Desert Isle Keeper
Feel the Heat
Feel the Heat begins Kathryn Shay’s America’s Bravest trilogy, and what a beginning it is. An enjoyable relationship between two very likable people makes this one a winner; I’ve already reread it once. Feel the Heat and its sequels The Man Who Loved Christmas and Code of Honor put Shay on my auto-buy list.
When wealthy businessman Alex Templeton goes to thank Fran Cordaro, the firefighter who saved his life, he is shocked to find that Fran is a woman. Intrigued and attracted to her, he pursues a relationship with her that she can’t resist. Francey watched her parents’ marriage disintegrate because her mother was afraid of her father’s career. When Alex pursues her, she keeps the relationship platonic because she doesn’t want to fall in love with Alex only to see the same thing that destroyed her parents’ relationship destroy hers.
Francey is both tough and feminine, a characteristic readers will notice in each female firefighter in this trilogy. Francey plays poker with the boys, lifts weights and eats like a horse (a refreshing characteristic for a woman), but she also enjoys doing girly things with her best friends Beth and Chelsea, who are also firefighters and the heroines of the next two novels. Francey is also courageous and heroic, as the reader can tell from the things she has seen and done in her career as a firefighter.
If I had to describe Alex in one word, it would be charming. While maintaining a friendship with Francey because she’s afraid to go further, he subtly courts her until she can’t resist him. He takes her to fine restaurants but also does things like going to a firefighters museum because he knows she enjoys it. He’s handsome, confident and rich, but he manages to show at least one flaw before the book is through, and it’s a potentially fatal flaw to the relationship.
Francey and Alex’s relationship sucked me in. Their friendship is just plain fun, but the undercurrents of sexual attraction that Shay puts into the relationship are just waiting to explode. You can tell these two people genuinely like each other before they give in to the sexual feelings. Shay draws the reader into Francey’s struggle with her feelings about Alex and, secondarily, the mother who has returned to her life.
Francey’s mother and father have the secondary romance in this book. It’s interesting in it’s own right, but it’s also integral to how Francey faces her feelings. As she watches these two make their way back to each other and as she makes peace with her mother, she realizes things about herself and Alex.
Shay created a fascinating world in this book that made me snatch up the next two books as soon as I found them. The care she took in researching the world of a firefighter is evident, and she created a family on these pages about whom you’ll want to read more. I made the mistake of starting this while out of town on business that kept me from reading most of the day. I advise you to make sure you have uninterrupted reading time when you pick it up.