Title: On Fire
Series: States of Love 06: Washington
Author: Alicia Nordwell
Length: Novella (137pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26th October)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ – 4 Hearts
Blurb: Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.
The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Review: Scottie loves hiking and taking photos of nature, but he knows better than to be unprepared unfortunately not even Scottie could prepare for a lightning storm, broken tree limbs or the wildfire heading his way. Jax is miffed when his team has to search for a hiker during a wildfire, and he’s furious when he gets injured rescuing the injured hiker.
Scotty and Jax start to become close when they meet in hospital, well, after Jax softens up. Scotty visits the man who saved him often and gets to know the man under the abrasive attitude; Jax admits he might have jumped to conclusions about the man he rescued and enjoys getting to know the man, and it isn’t long before the two embark on a relationship.
This is a great story of two men meeting in dire circumstances and gradually falling in love. Scottie and Jax are great characters, they have a rocky start but quickly become an item, there’s a lot of build-up with the relationship before anything sexual happens and that’s mainly because of Jax’s knee injury but it’s lovely to see them building their relationship on friendship and really getting to know each other first.
Jax is abrasive when we first meet him, he’s fighting a wildfire and a hiker’s missing, he’s frustrated and he comes across as a complete dick but we learn quickly that it’s mainly because he’s worried for his team. Scotty is really easy going and although he did everything he could to keep himself safe during his hike he still falls victim to nature.
The setting for the story comes across vividly with great detail, the roar of the fire, the stifling heat and the fear as flames roar towards their fire shelter is described beautifully.
I recommend this to those who love men growing to love each other, who adore a touch of danger in their stories, who love men getting to know each other before they jump into bed, and a very happy ending.