Format: PDF (Provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: April 25, 2013
Gracelyn Riley married a firefighter and she knew that came with some risks. But she never imagined herself widowed in her early thirties with two children to care for on her own. Even though she had asked her husband, Chad, for a trial separation the week before his death because she found out about an affair he was having, dealing with the last year without him has not been easy. Her brother-in-law, Matt, has been the rock that has kept her from collapsing.
As a fireman, Matt Riley had been at the scene when his brother was killed. Several other firefighters had to hold him back to keep him from going after his brother in the collapsing building. The last year has been difficult for Matt. He suffered greatly from survivor’s guilt and drank himself into oblivion on several occasions. His one saving grace has come in the form of his sister-in-law, Gracelyn. Her friendship has pulled him through time and time again.
With the year anniversary of Chad’s death upon them, Gracelyn and Matt turn to each for support and comfort. What they didn’t expect was to realize that their feelings for each other went well beyond what they imagined. Can they overcome the guilt and the scrutiny of their family and friends to find love again… together?
Thank you to Liz from Fictional Candy for bringing In Flames to my attention. Proof that bloggers and reviewers do help authors spread the word about their books.
Jessica Jayne is the first new contemporary author I've tried in about a year. I am hesitant to pick up unknown authors because of the latest trends in romance. I didn't want to find myself with a book that had a weakling heroine and an over the top controling a-hole for a hero. That just doesn't work for me.
But In Flames really worked for me. It had the right amount of drama, tension, humor, romance and yes, sex to make it an enjoyable read for me. When Matt and Gracelyn find themselves physically attracted to one another it just complicates an already delicate situation. She's his sister-in-law, the widow of his dead brother who was the golden child in their parents' eyes. They see Matt as the son who was only separated from his wife before he started sleeping with women, the one who wouldn't make his marriage work. I felt for him. As someone who comes from a background where "favorites" are chosen, it's not a great feeling either way. He's a good man yet no one but Gracelyn seems to notice.
I do like a bit of family drama in my romances and In Flames delivered without drowning out the romance with ridiculous, over done theatrics. Author Jessica Jayne knew when to keep the tension going and when to wrap up the conflict. I didn't feel like she was wasting my time with a story that was just one whiny moment after another. Matt and Gracelyn did have a lot to think about. While at times they acted like martyrs that were prepared to fall on the symbolic sword and sacrifice their second chance at happiness for the sake of every one else's peace of mind, they didn't complain or whine about it.
Now I bet you're wondering, what about the sex scenes? What rating would you give them? I know that's what I would be asking! Gracelyn doesn't beat around the bush, she's quick to make the first move (You go girl!) and while Matt is initially hesitant, it doesn't last long and then *boom* it's a few degrees hotter! Not once, not twice, not even three times, it's like a competition to see who is more insatiable throughout the entire book.
Matt may be the man but Gracelyn's no slouch either and I loved how sexually confident she was! I especially loved that Gracey wasn't some goody too shoes, wannabe saint of a widow. She had needs and she definitely let Matt know, she didn't shy away from swearing or going after Matt on her own. I loved that. Just because she was a widow and a mom doesn't mean she stopped being a woman.
Overall, I really enjoyed In Flames and if you're looking for a romance that has two flawed but likable characters who have A-M-A-Z-I-N-G sexual chemistry, then definitely pick up this book!