Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Secret Fire
Author: Morticia Knight
Series: Uniform Encounters #5
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 203 Pages
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Available at: Totally Bound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Police officer, Zach and Fire Marshal, Daryl would be perfect together—if they would ever quit fighting long enough to find out. A devastating fire and the secret behind it almost keeps them from getting what they really need—each other.
Mesa police officer, Zach is a fun loving guy. Now that he’s hit the big three-oh, he’s looking to stop the hook-up train and find someone he can get serious about. When a mutual friend suggests Fire Marshal Daryl, Zach assumes he must be joking. The surly marshal has given cranky a new meaning. It’s unfortunate, since he is one fine-looking man.
Daryl has sworn off relationships ever since he caught his ex-partner cheating. He’s always taken everything in life seriously—from jobs to relationships—and is afraid he might be alone in that regard. Certain he can’t risk love again, he panics when he sees his secret crush, Zach, approaching him at a police versus firemen softball game. He’s nervous, as he is socially challenged with a tendency to blurt out the wrong things. It gets worse when he realizes their shared buddy gave Zach a push. He assumes Zach is only talking to him out of pity.
Zach has been pissed at Daryl ever since they got into a verbal sparring match at the park. Yet, when Daryl comes to his aid during an explosive fire, Zach wonders what secrets might be hidden beneath the layers Daryl has built to protect himself from the world—and love. A night of passion turns into the possibility of something more as they struggle to find their way to one another. But all of that becomes threatened when there is a devastating fire that causes many people to lose their lives. As they work together to uncover the truth, someone thinks they’ve asked too many questions—and plans to stop them before they can ask any more.
Reader Advisory: This book contains elements of light BDSM.
Publisher’s Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
Review: A hot cop, a hot fireman, one is ready to settle down, and one is afraid to try again. Sounds yummy. And there were a lot of parts to this that definitely fit that bill. But then there were some things that just had me struggling to get through it.
Zach was awesome. He’s the hot cop who’s ready to settle down. He’s tired of the meaningless hookups but hasn’t had much luck finding someone looking for the same thing. His friends push him toward their friend, the hot fire marshal, Daryl, who they think would be perfect for him. Unfortunately, Daryl has shielded himself from others by being somewhat of an ass. He’s quite standoffish and doesn’t want anything meaningless either but suspects that’s all Zach wants.
They get past their initial conflict though, and Zach realizes there is more to Daryl than first appeared. They really would be perfect for each other. Zach is fun and doesn’t take anything too seriously, unless he needs to, like his job. And Daryl is just the opposite, needing someone to pull him out of shell to loosen him up a bit.
Here’s where I had the biggest problem. Daryl is constantly whining about how terrified he is of getting serious with someone after his last guy dumped him. Ok, I can understand that to a point, but he goes on and on and on about it. At every turn, he’s terrified (his word) of things where the relationship is concerned, where his feelings are concerned, where Zach’s feelings are concerned. That’s the pattern. Zach is persistant, but eventually even he starts whining about being terrified of things too. It just about got to be too much for me. But I pushed past it, and when I did, there were some really great scenes.
These two were really hot together when they stopped worrying about everything else and just let things happen. Daryl even had a delicious kinky side that totally revved Zach up and made for some scorching sex. They were probably my favorite parts of this book, and they were very well done.
So, aside from that one issue, I had no problems with the writing. It had some sweet moments, some hot sexy moments, and a little bit of action. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something on the lighter bdsm side with some smexy men in uniforms. It wasn’t my favorite of this series, but still one worth checking out, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.*