The Fireman’s Pole, by Sue Brown
Series: Dreamspun Desires, #44
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 15, 2017
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.
It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire—and attention—of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.
Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.
Unfortunately the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.
Content Warning for: People running into fires, the aftermath of fires.
I don’t really know how I feel about this book. The romance was ok, the MCs were ok, the plot was interesting, but things went too fast for me. There was kind of too much going on with minimal development. I think the reason why I gave this book a lower rating is that it had so much potential that was completely wasted because of the short length. Give it more development and this book would have been five stars for me. Totally unfair given that this is a Dreamspun Desires book, but that’s how I feel.
The problem is that I have read books with more ridiculous and unbelievable plots that had more chemistry between the two MCs. The chemistry was significantly lacking in this book and it made it hard to look away from some other issues I had with it. The biggest issue was that the romance was mainly derived from announcing feelings without us really seeing it. I want to see their chemistry, not have them tell me they like each other. It falls flat for me when that’s the case and it was frustrating because I really liked the idea of them together. They would work really well together as a fighting-to-loving type thing if it wasn’t so rushed.
I feel that the romance started too quickly and then fell victim to not enough development. The romance starting quickly would be fine, but Ben was really aggressively mean to Dale the first times they talked. I don’t understand how Dale would have gone head over heels for someone who treated him like that (especially after a bad breakup). Ben got sweeter later in the book but that was after Dale was all into him. Also, it bothered me that Dale announced that he wanted to wait to have sex because he was feeling vulnerable after his breakup, but then he jumped right into bed with Ben.
On the other side, Ben meets Dale, is mean to him, and then suddenly decides Dale is worth breaking up with his girlfriend (beard) and coming out. Ben was adamant about not coming out too quickly but then was all over Dale in public. The village wasn’t homophobic or judgmental so I understand why he felt comfortable doing this, but his words did not match his actions. This book had a serious case of “I wouldn’t before but he’s just so special.” Yuck.
Onto what I liked about the book… The writing was well done and I thought there were a lot of interesting characters in it. I actually enjoyed Ben and Dale as characters, but I think the sudden romance made them kind of boring. They actually became more interesting when they were around the other interesting characters from the village, but they were boring together. I could really see how this romance would work but it needed more development. Could I write the words “more development” more in this review???
Sadly, the mystery with the fire stole the show. I liked how it got resolved and that it wasn’t too serious (I mean arson is always serious but no one got killed). It gave the characters more reasons to interact and brought Dale into contact with more of the villagers.
Overall, I think this book would have done better not as a Dreamspun Desires but as a full-length book. There were some interesting plot points that got glazed over and I think the romance should have been more of a slow burn. However, if you can suspend your disbelief better than I could or not get frustrated at the short length, then I think you would enjoy this book a lot more. Especially since the Fireman/stuffy Royalty thing was really hot and the mystery was engaging.
Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.