By: Mary G
I loved this book. Every. Single. Word.
Never Too Hot is the third of Bella’s Hot Shots Firefighter series. This one is less about firefighting and suspense and is more character driven. I didn’t need a bunch of firefighters to make this a sexy hot emotional book though.
Ginger finally leaves the clutches of her controlling ex & parents. She wants to go back to her love of painting. She rents a run down cabin to get away from it all. Connor is a hunky firefighter who suffered serious burns on his hands & arms. He is on his last appeal with the Forest Service to get his job back.
Connor wants to take a break from worrying about his future. He decides to fix up his childhood summer retreat for his brother’s upcoming wedding. He wants peace and quiet & to work on getting his strength back. He runs into Ginger there who unknowingly rented the cabin from his grandparents.
Ginger’s self esteem suffered from being voluptuous in a wealthy society where you can’t be too rich or too thin. She’s smart, artistic and compassionate. She’s done with men for the moment. Connor’s scars are more visible and women are the last thing on Connor’s mind. He’s definitely a wounded hero. He doesn’t believe in love and is afraid of anyone getting too close.
They agree to share the cabin and slowly get to know each other. The attraction is there from the beginning but it takes a while to go from simmer to boil. Ginger is the first one to admit that she’s in love. While she’s relieved at confessing it, Connor fights it. Page 232:
“No.” His eyes were dark. Wild. “You don’t. You can’t.”
She won’t back down though and makes him see that she’s going to stick. Eventually, he runs scared and tries to stay away from her. He thought it was the stronger path to walk away from her and deal with his issues on his own. The day Connor realizes that Ginger has staying power sets up my fave line in the book. He comes to realize that in his world, hotshots never give up, show weakness. He didn’t know if it was because they were tough or because there were nineteen other guys backing them up. They were a skilled crew of friends and family that would always be there for backup. Page 308:
A sudden thought hit him hard in the solar plexus. Ginger was his crew.
"Ginger was his crew". Four simple, seemingly innocuous words but when I read them I thought my heart was going to stop. Not only did I keep rereading them but I kept going back to read that sentence again. I don't know why it affected me like that and I don't even want to analyze it. It just worked for me. Four simple little words that just blew me away, gave me chills, made me sigh.
There is no doubt that Bella writes hot books. There is a beauty in her writing as well. Page 342:
He was kissing her like he’s been waiting his whole life to find her… Another sigh-worthy moment.
I loved this book. It had some secondary couples that really fleshed out the sense of family & community. I’ve loved every book Bella has written. I just haven’t read her new one yet – Game for Love which is the third book in the Bad Boys of Football series. Hey, is the host allowed to win? LOL – just kidding. In honor of Bella’s hot guys I chose the following recipe:
Firehouse Crockpot Chili
1 lb. ground beef or pork
1 lb. stew meat
2 cans kidney beans
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 sm can tomato paste
1 regular can tomato sauce
1 can Ro-tel
1 can beer
5 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. sage
2 cups water
* to make it 3 alarm, add 3 jalapeno peppers sliced in half and seeds removed (or 1 red savina habanero) Brown hamburger or pork, drain & set aside. Brown stew meat in butter with onion and bell pepper. Place ground beef and stew meat with onion & bell pepper in crock pot, add 1 can of kidney beans, tomato paste & sauce, Ro-tel, beer, all seasonings into crock pot and mix well, add the water if you have room. Turn crock pot on high until chili gets hot, then put it on low for about 6 hours. About 1 hour before you plan on eating, add the other can of beans & start the cornbread.