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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Okay so this was my introduction to Katie Ruggle. It wasn’t great but it was good enough to have me wanting to check out more from this series. Also, I'm catching up on my review pile.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca
Release Date: June 7, 2016

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers...and with the girl he's loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He'd die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she's managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

What’s it About? Firefighter Ian Walsh came from a tough background, a Motorcycle Club known for its criminal activity, and while Ian’s left that life behind to dedicate himself to firefighting, he feels he owes the Club that he still considers family. Meanwhile his childhood friend, Rory has become the go-to person for legal and illegal firearms and she’s manage to stay neutral when it comes to warring motorcycle clubs but when she is forced to defend herself against an attack, she finds herself in the middle of an all out gang war with only Ian to help her.

Overall reaction to the story? I’ve never read a Katie Ruggle book before and while I had a problem with the super slow pace of the romance, I did enjoy the set up and the heroine’s background. I’m definitely keen on reading the previous books in the series and also continuing with the series from this book on.

Describe the hero in five words: Dangerous. Loyal. Smart. Stubborn. Caring.
Did you like him? Sort of.
Why? I had a hard time getting a read on Ian in the beginning. Was he a good guy? Was he a bad guy? Was he conflicted? See, he’s a firefighter and has strong instincts to protect those who need protection but at the same time he felt he owed something to the motorcycle club he used to belong to. A club that had some shady dealings and definitely committed criminal acts. Ian was even in on some of those acts in the past. So just where did he fall as a character? I think he was a bit of both, he was a hero at heart but at the same time he considered a group of dangerous, no-good criminals family. I saw that as a weakness because if it came down to it, would he turn away from his “family” for the better? By the end of the book I still didn’t have this answer but I did like him and definitely understood why Rory was drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

Describe the heroine in five words: Stubborn. Loyal. Intelligent. Tough. Dangerous.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Rory had a very isolated upbringing and in a complete 360 spin, now owns a gun shop where she sells firearms legally, and illegally. What a difference right? I actually liked this about her because her upbringing could have made her a boringly innocent heroine but while she did have an air of innocence, Rory was anything but boring. She was awkward one moment, then facing down a threatening biker the next. To me she was the bigger bad ass between her and Ian. A female arms dealer? Talk about having to face twice as many challenges.

Let’s talk about the romance: So Fan the Flames had one issue in my opinion and that was how slow the romance was to go anywhere. I mean, Ian and Rory had known each other for a long time and each secretly had feelings for the other for just that long. So what was the hold up? I didn’t expect them to jump into bed with one another but the snail’s pace of a romance didn’t do much by the way of sexual tension or any kind of buildup. That was a big disappointment to me. These two were in a prime position to really heat up the pages but nope, the slow pace actually made the heat fizzle out by the time anything remotely sexy happened between them.

How about that supporting cast? Fan the Flames is part of a series that I have yet to read from the beginning but there are a few characters from past books that make appearances and that got me curious about the series in general. 

Click It or Skip It? Click It. I think longtime fans will enjoy this book but if you’re new to author Katie Ruggle like I am, then don’t expect a whole lot of heat. Rory and Ian play it too safe with their romance for it to be called a "hot" romance. However, I have heard that this is not how Ruggle's romances are usually done.

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