Review: Controlled Burn – Shannon Stacey

Posted 20 November, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 22 Comments

*I received a free copy of Controlled Burn from Carina Press via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *


Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Controlled Burn – Shannon StaceyControlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Published by Carina Press on 24 November 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

4 Stars

Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.

Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.

At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.

Both Jess and Rick were strong characters, with the odds stacked against them, thus making Controlled Burn both beautiful and a little melancholy.

My Controlled Burn review:

Controlled Burn starts with Jess going to Boston for the first time, to meet her grandparents for the first time after her grandfather had a slightly bad fall, and Jess’s father was unavailable to do anything for them. Because Rick had been her grandparents’ tenant for the past few years, they were like family, and Rick was quite suspicious of Jess’s motivations for showing up now that her grandparents might have to sell their house and move into a senior citizen community to take better care of themselves. Of course, the fact that Rick was suspicious of Jess didn’t escape her notice, and she had her own suspicions when it came to him as well. However, the chemistry and sexual tension between the two of them made it difficult for both to think straight.

Controlled Burn unfolded very nicely, with Jess getting to know Boston, her grandparents and Rick while staying for a few weeks. It was clear from the beginning that the relationship between Jess’s father and her grandparents was very distant, as they didn’t even know they had a grand-child. However, staying in their house, sharing meals, memories and hope made this new relationship one that was very sweet. The relationship between Rick and Jess was hotter, but also a bit tentative, where they were both trying to hold back – not wanting anything serious to happen.

The character development was well done, and I felt like I got to know both Jess and Rick as well as the minor characters quite well. I especially enjoyed how both Jess and Rick were able to open up to what was happening between them, figuring out that life was definitely about more than having a job they enjoyed, and good friends to hang out with in their free time. Written in third person point of view, past tense and mostly from both Jess’s and Rick’s perspective, Controlled Burn was a very good contemporary romance, but it ended a bit abruptly, with many issues still needing to be resolved.

Some of my favorite Controlled Burn quotes:

He woke up just before six the next morning with a stiff neck and groaned. A nice king-sized bed in the next room, and he slept on the damn couch. Being able to sleep anywhere, in almost any position, made his job easier, but it sure sucked when he did it at home.

Marie’s immediate willingness to sacrifice her own happiness for her son’s despite the fact he’d abandoned them and broken her heart was something Jessica had a hard time understanding.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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22 responses to “Review: Controlled Burn – Shannon Stacey

  1. This one sounds good. I haven’t heard of the author or series before but it sounds like I need to add it to my TBR list. Thanks so much for sharing….you keep adding to my tbr faster than I can read recently =D

    Mandy recently posted: Book Review: November 9
  2. i haven’t read this author but I do love the sound of this story. Add in grandparents that have never known her and that just sounds a bit heartbreaking in a happy way-I hope that makes sense. Thanks for sharing!

    • It was quite heartbreaking in a happy way, Lorna 😀 I love that you picked that up! Stacey has a lot of really good contemporary romances out, and I enjoy how her characters change, as well as the close friendships and loyalty she often includes in her stories.

  3. I’m very curious about Jess’ dad’s relationship with his parents since he’d keep the fact that he had a child from them. I’m glad she had to opportunity to get to know them though. It seems like a positive thing in her life. As is Rich… 🙂 I like the sound of how their relationship develops, learning there’s more to life than work… Stacey is another author on my *must read* list and I’m pretty sure that’s thanks to you. Some day I’ll get around to reading her, Lexxie. 😉
    **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: New Release Review ~ Eighteen (18) ~ JA Huss
    • Yeah, it was a weird relationship to be sure. Rich was definitely a positive in Jess’ life, Brandee, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know each other better 😀 When we’re old and gray, we’ll spend all our time reading 😉 *BIG HUGS*

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