head when his family visits and Rodney confronts the firehouse bully with some skilful karate moves. A house fire that endangers Rodney’s life is the final straw, and Hunter is finally forced to face up to what he really needs to be happy moving forward.

Fire Balls is an audiobook you can enjoy, and finish, over one relaxing afternoon.
Nick J. Russo provides a flawless voice performance, perfectly capturing the character’s voices and personalities. I was very absorbed in Tara Lain’s storytelling but there were moments that felt rushed and I would have preferred Jerry and Hunter’s arc to be resolved before the relationship with Rodney progressed. This may not be an issue for other readers however and I still found Fire Balls to be a highly enjoyable listening experience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 11-30-18

Fun and flirty romance

I am the first to admit I rarely read a book twice or listen to a book I read. Fireballs is such a fun flirty book that I just had to listen to! Especially with a narrator like Nick J Russo.
Roman is a sought after painter. Rod is a shy man that hides his heart thinking he isn't good enough for the man of his dreams. His best friend Jerry sees Hunter and also likes him. but Jerry is a surfer dude that wants Rod's help to get hunter. So being the guy he is Rod never tells Jerry his feelings and helps.
This is such a fun, flirty story. I loved all the characters in this book and the series is great too.
Nick J. Russo gives each character a unique voice and I laughed at Jerry's surfer voice with all the added dudes and slang.He gives the story emotion and keeps you intrigued trough each hour and wanting more.
I hope you enjoy this book and series as much as I do! I highly recommend it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Balls to the Wall #2

Nick J. Russo delivers a good performance with individual character voices and plenty of emotion, but not good enough to get me over the issues I had with the story itself.

The dialogue felt forced, the main characters, Hunter and Rod, date other men through more than half of the book, and Rod and Hunter have sex with each other when Hunter is still dating/having sex with Rod's friend.

So..not my jam, but the narration was fun.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Strong sequel and so well conveyed.

I really enjoyed the role reversal in this story and how both the Author and the Narrator both added to and advance the story with their own portrayal of the words. Hunter has to be on his game at all times on the job and in public, but when he's alone with Rod, there's something in the air and about Rod's personality that allows Hunter to let down his guard, be himself and truly open up.

Nick Russo does a great job bringing these guys to life and I always enjoy the stories he tells. I liked this book and the characters more so than the ones in book one. Happy that I took a chance on this one!