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Book CoverLynneC’s review of The Fireman Who Loved Me (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel, Book 1) by Jennifer Bernard
Contemporary Romance published by Avon 24 April 12

A small town romance featuring a reporter for a local TV station and a fireman from a station labelled the one with the hot bachelors. It should make for a cute romance, and on the whole it does. However, some distractions and deviations from the romance make it less than the hot romance promised in the blurb. In fact, it’s almost a case of false description, because the hot sex is a long time coming, and when it arrives, it’s on the vanilla side.

On the other hand, it’s quite a cute read, and worth picking up. I’m not sure who decided to sell it as a hot romance, but I don’t think they were doing the book justice, because while it doesn’t deliver on the erotic front, there are other enjoyable parts of the book.

Melissa is a producer for a local news program being upstaged by an airhead presenter. The presenter is a standard bimbo type who shows up in many, many romances and is increasingly uninteresting. She’s shallow, egotistical, and only there to present a foil and a conflict for the main female character. More effort put into that part of the story might have increased the interest there, and I might not have been tempted to skip those parts, since the outcome is as predictable as sunrise.

Melissa has a grandmother who is determined to see her married off. To that end, she puts her savings into a bachelor auction and buys Ryan, a hunky fireman, for an astronomical sum. But Ryan is hot, so Granny wants him for her granddaughter. Of course, all she has to do is put them together. When Ryan chickens out, after thinking his date is with Granny, and he’d never hear the last of it, his boss, fire captain Brody, steps in. And he ends up with Melissa.

To be honest, I’d have shoved Granny in the lake years before, not put up with her indulgently. Granny is cute as the old person who pushes into line at the supermarket, yelling, “Let me in, I’m eighty.” It’s one thing to allow someone into line, it’s another when they push their way in. Granny, aka Nelly, is like that. She’s clueless, she makes her presence known, and she’s as subtle as a sledgehammer. She isn’t cute or feisty, she’s the most annoying character in the book. She’s a caricature.

In fact, that’s my problem with most of the secondary characters in the book. They are less characters, more types, and you could pick out the ones meant for sequels, because more thought is put into them, although it’s of the “give this person three basic characteristics and take it from there” type.

What’s worse is that the secondary characters eat into the time Brody and Melissa have together. The book isn’t focused enough on the romance, and it doesn’t develop so much as lurch from incident to incident. We get Nelly’s point of view when we want Melissa, we get shenanigans at the TV station when we want to know what Brody thinks of his last encounter with Melissa.

The whole setup is so cute, my teeth are starting to ache. A fire station full of hot men, apart from one with a big belly, and two women we never really get to meet. They cook, they have an enlightened attitude to the opposite sex, they are great firefighters. A small town with no serious problems.

I kept reading, and unfortunately, it doesn’t improve a great deal. In fact, more characters and a distracting plot development detract even more from the romance. The trouble is, I don’t care about the other parts. The characters are sketchily done and the plot doesn’t have much to do with the romance. I couldn’t get interested, and had I not been reading this book for review, I’d have put it down at that point. Gently, and with regret, but down.

While this book doesn’t do it for me, I’ll keep an eye on Ms. Bernard to see what else she comes up with.

LynneCs iconGrade: C-


Fearless, smoking hot, and single: meet the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel. These firemen might be heroes, but it’s their bad luck in love that makes them legendary.

News producer Melissa McGuire and Fire Captain Harry Brody couldn’t be more different, though they do have one thing in common: they’re both convinced they’re perfectly wrong for each other. But when Melissa’s matchmaking grandmother wins her a date with Brody at a bachelor auction…

Sparks fly. Passion flares. Heat rises. (You get the picture.)

Add a curse, a conniving nightly news anchor, a stunningly handsome daredevil fireman, a brave little boy, a couple of exes, and one giant fire to the mix, and Melissa and Brody’s love may not be the only thing that burns.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Book Cover