This book has been on my Kindle for quite some time, and I always meant to get to reading it, but something else would come along, and it would remain buried. But recently I was looking for something different, something with just as much romance as I normally go for, but with some added heat, maybe an alpha male, and a little more action (not the romantic kind) than I usually read. And, boy, did Trial by Fire deliver!
Kat can’t just stand idly by while the house across the street goes up in flames, but running in with a garden hose isn’t going to do anything but get her into trouble. By the time the firefighters show up, she’s managed to fill her lungs with smoke and make no difference in the flames, but he sexy firefighter who comes to her rescue just might be worth the scratchy throat and struggling lungs.
Howard knows he shouldn’t be thinking about anything other than safety while the house burns, but the curvy blonde on the front lawn has captured his attention like no other. Soon clued in that this is no ordinary house fire, he finds himself looking up the number of the pretty school teacher to warn her of possible danger — and maybe keep a much closer eye on her.
Kat’s been burned in the love department before, and Howard is so far out of her league that she can’t understand why he’s even giving her the time of day. But with a big, sexy firefighter seems interested, it’s impossible to resist. Soon they’re spending all their free time together and creating some incredible heat of their own.
But the fire that brought them together was more than an accident or even arson — it was murder. And it seems this killer has his eye on Howard, though no one has any clue why that would be. Now that Kat’s part of his life, it seems she’s in danger, too, and the truth that’s revealed is the stuff of nightmares.
Jo Davis did a wonderful job of dishing up sweet romance, spicy bedroom (and hot tub!) scenes, and puzzling mystery. And even when it was clear that creeptastic Frank was the bad guy, I couldn’t come up with two and two to put together to save my life. I find that most romantic suspense stories tend to spell out the answers long before the mystery even starts to get interesting, so I love that this one left me guessing all the way up until the big reveal. And that hot, alpha male I was hoping for? Howard delivers it in yummy spades.
Trial by Fire is an uncommonly thrilling mystery with some fantastic romance, a dash of erotica, and plenty of fun moments between Kat and Howard. And how nice is it to finally get a romance novel in which the hero isn’t named like he’s the star of a soap opera? The name Howard has never been so hot.