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Publisher's Summary

California firefighter Hayden Hurst is starting to realize there’s more to life than fighting fires and drinking with his buddies. He has room in his home and his life for someone special, but no one has stood out among his hookups. And while he’s out at work, admitting he’s gay is very different from showing up at social functions with a man. He’s afraid that’ll be too much for his less-than-accepting “friends”.

Broadway dancer Jez Bouchet hasn’t been mistaken for straight since he was gay-bashed at 17. After getting a lucrative job offer in Hollywood, he uproots his life in New York and drives to Los Angeles. His brother, who is Hayden’s best friend, arranges for him to crash at Hayden’s place.

The attraction between Hayden and Jez is unexpected but fiery, and they succumb before they’re even sure they like each other. But Jez hates Hayden’s homophobic friends, and Hayden knows Jez is too flamboyant for him to fly under the radar. Then there’s the complication of Jez’s brother.

Despite those hurdles, they fling themselves into a relationship. But Jez has secrets: a tiny spoiled dog and a determined stalker. If he doesn’t come clean, he might torch their burgeoning relationship before it has a chance to bloom.

©2018 KC Burn (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Belgium, Europe
  • 09-09-18

Sweet and entertaining. Amazing narration!

Overall:
Wonderful story with two amazing MC’s, both of whom have known serious pain and loss in the past.
It’s heartwarming to see how they handle this together, coming out so much stronger with the other’s support and love.
There’s also a very welcome cuteness overload, not in the least thanks to the “third” in their relationship…Fang.
Sweet and entertaining read with an immensely satisfying HEA.

Story:
The attraction between Jez and Hayden flares up hot and bright from the moment they set eyes on each other, but they each have their reasons for not immediately acting on it.

There are some obstacles in their way: Jez is Hayden’s best friend’s little brother, he’s also hiding something, Hayden makes some wrong assumptions, neither of them is winning any prizes as far as communication goes and then there are Hayden’s so-called friends, Vic and Jordan, who are continually spouting off homophobic, racist and misogynistic slurs.
Hayden’s so afraid of rocking the boat and losing his “friends” that he pretends, even to himself, that all of that is said “jokingly”.

Once Hayden’s blinders are off, he stands up for himself and for what he wants. I love how sweet he is with Jez, how accepting of his veganism, and he’s simply too adorable when he finds out Jez brought a stowaway into his house. Enter Fang…the cutest of all pugs in the history of pugs.

The stalker plot was very well executed and brought some welcome suspense to the story, the threat of creepy Jason hanging like a cloud over Jez’s new-found happiness and exacerbating his anxiety. Is he making it all up in his head, or is there really trouble in paradise?

Miguel, Hayden’s best friend and Jez’s older brother, is a very unlikely, though endearing matchmaker. He doesn’t make a good first impression on the reader, very much like his brother in terms of avoidance tactics, but he grows on you once he finally gets around to having a heart to heart with Jez and Hayden.
Hearing about what happened to Jez from his perspective was enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time.

I loved the writing style and the build-up of this story. The author brings us some beautiful and poignant imagery throughout the book to describe our MC’s state of mind. I was especially moved by Hayden’s painful realization he’s been bleeding from a thousand cuts without even knowing it.

Narration:
The narrator, Darcy Stark, was a revelation. He has great acting skills and easily draws you into the story, setting the right mood and making the characters come to life. He did wonderfully distinct and fitting voices for both MC’s, and also did a great job at differentiating the voices for the secondary characters.
I especially loved the narration in the scenes that were more emotionally intense, with heartbreak, pain, hope and fear each coming across so clearly in the narrator’s voice, making you feel all of it too, right alongside the MC’s. This book was truly a pleasure to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Attraction Ignites

Set Ablaze, by KC Burn is a complicated second chance “missed opportunity” mess, but in a wonderful way. With difficult pasts and multiple issues facing two men upon their reconnection, one has to wonder – “how will this work out?” Add in mystery, homophobic nut cases, and family drama – and there is one heck of a mess to sort through. But, don’t dismay, KC will take you through it all with style.

Macho Firefighter Hayden Hurst isn’t hiding in the closet, but he certainly doesn’t stand up for himself either. He has a set of true friends and some work “friends” who consistently make horrid remarks disguised in jest. Unfortunately, and potentially subconsciously, these “friends” have shaped his beliefs in love and relationships.

Jez Bouchet is a rising dancer/star; there is no way he will ever be mistaken for straight. Jez has been through a lot, including a gay bashing at the age of seventeen. Realizing his life in New York is unhealthy, not what he needs, and pretty abominable, Jez accepts a job on the West Coast.

As Jez heads west, Hayden’s best friend, Miguel begs Hayden for a favor. “‘You remember my baby brother Jez?’” All Hayden remembers, from when he left for Pasadena, is a gangly eighteen year old. Well, Jez is grown up now, needs a place to stay, and Hayden reluctantly consents to giving him his spare room.

Misunderstandings abound, tension ensues, and attraction ignites, making for a very tense living arrangement. Add in Fang, the adorable puppy that Jez is hiding in the closet, and what could possibly happen, right? Oh, lest we forget: Jez appears to be running from someone, or something.

As time passes, Hayden and Jez find their footing, begin talking and (what’s that?), express feelings for one another. Both men learn to lean on each other for the help they each need. Jez opens Hayden’s eyes while Hayden assists Jez with his dilemma. And when Miguel mans up to explain himself, the earth shifts on its axis.

Set Ablaze contains darker themes than most, enjoyable characters, chemistry, angst, suspense, heat and heart, all brought to life by the excellent narration of Darcy Stark. Darcy’s cunning ability to capture the moment, the emotions, and the individualism of the characters further enhances the story.

I recommend this tale, which pushes the boundaries on romance, to deal with real life situations that often face gay men. Okay, Jez’s plight might be stretching this a teeny, tiny bit. Yes, Set Ablaze spins realities, but it also enlightens. Its depiction of disparagement is offset by its parallel depiction of love and acceptance, reminding us that no one should accept anything less.

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

Set Ablaze

3 Stars for the book
3.5 Stars for the narration

I’m going to start my review with the audio portion since this is what I liked best about this book and was the main factor in what kept me going to the end. I really liked the narration for this story. I think Darcy Stark did a great job with what he was given. His voice and cadence were pretty much on-point throughout the entire book. His voice is really pleasant to listen to while he tells us the story, no matter what the book itself might contain.

I’ve read this author before and really liked the books (The Toronto Tales Series is fantastic) but this one did not hit the mark for me. Although the premise sounded great when I read the blurb - firefighter and Broadway dancer - I wasn’t super impressed by the storyline we got.

The plot of the story moved along at a decent pace, but when I comes down to it, I think that maybe my lack of connection to any and all of the characters might have thrown off the story a bit too much for me to actually enjoy this one. There was just too much drama, judgment, horrible interaction and lack of communication between basically every character in this book. They were all contradicting and condescending to each other and much was left to be desired. In my personal opinion the only redeeming factor that either of the main characters, Jez and Hayden, had is that they both liked dogs, that’s it. These guys just did not seem to fit together; it’s really hard to explain but they just did not seem right for each other, even up to the end of this book. Sad to say, but I was honestly hoping this didn’t actually have a HEA and that they ended up with completely different people than each other. Lol.

Hayden is a firefighter who is “out” but yet, not really. He acts like he’s in the closet, hides who he is from all of his “friends” and avoids all conflict because he is afraid of what every single person on the planet will think of him, whether he even knows them or not. Hayden has never been with a woman but at the beginning of this book has no issue with comparing Jez’s body to being soft like a woman’s and not like the manly men he usually goes for?!?!? Whaaatt?!?!

But seriously, the lack of actual communication, and then miscommunication between the two main characters drove me kind of crazy. OMG and don’t even get me started on Hayden’s horrible d-bag “friends”! How the hell did he seriously put up with their homophobic crap for so long without defending himself, or OK, you don’t like conflict – fine - WHY DIDN’T HE JUST STOP HANGING OUT WITH THEM?? I simply didn’t get that at all; he just lets them use and abuse him and that was my major complaint with Hayden as a person and a character.

Jez is a Broadway dancer turned actor. He runs across the country to get away from a crazy ex and moves in with his brother Miguel’s best friend, Hayden, who he hasn’t seen or talked to in years. Jez is super judgmental right from the start; he lies and hides things and even when the truth starts coming out, he leaves major parts of the story out. He also assumes the worst things about every person he comes into contact with. Like, I get he had to deal with some crazy crap his ex-boyfriend put him through, but dude, Jez is kind of crazy himself in a completely different way. As a person, he was just really hard for me to like. There were parts of Jez’s life after he moved in with Hayden that got added into the book, almost like added content that wasn’t needed and had no bearing on the actual storyline. One thing I did agree with Jez, was that yes, they both could use some therapy, and that they both have some major issues they need to work through, separately and together.

Miguel, Jez’s brother and Hayden’s best friend…. Hmm. Miguel - is he a homophobic jerk, or is he just a jerk, or is he really a good guy in disguise..? I was super confused and conflicted about his character. He is the only person who stepped up in his family to help Jez when he was “forced out” but yet he doesn’t stick up for Hayden when their horrible friends treat them like crap for years. And he doesn’t even step up and defend Jez one he comes back into the picture.

I just didn’t understand any of these guys or any of their actions.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • TNI
  • Charlotte, Nc
  • 10-13-18

PG 13 MM

this was my first book by this author and it might be my last...the story was decent. At times it was kind of boring. okay narration. the story really didn't have anything to it..and there were not hot sex scenes.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful