Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7 Heart Review: Smokin' Hot Firemen edited by Delilah Devlin

Smokin' Hot Firemen
edited by Delilah Devlin

Page Count: 215

Release Date: 16 July 2013
Publisher: Cleis Press
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Eva!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Five-Alarm Romance Stories About Hunks Who Can Handle the Heat!

Rugged firefighters are the number one romantic fantasy—they enter fiery structures with selfless courage and are the very definition of the word "hero." Women understand their allure—soot-covered faces, sweat dripping from hard, chiseled muscles, the sharp snap of suspenders (yes, only a fireman can make suspenders sexy!). Delilah Devlin's burning-hot book teems with gorgeous firemen and stories from some of today's hottest romance writers.

In "Saving Charlotte," Sabrina York's firefighting Dom rescues a woman tied to a red-hot bed; a fire chief fulfills some very steamy fantasies in Cathryn Fox's "Temperature Rising." Ell James's "Chasing Fire" follows a daring smoke-jumper as he parachutes into the hot zone of a forest fire, then sets his girlfriend ablaze with erotic heat; and Magic Mike ain't got nothin' on Delilah's own fireman-turned-erotic-dancer-for-a-night in "Johnny Blaze."

Along with a list of award-winning authors that includes Ily Goyanes, Shoshanna Evers, Adele Dubois, and Rachel Firasek, Delilah delivers tales of these courageous men breaking down doors to steal readers' hearts! Smokin' Hot Firemen imagines the romantic possibilities of being held against a massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to save lives and serve every need.

Review


Smoking Stilettos by Rachel Firasek: Red and Matt's marriage withstands the tests of a risky career with hot passion in the firetrucks to spare. I found this one a bit disorienting in the beginning and cheesy at the end, but it probably has the hottest single sex scene in the entire collection ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Saving Charlotte by Sabrina York: A naughty shock of a fire rescue brings firefighting Dom, Mark, and ethereally beautiful Charlotte together. This story explores an unlikely relationship determined to demonstrate how dominating is really to be done. It does follow a bit of a porno story line, but is absolutely explosive ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 

Hook Me Up by Adele Dubois: When a bad kitty gets Lexi stuck in a tree, fireman Knox just happens to be driving by to save her from further humiliation... and she's compelled to return the favor. Definitely well-penned but has more romance than sex. Fun read, nothing brilliant ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Big Trucks by Lynn Townsend: Another firetruck hookup involving two firefighters. Only story in the collection with a female fighter (woohoo!), but unfortunately both Amy and Steve felt disconnected as characters. The love scene isn't hot and the story boring to follow; my eyes glazed over this one ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Lost and Found by Nanette Guadiano: Anna flees to Forete, Italy to escape her mundane (non-)existence, only to run into a tall, blonde, and handsome British firefighter. William has the uncanny power to know exactly what's on her mind... including what she wants to do with his body. Evocative of the Italian countryside, but not thrilling sexually. This story is sensual in a foreign setting, but that's the most I got out of it ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Temperature Rising by Cathryn Fox: Delilah has a hot tryst with a young firefighter, Jonah, who's clearly trouble; he knows his way around a woman's body way too well. This one's for you roleplay fans. The fantasy is excellent, but the sex disappointing ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Unexpected Detour by Ily Goyanes: José rescues Isabella from danger and gives her a little taste of his Puerto Rican spice. This one's for you Latina lovers! Short and sweet, Unexpected Detour is excitingly arousing with an exotic hookup location ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Rescue Me by Maggie Wells: Addi runs into high school heartthrob Trey during a false alarm that just might have been an act of fate. When past desires are revealed, passion stirs... The backstory here is great and the style absorbing and witty, but the sex scenes are anticlimactic ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Chasing Fire by Elle James: Maggie is unwilling to compromise a relationship with über hunk smoke jumper Chance; she doesn't want more than just a physical arrangement because in his dangerous trade, getting attached could mean getting hurt. Very corny plot-wise, but super hot! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Stoke by Tahira Iqbal: Nurse Aida, a survivor of a bad accident, meets her rescuer Nick, and sparks fly. This one is cute and romantic with witty one-liners. Not that explicit but one of the few stories that are actually believable ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Something's Burning by Cynthia D'Alba: Bree has a dire problem: she can't grill. She's successful and independent and is a doctor for cryin' out loud, but she just can't grill. When a cooking effort goes terribly wrong, she burns down her next-door neighbor, Ronan's fence down. And Ronan's the lieutenant at the local fire department... oh, the irony. There's only one way in mind he has for her to make it up to him, and it's definitely not a neighborly endeavor. Entertaining fellatio story whose pages sizzle ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Fire Hazard by M. Marie: Strapping firefighter Jackson rescues a damsel in distress and her cat in an apartment fire, later discovering he's undeniably attracted to her... the damsel, not the cat. Love the structure of this one; the interrupted hookup teases readers, leaving them wanting more. SUPER hot! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 

The Fireman's Rescue by Kalissa Wayne: An interracial (Native American / Caucasian) story about Drew, our fire chief and untraditional hero, and plain-Jane Heather, who doesn't give him the attention he wants, but seems to have a wild streak of her own. Personally I found this one really unbelievable and the plot is just ridiculous. Not at all hot, The Fireman's Rescue reads like a twelve-year-old's erotic fanfic ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Falling Ashes by Shoshanna Evers: Emotional story about Susan and her adamantly non-boyfriend Trent, whom she just may have feelings for. Unnecessarily angsty with standard, mediocre sex. Corny "I love you," crap going on, which I didn't care much for ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Fire Extinguisher by Rowan Elizabeth: Okay, this one rocked my socks. The narration is haunting but completely seductive. The sex scene isn't explosive, but the idea behind a lover's personal haven is amazing. I'm still reeling at Elizabeth's gorgeous style and structure—how come there is no information on this author ANYWHERE? I want more! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Her Hero by Catherine Paulssen: Holly's wistful dream of a fantasy makes this one both emotionally tender and fire-blazing hot; I loved the balance. The story line is actually terrific. You'll have to read it to find out more, yourself ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Johnny Blaze by Delilah Devlin: Bridget's 25th birthday part at a male strip club turns into a night of surprises when the man of her dreams, codename Johnny Blaze, takes control. Three keywords to describe this story: Spanking. Exhibitionist. Full-figured. Sound interesting? As always, Delilah Devlin's tone doesn't disappoint. While I didn't enjoy the story that much, I adore her style ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Pros


FIREMEN. Need I say more? // Well-edited and structured anthology // Lots of great authors // A few stories that really wowed me

Cons


A lot of the stories had similar foundations, which bored me quickly // Some ridiculous HEAs or attempts to add romance to spice (note to erotica authors: sometimes, it's perfectly OKAY to have just the spice)

Love

I am firmly on the awake side of sleep. He'll text. He always does.

At six-twenty-three in the morning, he texts me a simple message.

It was ugly.

He'll need me today in a way he doesn't always need me.
— from Rowan Elizabeth's Fire Extinguisher

Verdict


It's a good thing I have a thing for firefighters, or else the stories in Smokin' Hot Firemen would have gotten old real quickly. The majority of them follow the same premise—chiseled firefighter rescues gorgeous damsel in distress—just with different plot twists and characters. Some of them are indeed five-alarm hot, while others fizzle out; I felt way too many of them have far-fetched scenarios or conclusions (e.g. unrealistic happily ever afters) akin to what you find in the world of bad porn. In other words, almost comical, and absolutely foolish. However, overall I enjoyed this Cleis Press collection because firemen are literally my hottest fantasy Americanflag

7 hearts: Not perfect, but overall enjoyable (x)