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Brave the Heat

by Sara Humphreys

Series: McGuire Brothers (Sep 2015 - book 1)

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232818,881 (3.67)1
Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire's feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn't prevent. Jordan's life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan's biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.… (more)
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Summary
Jordan McKenna has returned home after a failed marriage and being a full-time single mother of two daughters. Her father's life is faltering, and the man she has always loved is still hurting from all those years ago where Jordan made mistakes she regrets. Jordan and Gavin were high school sweethearts, mistakes were made and other factors drove them apart. Jordan left for the big city, married a man that turned out to be abusive and a drunk, but she got two treasures out of it: her daughters. When her husband gets violent and her daughters are witnesses, she files for divorce. She comes back home to the seaside town for a fresh start and to have a stable environment. Gavin is the Fire chief, but over the years he has sustained his own scars both physical and emotional. He has never forgotten Jordan or how she left him and he never knew why. But Jordan and Gavin have a chance to begin anew, but before they may have a true chance....something traumatic may drive them apart.
Plot and Story Line
Brave The Heat was a brilliant story that had me hooked from the very beginning. I adore every book this author has written , and so far she always brings a satisfying romance. This is the first of Sara Humphreys with a contemporary setting since she has always done paranormal themes. So it was a nice change and boy can she write a fun and sexy fire fighter romance. I loved every aspect of this story, and it is packed with everything you are looking for in a romance.

It begins when Jordan, our heroine, returns to town with her two little girls in tow. Now I know not everyone is fond of children in romances, but I loved these two. Curious, blunt, and so funny. I love how sweet these two were and the way that they cling to Gavin. I loved seeing this aspect because it brings a hint of reality in the mix and I love having a story that is realistic and easy to relate to. And boy reading these girls made me want to have kids...immediately. Not that I will, but they were so precocious and charming and added emotional depth to the story that one wouldn't see coming but would be delighted to find.

The romance at first is a bit rocky and Jordan and Gavin have some hills and valleys to battle before they can truly accept the past and embrace the future. There is hurt feelings because there were outside influences to their break up, influences that don't get revealed until now. Which plays a huge role in their relationship. Because their past is the driving force, and they can't begin to have a future if they don't learn to accept the past for what it is. It was really quite stunning seeing these two in action, once the truth is revealed. Jordan does take some time before she is willing to begin anything with Gavin. She blames it on wanting stability for her girls, but in all honesty, she lets fear take control over her decisions regarding Gavin. Jordan hasn't had it easy with men, the only man who has ever treated her with kindness and love has been Gavin. Her father and ex-husband were both abusive in similar ways. So I understand the reasoning behind Jordan, but my heart did go out for Gavin as well.

Now, what really was the icing on the cake for this one was the Mcguire family. They are a hoot of entertainment...let me tell you. First the parents, they were so charming and cute. I love seeing couples that are madly in love after thirty years and still have the chemistry and not afraid to show it. We see that much to "Gavin's" embarrassment which was so hilarious. The brothers which are what this new series is based on. Boy, each brother is so different but in many ways they are so alike....children they are. Love to bicker and fight over their mothers homebaked cookies. But this family has so much warmth and love attached, that they really add so much more to the story. I can't wait to see which brother is next, though.
Narration
What a job well done by Kate Russell. I believe this is the first time I have listened to her narration and loved it. Any time I listen to Humphreys' books in an audio format I always have a fun time. She played out the characterizations very well and her voice did great when switching from male and female roles.
The Cover
What a charming and sweet cover. I love how romantic it is, with the sun shining in the background.
Overall View
Brave The Heat is a sensational romance that will sweep you off your feet with mystery, danger, emotional turmoil and a heartfelt love story that you never want to end!! TRULY MAGNIFICENT!! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 24, 2019 |
Brave the Heat by Sara Humphrey's is a 2015 Sourcebooks Casablanca publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is the first in a new contemporary romance series featuring the McGuire brothers. Many of us know this author for her wildly popular paranormal series, so this one may seem like a departure for some of you.

Jordan and Gavin were teenage sweethearts but Jordan abruptly left town without a word, never to be seen or heard from again for fifteen years.

Now she has come home with two young daughters, to take care of family matters and hopefully make a fresh start in her tumultuous life. What she didn't know what that for fifteen long years, Gavin has never completely gotten over her and was hurt by her departure far more than she ever could have imagined.

But, this is not the only pain Gavin is dealing with. A horrible tragedy inspired him to become a firefighter, and is still haunted and riddled with guilt over what happened. However, at the moment he has his hands full with an outbreak of fires obviously the work of an arsonist.

Now that Jordan is back in town, can Gavin get to the bottom of why she left all those years ago? Do they have a chance at love the second time around?

I enjoy reading contemporary romance more than I ever used to, but as a person well past her twenties, I often find it hard to relate to the characters and the issues they find daunting. So, I really appreciated that this story featured more mature characters who were dealing with meatier issues.

But, for me, what set this one apart from others like it, was the more realistic depiction of firefighters, highlighting the dangers of the profession, something that is often glossed over in romance novels.

With Gavin, we were introduced to what felt like a real, honest- to -goodness hero who literally goes into blazing infernos and pulls people to safety. But, while Gavin knows what a fire can do, how quickly it can spread, and how easily it can kill, being in love with Jordan frightens him just a much as a fire raging out of control.

“Love is scary and wonderful, and it's what makes us human”

Jordan's life has never been easy and she's never been able to catch a break. Her return home is a new start for her and a chance to face down old demons, clear up misunderstandings and past hurts, and hopefully set her life back on track. I thought she did the right thing by leaving home, but did not do it the right way.

It's obvious the old fires are still burning between Gavin and Jordan but is it too late to start over? Has too much time passed? Can they work through their doubts and fears in order to finally have a life together?

The drama and romance is compelling enough to make a great story, but the mystery involving the arson fires is not to be taken lightly, even though it runs in the background for much of the time.

Some parts of the story does seem to follow the usual contemporary romance pattern when it comes to second chance love stories, don't be fooled or become complacent. This was a very solid romance, with very intense situations and a shocking mystery.

I think this book set the stage for a very solid series and I'm really looking forward to the second installment. 4 stars ( )
  gpangel | Sep 15, 2015 |
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McGuire Brothers (Sep 2015 - book 1)
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Jordan McKenna is back in town, and Fire Chief Gavin Maguire's feelings when he sees her after all these years are as raw as the day she left. Then he was just a kid wearing his heart on his sleeve. Now he spends every day trying to atone for the tragedy he couldn't prevent. Jordan's life has not exactly worked out the way she expected. A divorced mother of two with a failed acting career, Jordan's biggest concern about coming back to Old Brookfield was seeing her first love. But when a series of suspicious fires breaks out, Jordan and Gavin realize that dealing with the sparks between them may be the least dangerous of their problems.

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