Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense on July 3, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
One man wants her dead.
Another will do anything to protect her.
Firefighter Kenzie Hughes never thought saving lives would make her a target. When someone rigs her car and sexy Stephen Galway offers to be her bodyguard, the flames of danger burn red-hot. Stephen lost his fianc'e to violence years ago, but he can't resist Kenzie. Can he keep Kenzie safe and out of his arms when they're forced to confront what they fear most?
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Firefighter Kenzie Hughes, while on administrative leave from the Philadelphia Fire Department, is working at the Escape Club. The Escape Club is not only a place where you can find great music, but also help when you have problems that can’t be dealt with successfully within the law. Kenzie, while cleared from the PFD of any misdeed, is being sued by a victim who claims she didn’t do her job properly. To add fuel to the fire, Kenzie’s apartment is being fumigated, and she has to find a place for the next two weeks. Kenzie is at an all-time low, which sinks even lower when her car won’t start. Friend and fellow firefighter Mitch Galway, who also bartends during the summer rush at the Escape Club, tells her not to worry: he calls his brother Stephen who owns a garage. Stephen has more bad news for Kenzie: her car was tampered with, and he lends her his camper to sleep. At least, that night.
BRAVING THE HEAT is the last instalment in the Escape Club Heroes series, and the least I can say is that Regan Black ends this fabulous series with a bang! I like my romantic suspense with more action than romance, as a rule; Regan Black’s books are usually more focused on suspense; BRAVING THE HEAT leans just a little bit more on the romance side of things, and it might possibly be Regan Black’s finest book to date! The author strikes a perfect balance between the romance and the suspense elements; the story is believable from beginning to end, and the villain is chillingly realistic. The characters are remarkably well fleshed-out: Stephen’s life fell apart when his fiancée was shot dead three years prior. He has never fully recovered, he is still grieving, he doesn’t even date; he literally suffers in silence. He admires Kenzie for her fortitude; even though her career could be over, she won’t let despair win, she can still laugh.
How wonderful it is to have a romance of this sort where nothing is rushed: kindness, friendship, bonding over classic cars (yes! and what a nice touch this was!), understanding, then love. The romance is so perfect, I’m nearly speechless: for me, this is how a convincing romance should be written. Both characters have solid backstories, the suspenseful elements are seamlessly woven in; in fact, without them, we would not have a romance. It’s also a very emotional story because of Stephen’s loss, of Kenzie’s problems; how I cared for those two people! I’m really at a loss for words here: if you love a romance that feels real, BRAVING THE HEAT is the book for you! A perfectly wonderful story that left me filled with hope and with the conviction that for Regan Black, the sky’s the limit as to what she can accomplish.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.