The Night Belongs to Fireman:The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel # 6 by Jennifer Bernard with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for The Night Belongs to Fireman:The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel # 6  by Jennifer Bernard.  Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to read the Excerpt here and then enter the tour wide giveaway where Three Winners will receive Print Copies of The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel Series Books 1-3, THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME, HOT FOR FIREMAN and SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN.

Book Review:

My first introduction to this series, this book does work alone although the brief insets from characters highlighted earlier in the series will pique your interest.  Bernard manages to present Fred, the hero, with enough self-effacing characteristics and a body hardened by his martial arts training to bring instant zing.  

And I really liked Fred: the last of the men to get his woman, his self-confidence in his physical exploits are contrasted beautifully with his wavering self-confidence where women are concerned.  His ex-girlfriend was a pill, and he first meets Rachel while she is in her cups and behaving badly, picking at him at a bar. Fred just needs to find a better class of women – the ones he meets just don’t realize that nice guys are NOT a dime a dozen, and are far easier to deal with than bad boys or playboys.

After an accident, Rachel’s wealthy father hires Fred to be her bodyguard. Frankly, this whole part of the story had me thinking ‘not again’ poor damsel in distress, incapable of functioning on her own needs burly man to save her.  And, Rachel was every bit of that trope, including wholly lacking in self-awareness or determination to overcome or work through her childhood trauma.  She can’t trust new people, she can’t abide small spaces, and she doesn’t want to be coddled, BUT she seems singularly unwilling to take the steps to change her situation.

Fred is just the man, with patience that I lack, to deal with Rachel’s issues – real and imagined, and that did make up for his initial response to her bad behavior when they met.  Of course, the two are attracted – but they restrain themselves, and let their characters grow and evolve through the story.

To Rachel’s credit, she does learn that Fred offers a safe place to start to stand on her own – and she does, while always trying to inform and convince her father of her love and caring, even as she is moving further away from him to stand on her own two feet.  The guys at the firehouse and their interplay adds to the story, as do the growth and connection between Fred and Rachel, into a real relationship that shows potential and feels believable.

Although I haven’t read the earlier books in this series, I am curious about them, as I thoroughly enjoyed Bernard’s deft hand in characterization and development, providing solid interactions and a sense of friendship between the men, and the well-written, if for my tastes, slightly over-burdened heroine.

The Night Belongs to Fireman:The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel # 6  by Jennifer Bernard with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Night Belongs to Fireman
Author: Jennifer Bernard
Published by: Avon, Romance
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Rated: three-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They're the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel

When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the "Bachelor Hero." But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she's none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.

Rachel can't deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin' hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she's made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Mulligan was saying. “We’re going to organize a firehouse fight club, and take bets. I’ll put all my money on you and say I’m rooting for the underdog, and …”

Fred tuned out the other firefighter as Rachel slid off her stool, steadied herself, then set off across the bar. She seemed to be headed for the door in the far corner, the one with the red exit sign. Maybe she’d decided to go home. Not a bad idea, in his opinion, except the path to the exit took her right through a game of darts, to which she seemed completely oblivious.

Abandoning Mulligan, he dashed across the room and whirled the girl out of range of the flying darts.

“I … I was going to the bathroom,” she stammered, looking bewildered.

“Bathroom’s this way.” He spun her around so she faced the other direction. “Darts are the other way. Can you manage it or do you need an escort?”

She bristled. “I’m not going to the bathroom with some strange guy I don’t even—”

“Not me. One of your friends.”

“Oh.” Her face flamed. “You must think I’m a total ditz.”

“Not at all,” he said politely, which made her face turn even more crimson. She tore her arm from his grasp and headed for the bathroom, indignantly muttering something about overprotective men.

Well, if that was the thanks he was going to get …

Shrugging, he returned to Mulligan, who drained his mug and eyed him with amusement. “At least she didn’t whack you this time. So back to fight club. It’s not a bad way to prove up. Show the crew you’re more than a kitten lover. Let that pretty face of yours fool them, then bring down the hammer. If I hadn’t seen you in that ring, I wouldn’t have believed it, Fred.” His cell phone rang. As Mulligan muttered into his phone, Fred watched the dart players finish a game, then start another, then finish that one.

Mulligan ended his call. “I might have to hedge my bets, though, in case you decide to pull your punches. It’s that nice guy thing again. How do I know you aren’t going to wuss out and …”

“Hang on.”

Rachel had been gone too long. He just knew it. Leaving Mulligan in mid-sentence, he hurried to the dark hallway where the men’s and women’s bathrooms were located. Sure enough, there she was, a silvery sprite in the dim fluorescents, bending over a guy who knelt on the gritty, sawdust-covered floor. His chinos and stained crewneck sweater screamed vomiting frat boy.

“Are you all right?” Rachel was asking him in a concerned voice, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was alone in a dark hallway with a drunk.

“Awesome.” The guy swiped a hand across his face. “Hey, you’re pretty. Gimme a kiss.”

“Uh … no thanks.” She started to straighten up, but the guy latched on to her arm.

“Come on, baby.” He sang, “You can leave your veil on …” and tugged her so she lost her balance and started to fall on top of him.

Fred didn’t wait another second. He strode to her side, swooped her out of the drunk guy’s reach, and whisked her down the hallway. Her rosewater scent teased his nostrils; he resisted the urge to bend closer to sniff her hair, a move that might shift him from rescuer to stalker.

 

 

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About Jennifer Bernard

Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.

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