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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Book Review: Brave the Heat by Sara Humphreys

Brave the Heat
(The McGuire Brothers Series, #1)
by Sara Humphreys
Narrated by: Kate Russell

The only fire he can’t put out…

Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire’s feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn’t prevent.

Is the torch he carries for her...

Jordan’s life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan’s biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.

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Viviana's Review:
This is the author's first contemporary romance and it was lovely. A story about coming homing and second changes at not only love, but starting over in life in general and also about forgiveness. It was excellently executed with characters that are memorable and lovable, secondary characters that help move the story along and you'll want to have their own story as well as a villain that you can't wait for Karma to get a hold of.   

Jordan returns home after running away 15 years ago with two small girls in tow. Life hasn't been what she expected and while it's stated that her "habit of bad decision making" has brought her to this point, I think its the character being too hard on herself. Life happens and she made a decision when she was 18 thinking it would be a good one and technically it was. She wanted to get away from the abusive father! However, that same decision made her run away from the one man she has truly loved. I'm sure you know its a matter of "if they would have only talked". She then finds a man she thinks will love her and she will be able to love in return and have a life together. She (as many woman in real life) didn't know going into it exactly who he was and what his issues were until it was to late. I will say though, she had the courage to leave and have a better life for her and her daughters. Others like her own mother stayed. It's a topic that is briefly discussed but I did like the fact that it was brought up how some think leaving/divorcing is the "bad" choice vs. staying. 

Gavin is the town's Fire Chief and is extremely dedicated to team and town's safety. We find out that he doesn't date much and is a horrible cook, lol. I laugh because considering he gets to cook for his crew three nights a week, YIKES! While I wouldn't necessarily say he's been pining away for Jordan, it's obvious that she's the one that "got away" and that while he's dated, no other compares to her so.... you can image he's caught off guard when he bumps into her upon her return. He had no idea she had moved back into town. While he had been keeping tabs on her a bit via a mutual friend, it wasn't invasive or creepy like that. However, there are a few things he still needs to discover...

That's the other thing I enjoyed about this book... there are things that both the Hero and Heroine find out throughout the book that would usually happen via a confrontation between the H/h but Sara switch things around and had them each find out via another method allowing the characters time to sit on the new info and think about what to do next! Or how stupid they were at the time!

OMG, Gavin's parents are not only adorable, but you'll want to hang out with them! They are just awesome. The interaction between the two of them is what you'll want and hope for after 40 years of marriage and Gavin's reaction to it is perfect. Also, a bit of an interesting twist is that while this series is "The McGuire Brothers" we really don't get to know the brothers at all in this book. We get to meet them briefly towards the end. Usually, in a series like this, there a bit more interaction to have the readers get to know the brothers so we'd fall for them and want to grab the next book. However, Sara dedicated the majority of the time to Jordan and Gavin and it works. I will say, that in this case, less was definitely more.

The story was sweet! There is very little cursing, but when it happens it's meant to and fits the character and situation. As for the steaminess... there is a lot of sexual tension between Jordan and Gavin when they are next to each other and the scenes were nicely writing. The dialog going on in Jordan's head is hilarious! And when they finally do get "together" it's hot, steamy and sexy!

Sara provided some a few breath of fresh air what are traditional romance tropes that have been overly done. Even the mystery of of "who done it" was well done as I had no clue and would have never suspected that individual. WELL DONE!  This was truly a great start to Sara contemporary romance genre writing and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!!

Narrator's Review: I really enjoyed Kate's narration. She did an awesome job with the female and children characters.  However, when it came to the male characters, she tended to give them a more silly tone or as if everything they said ended in a question pitch. It seemed she was trying to give Gavin a deeper tone/voice than the rest to make him stand out but it wasn't working. At times it was fine but other it sounded a bit force. I wished she would have just used a lower range of her own voice because it would have worked better than what it was. What I really did enjoy is that Kate provided a different tone/voice to each of the female character that was their own and you knew who was speaking based on that voice. Also, it wasn't forced. It's as if the characters were right there in front of you having the conversation. 

 Rating: 3.5 Stars - REALLY Liked It

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.


  1. I find that tone is one of the biggest issues when it comes to books I'm reading! It definitely needs to be realistic, and often times I find that males aren't!

    Kristen @ One Chapter Ahead