Pure Heat (Firehawks #1)
Author: M.L. Buchman
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: May 6, 2014
When it comes to Charlene, Steve’s defenses are about to go up in flames
The daredevil smokejumpers of Mount Hood Aviation do more than fight wildfires. Led by retired SOAR pilots, they fly elite operatives into places that even the CIA can’t penetrate-and Charlene Thomas and Steve Mercer are the best in the business.
While battling the summer’s toughest fire, the pair uncover a terrorist camp in the remote forest of Oregon. Using specially equipped helicopters and a stealth-modified drone, they take on the camp. The mission-and the flames-are combatible. For Steve, it’s the heat from Charlene that might just scorch him to the core.
I make no bones about it. I love ML Buchman’s books. I don’t care that he’s a man writing romance, because while there’s definitely a more masculine touch to the writing, he does so well with the love stories that I completely forgot about it. If I didn’t know he was a man, I wouldn’t have guessed, just thought a woman was really in touch with certain rougher edges to herself.
After being a rabid reader of his SOAR pilots series (I think I’ve reviewed a couple here), I snatched up the book as soon as I saw it on NetGalley and devoured it. (I’m just horrible about actually writing my reviews). To my absolute delight, we got the Majors back in the book, and toward the end as the slightly bigger issue is revealed as Steve and Carly battle the blazes, the presence of the Majors made perfect sense.
Now – the interplay of Steve and Carly made perfect sense to me. I loved their banter, the fighting spirit that both of them had. They came from very different backgrounds, but had the same passion for firefighting. Carly was understandably gunshy about hooking up with another fireperson, but of course love wins out and Steve got his woman. I loved her back story and the fact that she’s from a long line of firefighters. The fact that she’s a woman and does it makes it even better. Yeah, she may not be on the front lines actually physically fighting the blaze, but she’s just as important a part of the team, having to calculate where to fight them off. I don’t hear about many women involved in a grueling profession like this, and after feeling like I was genuinely there for the fires the characters battled, I can understand why. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in that job.
I think part of what makes ML Buchman’s books so enjoyable is he doesn’t just focus on the relationship or even the characters. He makes the equipment they deal with take on a lives of their own. The drones Steve pilots become living tools for him, just the way the SOAR ‘copters did in the prior series.
And of course, seeing the majors with their baby (along with the banter about taking the baby into the plane overseeing the firefighting) was heartwarming. Those two really deserved their happy ending, as did Steve and Carly . Seeing other SOAR members kicked things up a notch.
Anyway, loved the book, love the new series. Keep ’em coming, Mr. Buchman! 5 stars (or would 5 flames be more appropriate?)!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.