Fire of the Heart is the third book in the Hearts of Parkerburg series and this story belongs to Craig Gilchrist. Parkerburg’s fire chief and John Melrose, the sexy waiter from everyone’s favorite restaurant, Alimentaire who goes by the name of Melrose.
While these books can technically be read as standalones reading them all allows the reader to become familiar with the numerous other characters that appear from book to book so that all the names in book 3 are a little less overwhelming.
My biggest issue with this book was that given the subject matter a 35 year old coming out of the closet and a 30 year old who was in an abusive relationship. I found that at times things were a little bland and the story became predictable. Simply put it lacked that extra bit of tension and conflict that I was anticipating. I mean these are issues big serious issues and I just felt like a little more emotional weight should have gone into their resolution, but maybe that's me and I'm cool with that we can put this down as my bad.
Craig finally comes out to his family and friends and not one person has an issue with it, don’t get me wrong I mean, I really wish…because that’s how it should be…hell, people shouldn’t even have to do the whole ‘coming out’ thing. I didn’t have to at no point in my life did I have to go around telling my friends and family “Hey, I just wanted to let you know…I’m heterosexual” seriously no one ever asked me. Sadly, reality is that it does happen and I’m pretty sure there are very few if any out there who would tell you that ‘not one' of their friends or family had an issue with it and the for me the whole situation of Melrose and his ex was just not handled realistically.
So what did I like. I liked that Craig was protective of Melrose but not in an ovely aggressive way and at the same time Melrose wasn’t all drama queen ‘save me, save me’. He was independent and he wanted to stay that way. I liked that these men were loyal to each other and that their relationship was allowed to develop with a bit of time and with some sweet moments of teasing and flirting. I liked Craig’s two friends and his family. In spite of the fact that I didn’t care for Melrose’s issues I did like that they were resolved and that it was done with honesty, I liked the ending it was probably the most realistic part of the whole story and last but not least…I liked that there were sexy, hot firemen.
Where this series goes from here for me personally if there are more stories to come...I don't know. I really like these two authors. I'm just not sure if I'm a fan of this particular collaboration, but I do still plan on reading their Pulp Friction stories (oops, I'm a little behind on those) and I'm certainly willing to see what else they have to offer down the road but maybe the road to Parkersburg is one that I might not go down again.