Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: 09/01/2015
Series: McGuire Brothers #1
I was not sure how I was going to feel about Brave the Heat because second chance romances are not my favorite to read. But I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Although, pleasantly surprised does not seem to do my feelings justice. So let me explain.
Have you ever had a book come in to your life at exactly the right moment? Has it ever felt like you were meant to read a specific book at a specific time because it held a special message for you (or something of that nature anyways)? I have. And that book is Brave the Heat by Sara Humphreys. I know this sounds crazy–especially if you personally know me because I am not necessarily a deep person. Also, this is a romance novel. I never expected to have a romance novel impact me in such a way (such a way other than making me extremely happy). I always thought it would have to be some brilliant piece of non-fiction to instill this reaction in me, but no. An exceptionally well-written contemporary romance is what did it for me (in a totally innocent way–sorry my brain is always in the gutter).
It was not any one “thing” that gave me all the feels. I am not really sure what it was because I cannot directly relate to Jordan McKenna, the book’s heroine. That is not to say that I do not sympathize or empathize with Jordan because I do. It just means the I’m not a single mother who suffers from an abusive past. Although, I guess if I really had to pinpoint what it was that struck me so much, then I would have to say it was the situation with Jordan’s father. It’s an absolutely heartbreaking situation, and all I am going to say is that I can relate in at least one way with that situation. I cannot really articulate my experience as well as I would like to.
Anyways, I am going to move on from the heavy stuff and get to the good stuff because I know that is what you all want! Like I said, Jordan McKenna is a single mother (of two extremely adorable daughters) who does not have the happiest track record when it comes to men. Her ex is a no good drunk, and so was her father. If there was ever any man that made her happy, it was Fire Chief Gavin McGuire. Jordan and Gavin were high school sweethearts, but they ended on an unfortunately sour note. Curse silly fears, bastard fathers, and backstabbing friends! When they are reunited (15 freaking years later!!!), there are a million unanswered questions between the two. On top of those questions, both Gavin and Jordan are dealing with their own issues. They have scars that run deep.
I really liked Jordan and Gavin. When I first started reading, I thought the secrets between them were going to remain secrets for far too long (it really annoys me when that happens). But it turns out that they actually get into an “I take no BS from you” situation with each other pretty fast. And because of that, it gets quite steamy in the flower shop freezer! So, there is definitely chemistry between the two characters, and it is EXPLOSIVE!
I love little kids in books–especially when they are as outgoing and silly as Lily and Gracie. And I especially love when big, hunky, and protective men like Gavin get wrapped around a little kid’s finger. I kind of wish there was more Lily and Gracie in the book. Maybe like a scene when Gracie finally spoke to Gavin for the first time? I feel like that would have been a special moment to witness. But we cannot have it all, can we?
You meet some great secondary characters in this book, and I am sure we will being seeing a lot more of some them because Gavin has four more brothers that are dreadfully single (EXCITING!!). Overall, the characters are charming, the pace is perfect, and the plot was unexpectedly unpredictable, which I found refreshing (of course, I could predict a HEA–it is part of the formula, after all). It was a nail-biter at times. Definitely have a few tissues and some Oreos ready with this read!
On a final note, it is obvious that reading is subjective. You are not likely to have the same “big” experience as me with this book where you feel like it came to you at the perfect time. But I can assure you that if you love romance novels–especially second chance romances with cute little kiddies and hot firemen–then you want to pick up Brave the Heat ASAP. I cannot wait to get to know the other McGuire brothers better!