Have you ever read one of those series romances? You know, the kind of book with overblown, “everyman” heroes (like the charming cowboy turned award-winning journalist turned top-of-the-line firefighter)? Or the one about the assertive heroine, just soft enough on the inside, who carries on an “I hate you, make love to me” kind of relationship with the hero because she’s been so badly hurt by love in the past? Or the one about the hero with “forest green” eyes and the heroine with eyes a lovely shade of “slate gray?? Or the one about a hero/heroine who have never had it quite so good with anyone but the hero/heroine no matter how much they fight or dislike each other? Or the one about the Big Misunderstanding after Big Misunderstanding? You get the picture. In one fell swoop you can have it all with Fully Engaged.
Callie Kilpatrick is a top-of-the-line, “hot shot” forest firefighter. Nine years earlier, as an Olympic Ski Team hopeful, she’d had a passionate affair with Rick Montana (the cowboy who became a journalist). When he broke their engagement and left her after only one quick phone call, she was devastated. Over time, however, her ski career finished, she’d managed to become a seasoned firefighter and win the love of Johnny Sobieski, a great man and fellow firefighter, who dies in a fire after they become engaged to be married. For the following two years, Callie has put her life into her work, trying to stay a step away from the pain of being twice abandoned by men she loved.
Suddenly in walks Rick Montana, the award winning journalist turned skilled firefighter, who is teamed with Callie on the job. Sparks fly between the two as Callie resists Rick’s overbearing and continuous presence, and his obvious attempts at getting her into bed, while Rick has secret plans to put himself in Callie’s way to win back her love. In the meantime there is an arsonist to be caught, secondary characters who have secrets and love troubles of their own. And-you guessed it – Big Misunderstandings and long-kept secrets between Rick and Callie that had this reviewer squeezing the pages of the book in total frustration and begging to scream, “Just talk to each other already!”
In the end, the plot grew predictable, the bickering annoying, the bad guys too obvious and stereotypical. Rick Montana’s overuse of Callie’s nickname “Killer” Kilpatrick (from her days as an expert skier) became more and more irritating as the story progressed, and Callie grated nerves when she fought with Rick (which was nearly every time they were together).
Perhaps you’ll find this book more enjoyable than I did, especially if you enjoy series romances written with many of the standard plot devices of years gone by. On a positive note, Ms. Gaddy uses no purple prose in her love scenes, and the setting of the book is a refreshing change. The fire fighting descriptions felt real and came alive, and it was clear to this reviewer that the author knew her stuff. I found this aspect interesting. Unfortunately, setting alone is not enough to satisfy a thirst for a good, romantic read.