Nothing But Smoke by Daisy Harris
Series: Fire and Rain, Book 3
Published by: Samhain Publishing on June 10, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Michael Larson has decided to steer clear of closeted men. He spent enough time in a relationship with one, and he’s not doing that again. When he spots a hot guy in a leather jacket while he’s on a run in Volunteer Park, Michael cruises him and gets him to follow. Michael senses the man’s unease–a clue that maybe he’s not out–but it’s just a random hookup, so what does it matter?
Nicky O’Brian isn’t gay. Right? He can’t be. He’s a firefighter from an Irish Catholic family who is focused on taking care of his terminally ill mother. But the videos he watches at night and his occasional forays into the park to cruise for guys say otherwise. And when he hooks up with an incredibly hot strawberry-blond guy who keeps showing up again and again, he can’t help wondering if maybe he wants more than just the occasional romp in the woods.
As Michael and Nicky spend more time together, both will need to confront their issues. Can Michael be with a guy who isn’t open about who he is? And can Nicky get past his hangups and accept himself?
I find myself continuing to enjoy this firefighter series set in Seattle by Daisy Harris. And one of the things I always love about her novels set in the city is that it almost becomes a character in the story itself. The descriptions of the places, the people, the streets–they’re all very real and authentic. And it helps the story come to life so much more easily in my head.
The story of these two is a bit different than the previous two books. While the dynamic puts them at odds, it didn’t have quite the same intensity that I was used to seeing. Part of this may because there are a few skips in time where we miss some of the relationship development that struck me as an odd choice. That said, it’s still fun and interesting to watch their journey from where they start to where they finish.