Book Review: Burns So Bad by Anne Marsh

Burns So Bad (When SEALs come Home, #1) I’m pretty sure 95% of the population loves a fire-fighter and the 5% who say they don’t I’m pretty sure are lying.   Who doesn’t love a fire-fighter? Make that fire-fighter an ex Navy SEAL experienced in covert ops and with Alpha through the roof and you’ve got Rio Donovan in a nut shell – a real sexy nut shell.

Sorry I believe the term is smoke jumper and smoking it is.

I could say Burns So Bad was short but it was 300 pages that went far too quickly for my liking; the writing style and plot kept me engrossed in the story as a whole and I didn’t find that many editorial mistakes which usually puts a bee in my bonnet so to speak.

Burns So Bad is a romance story with smoke jumpers/ fire-fighters as the main characters.  Rio Donovan is one of the 3 Donovan brothers who run a company called Donovan Brothers, they run a fire station in a town called Strong, where they battle forest fires of varying magnitudes; the story opens with Rio jumping from a plane to fight a forest fire, swiftly followed by Gia Jackson – the only female on the team and she’s only there as a summer temporary thing before she goes back to school to study meteorology.

Rio’s parachute fails and it’s an automatic reaction to think “oh god, I’m going to die.” His life flashes before his eyes and he’s ready to tuck his  head between his legs and kiss his nuts goodbye but Gia notices and comes to his rescue, grabbing hold of him and getting them both landed safely on the ground.  Needless to say, Rio owes her for saving his butt. A normal person would be shitting themselves at the thought of nearly falling to their untimely death but not Rio – well he is but he’s also enjoying the feel of Gia wrapped around him.  Priorities are a little twisted there Rio.

Cue the romance or rather, the lack there of.  After beating the forest fire and having a celebratory party, Rio drops an intoxicated Gia off at her place and they share a passionate kiss (aww yeah) then he acts the gentleman and leaves her alone.  Couple days later they have a conversation that results in Gia and Rio bumping uglies – it was inevitable, people.  I cheered a little bit – the heat between those two was enough to start a fire – what I didn’t expect was Gia to be a virgin, judging by her story that she told the guys it didn’t sound like she was (shoot me, I judged.)

For something classified as a romance, I didn’t really feel it was all that romantic to be honest, at least not in the first half to three quarters of the story.  It was predominantly sex (though well written) and building the storyline; at about the three quarters mark Gia and Rio do a jump that lands them in the middle of a fire and Gia gets hurt, Rio goes into protective Alpha mode and things start to liven up a bit.

They stumble upon a drug farm and Rio goes back to his covert ops roots and does his thing, he shows Gia a side of him she didn’t know he had when he protects her to the best of his ability and the best is pretty damn good.  When they manage to escape the drug farm and the guards they camp out for the night and that’s where the romance starts to smoulder; they have sex in the middle of the night and it’s more romantic than previously.  The condom breaks though and that’s where Rio starts to panic – he can’t leave a child to grow up like he did (bit cliché for my tastes but hey it works).

They both nearly die in a fire set by the guards of the drug farm, get saved and then Rio goes over protective on her and tells her she can’t jump anymore because she’s pregnant and because she has a heart condition – mouth insert foot.  Idiot man.  This is after their date though which is about the only truly romantic thing in this book.  The drug guards try and kill Gia because she witnessed their face, it’s all very dramatic and the bombshell about being pregnant gets dropped; Rio removes the foot he inserted into his mouth and basically makes her a partner at Donovan Brothers.

Despite my thoughts of this not being fantastically romantic it did have romantic overtones which helped to set the mood of the book as a whole.  I love a book that can keep me interested in it and Burns So Bad succeeded at that with its Alpha male character, its Alpha female with her “I don’t give a fuck, I’ll do what I do” attitude, with its whole plotline in general.  I think maybe it could have had a bit more romance in it and less sex *le gasp* but don’t cut back on that by all means.  Overall, it was a pretty good read and I gave it 4 stars.

Series: When SEALs Come Home

The Verdict: Very good

For: Lovers of military men, strong women with attitude and firefighters

Publication details: December 16th, 2013 by Amazon Digital Services Inc.

Format: Kindle, 300 pages

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