Review & Excerpt: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey

Posted April 20th 2018 by The Faerie Queen in Alpha vs Beta Heroes, Blog Tours, Excerpts, Giveaways, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review & Excerpt: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey

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Hot Response

Review & Excerpt: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Author: Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #4
Publisher: Carina Press
Release date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Pure Textuality PR

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Star rating:
Heat rating: three-flames

The men of Boston Fire are back and hotter than ever! Don’t miss this brand-new novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey.

Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.

The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.

As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.

 

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The Faerie Queen’s review

What a way to start a book…

From the very first scene, I was on Team Gavin. He was so charming and caring and gaaaaah. I wanted him. His cockiness never came across as arrogance; it was just fun and endearing and sexy. He and Cait talked about how he might joke too much, and that sometimes he didn’t know when to quit, but I never saw that. Gavin was basically perfect; flawed, but nicely so. And maybe one of my favourite things about him? He had so much respect for Cait’s professional competency; there’s a scene that I wanted to share but won’t for spoiler reasons, but a man letting a woman take charge is definitely swoonworthy. Another win for Team Beta!

And why did he have to have such a great smile? “See, you’re doing it right now.”

“Doing what?”

“That smile that probably makes women’s pants fall off.”

The eyebrow went up before he pushed his chair back a few inches. Then he bent over, as if he was picking up a dropped fork. A second later, he sat up and pulled his chair back in.

“What are you doing?”

“I was just checking to see if your pants fell off.” The lift of his left shoulder matched the curve of his mouth. “I guess I’ll have to try harder.”

Initially, Cait was very hung up on the fact that Gavin once called her “ma’am”. At first, I rolled my eyes a bit, but then I took a long hard look at myself and remembered I’ve also been put off by people calling me that. (It started at the age of 23 from young cashiers and ugh.) But her biggest battle was her family life. I felt so terrible for her, but I could also see what Gavin did: she cared about her family almost too much and was very much like a mother scared to let her kids grow up and make their own choices in life. Cait was incredibly patient and practical, and while I got frustrated with her at times, I had a lot of respect for her.

I think the only thing about this book that could have been improved for me is some more sexiness. I mean, it was incredibly sexy. I was giddy before they’d even really done anything. Heated looks, some banter, a touch on the arm, and a quick hug was all it took to get me fanning myself, that’s how hot the fire between them was. (Hot…fire…tehe…) They did get a few semi-explicit scenes, and I appreciated that Cait was very open and comfortable about asking for it, but wow was it not enough for me.

If she was going to have sex dreams about a pain-in-the-ass firefighter at night, the least her subconscious could do was let her savor them for a while. Maybe then she could spend a little less time during the day thinking about him.

Having a little brother of my own, I thoroughly enjoyed Cait’s interactions with her teen brother. He reminded me so much of my brother when he was younger. Of all the secondary characters, he was my favourite. That being said, I loved all the other characters. It definitely made me want to pick up the previous books in the series to see the other firefighters, especially considering how interwoven their lives are. In fact, the two books planned for after this one feature storylines already being teased in this one. For example, Gavin’s best friend Grant is starting to date in this, and I’ve already seen in book 6 that he and this woman get their own book. Plus, I’m already a little bit in love with Derek, the hero of book 5. Yes, I’ve added all the books to my TBR. I think we need a firefighter month on Love in a time of Feminism, don’t you?

Last thing, I promise. Sometimes, characters are given jobs in name only, and if they’re referred to, it’s only in very general terms, as if all they did was write emails or push papers around on their desks. Not in this. There was just enough detail about emergency situations and what Cait and Gavin did as an EMT and a firefighter respectively. Not only did it show that Shannon did her research, but it also made their professions real parts of their lives and gave them an aura of competence. She notes at the end that she had to take some creative liberties with how things work in emergency services, which I can appreciate, but it was so clear that she knew her stuff before she started tweaking things. I almost felt like I was watching a medical or emergency drama show while reading because she managed to evoke so much of the world in my mind.

Anyway, I loved this book. So much. And now I want to read everything by Shannon Stacey ever. One hit, and I’m addicted.

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Excerpt

“Hey, try not to push any firefighters down the stairs this time, okay?”

“It was one time, Tony.” Cait Tasker reached between the seats to get a couple of blue gloves from the dispenser mounted on the back wall of the ambulance cab and snapped them on as her partner pulled up behind a fire truck. “And that was an accident.”

“So you’ve said, multiple times. Hell, I’m pretty sure you said it twice before he even hit the landing.”

“Funny.” She grabbed her bag and headed toward the door of the building, leaving Tony Colarusso—her partner of four years—to grab the OB kit since it sounded like they’d probably need it. Dispatch was also sending a paramedic, but it was going to be a few minutes.

A police officer was holding the door open for her and she nodded her thanks as she passed through. The first flight of stairs was no sweat, but she felt the weight of the bag by the time she reached the second. Another officer was standing there, and he pointed off to his right.

Not that she needed any help finding the commotion. The reported screaming had stopped, but there was a gaggle of firefighters in the hall. Or a herd or a flock or whatever you’d call a bunch of guys holding turnout gear, standing around and doing nothing.

They parted to let her through, and she saw the back of the firefighter kneeling between the patient’s legs. And his back was all Cait needed to see to know it was Gavin Boudreau.

That freaking cowlick.

They crossed paths occasionally, and there was something about the man that got under her skin. The first time they’d been on the same scene—a minor MVA involving a confused tourist going the wrong way up a one-way street—she’d gotten sucked in by his good looks and quick humor. She’d been working up the nerve to ask him if he wanted to grab a coffee or a drink sometime when he’d called her ma’am.

Not only had she not asked him out, but every time she saw him, she remembered the ma’am. It made her feel old and these days, she didn’t need any help feeling older than her years.

Gavin glanced over his shoulder and as soon as he caught sight of Cait, he moved to the woman’s other side and gave an update—including the patient’s name and what vital info he had—as he moved.

Then Kelly grabbed a fistful of Gavin’s shirt and pulled so hard, she almost yanked him down on top of herself. “Don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere. I just need to get out of Cait’s way so she can take over. She’s better at delivering babies than I am.”

He knew her name. Why that should stand out to her in their current situation, she didn’t know, but she noticed it and was surprised. “Kelly, he can stay by your head, but I need room for my partner.”

“By my head, like a husband,” Kelly said with a short, breathless laugh.

“You should at least buy me dinner first.” He moved toward Kelly’s shoulder without letting go of her hand.

Cait ignored him as she moved into the position he’d vacated. It was baby time.

“I want my husband,” Kelly said, and her face began to crumple as tears welled in her eyes. But before the crying could begin in earnest, her face paled and her eyes widened. Her sharp intake of breath held a note of panic, like a sour musical tone, and Cait blocked out everything but the baby crowning between her patient’s legs.

Tony was next to her, ready to take and assess the infant. It went as smoothly as unplanned labor on a hallway floor could go, and by the time the paramedic arrived, Kelly had a squirming, fussy bundle of baby boy on her chest. Though it was a busy day for EMS and there were a lot fewer paramedics than EMTs, they always tried to transport newborns with them in case they needed advanced medical care.

Phil had a rookie EMT with him, but Cait and Tony stood back and let them take over since they had to take care of the OB kit and somebody had to bag the mess. Gavin was still holding the patient’s hand as they put her on the stretcher, and Cait saw him smile at Kelly.

He really had a great smile.

“That’s a good-looking boy you have,” he was saying. “If you and your husband have trouble coming up with a name for him, Gavin’s not too bad.”

She laughed and said something Cait couldn’t hear. Then Phil had the firefighters in motion, ready to carry mother, child and gear to the ground floor.

It was just Cait’s luck that Gavin also lingered. She couldn’t blame him for letting the other guys do the heavy lifting down the stairs, since they’d basically done nothing during the incident, but seeing him was a reminder she hadn’t dated in a while and, considering how things were going at home, wouldn’t be for a while. And that made her feel even older than the ma’am had.

“I feel like I should be handing out cigars,” he said, and both he and Tony laughed.

Gavin’s laugh made her even more tense. It was rich and deep and made heat curl through her insides. It was his laugh that had first turned her head, so every time she heard it, it reminded her of that day.

“Not gonna lie,” he continued. “I’m glad you guys got here in time for Cait to play catch.”

Play catch? “At least I took the situation seriously.”

He’d been in the process of picking up her bag, and his head jerked up as if she’d slapped him. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Emergency childbirth isn’t playing catch.” She took her bag and slung it over her shoulder.

“Jesus, lighten up. It was a joke.”

She was tired. She was hungry, and she wasn’t in the mood. “Like I said, I take my job seriously.”

“When I got here, she was laying on the floor screaming, and not just from the pain. She was in labor and in a full-blown panic. Her BP was through the roof and that’s no good for her or the baby, so I did what I had to do to relax her.”

She headed for the stairs before the conversation could escalate any further. If she really pissed him off, Tony might feel obligated to intervene and that wouldn’t be fair to her partner.

“At least you’re going down first,” Gavin called after her. “I don’t have to worry about you pushing me down the stairs.”

“That was an accident,” she shouted over her shoulder, and she might have been tempted to go back and explain it a little better, but she heard both men laughing.

Gavin was pushing her buttons and she’d let him get under her skin. Again.

After helping load mommy and baby into the back of Phil’s truck, Cait and Tony took a few minutes to pack their gear away in their own ambulance before climbing into the cab. The firefighters were still milling around on the sidewalk, laughing and talking about who knew what.

Her gaze landed on Gavin because it always seemed to, whether she wanted it to or not. She wasn’t sure how old he was. One of the younger guys in his house, but around her age—late twenties or so. There definitely weren’t enough years between them to merit him calling her ma’am.

He was average height for a guy, but with a better than average body. Or maybe that was just her take on it. She liked guys who were in shape, but not such good shape they spent hours at the gym and expected applause when they flexed an arm. Physically, he definitely checked all her boxes.

And every time she saw him—which thankfully wasn’t that often—she wanted to smooth that damn cowlick down. Maybe run her fingers through his hair a few times to help it stay. Then she’d invariably remember how close she’d come to asking him out, and why she hadn’t.

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About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.

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Giveaway

Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR.  Giveaway ends 4/30/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per person. Duplicates will be deleted.

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