Hearts Afire: September

"High Heat" by Philippa Grey-Gerou

Roman Geary is doing quite well. His catering business is flourishing and he has an acclaimed restaurant. At least he is until his fire is devastated by fire.  Roman manages to find a temporary home for his catering business in the catering hall of a local fire station - which also puts him in close quarters with Jacob Niemczyk, a firefighter who is as good in the kitchen as he is fighting fires.

Sparks fly between them and, in spite of a rocky start, some missteps, and inconvenient interruptions, they find themselves in a relationship.  Roman, however, finds himself with questions when a large fire breaks out - leaving him wondering if he is able to risk his heart on a man who, by virtue of his job, is always risking his life.

"Five-Alarm Lover" by Michael Barnette

When Delmar (Del to his friends) Preston is one of the responders to a mine fire on the Moon Three colony mine operated by Rowland Mining, he does not know that it will lead him to finding love.

Aaron Halford is an executive for Rowland and has been called a lot of things throughout his life because he was born with psi-talent. He neither wants nor needs any more trouble in his life - though he does find it in the form of a man covered (but unaffected by) flames and the firefighter who he winds up wanting more than he has anyone before.

While both of them finding themselves wanting a relationship, having one will have consequences for both of them. Especially since both are in different 'corporate territories' - one a worker bee, the other in office territory.  The consequences are more far-reaching than they realize because of facts they do not know and hidden agendas they are not privy too.

Will they be able to make it work? Or will they be forever apart?

I found both stories a very pleasant read, although "Five-Alarm Lover" more so than "High Heat".  I think that may stem from the way the characters were written. I found myself more empathetic towards Adin and Del than to Roman and Jacob - although I really liked all four.  This reaction could stem from the length of the stories and I would have loved to see both of them in a longer length.

Book Blurb for Hearts Afire: September

High Heat
Philippa Grey-Gerou
With a flourishing catering business and an acclaimed restaurant to his name, chef Roman Geary had finally made it. Until his dreams go up in smoke, literally, when a fire devastates his kitchen. He finds a temporary home at the catering hall of the local fire company, putting him in close quarters with the attractive firefighter Jacob Niemczyk, who proves himself as adept in the kitchen as he is at fighting fires.
While Roman is skilled in the kitchen, he finds romance a bit trickier, but the two find their way into each other’s arms despite missteps and inconvenient interruptions. Their relationship looks to be off to a smoking start until a massive fire makes Roman question how willing he is to risk his heart to a man who constantly risks his life.
They say that if you can’t stand the heat, you should stay out of the kitchen. But when food is your life and your heart is on the line, sometimes it’s the safest place to be.
Contains M/M erotic content.
Five-Alarm Lover
Michael Barnette
On Rowland Mining colony Moon Three Delmar ‘Del’ Preston responds to a mine fire. What he doesn’t realize is the fire will lead to the one thing he needs most in his life... love.
Rowland mining executive, Aaron Halford has been called a freak--and worse--his entire life. Born with psi-talent Aaron doesn’t need any added trouble in his life. But he finds trouble in the form of a mysterious man made of flames and a hot firefighter he wants worse than he’s ever wanted anyone.
The fire isn’t the only heat these two men experience. Sparks of lust ignite and burn hot for them both, but the risk of a ‘suit’ and ‘grunt’ having a relationship has consequences, consequences more dangerous than either of them realize.
Contains: m/m scifi, interracial/multicultural

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2009 4.00