A New Beginning UP IN SMOKE? A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M hotshot fireman romance from Annabeth Albert. UP IN SMOKE  is the fourth book in her Hot Shots series that feature rural firefighters who live on the edge of danger. I really enjoyed BURN ZONE, HIGH HEAT, and FEEL THE FIRE,  so I was excited to read on in this series.

About the book:

Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.

Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.

Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.

Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.

Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.

My Review:

Shane Travis is an up-and-coming country singer, if only he wasn’t always derailed by his impulsive sister. This time he’s up and left him with his baby niece, Jewel, disappearing into Canada to work some music festival and with no intention of returning to motherhood anytime soon. Shane has commitments of he own, and he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in days, so he does the only thing he can do: hunt down the unwitting baby daddy and see if he can’t get Jewel a family she deserves.

Brandt Wilder is all his name suggests, a free-wheeling, free-loving adrenaline junkie that smoke jumps in season and does parachute jumps out of it. He’d met Shane and his sister, Shelby, when they did a parachute jump for Shane’s 30th birthday–round about 10 months back. Well, it was a fun night for sure, but he never imagined a child would come of it. He’s mighty suspicious when Shane turns up on his temporary doorstep, but agrees to take them in for a spell–at least until they can work out a paternity test. Because Brandt is not a deadbeat dad–at least he won’t be if little Jewel truly is his daughter.

While these unlikely babysitters await the testing and results, they also get acquainted. Shane is waiting for a callback to a reality singing show and Brandt’s between shifts in the field. They spend time co-parenting, and connecting in ways Shane had wished for the first time he’d met Brandt. Of course, he’s got prospects in the music industry, but he’s also got some down time, and he’s spending it mooning over both Brandt and Jewel, writing new lyrics for songs that he’d never imagined before. Brandt’s life hasn’t gotten less dangerous, but he’s got commitments he can’t escape, no matter how itchy his feet get. And, well, Shane is the kind of guy that worth being stable for, isn’t he?

Of course there are lots of complications, but there are also late night bonding sessions, first times, shopping sprees at the thrift store, and errant mothers turning up and making drama. I loved how Shane and Brandt built a connection between themselves, as well as with baby Jewel. They’re so sweet, and so sure that they are messing everything up, while trying their hardest to be good caregivers. Their attraction is hot as a wildfire, even if Shane’s afraid to make any moves–Brandt’s a big dude and he already knows the man likes women. Turns out, though, that Brandt is…open…to having sex with men, and though he doesn’t specify his sexuality in actual terms, it’s clear that Shane yanks his chain in just the right way.          

Their attraction simmers and then rages, but it’s still hard going for these guys and their little miss. Brandt and Shane are going to do the right things to make sure that girl lacks for nothing in life–not even a mama. It’s a totally sweet story with a great HEA.  

Interested? You can find UP IN SMOKE on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo. I read a review copy provided via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Find Annabeth online on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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