Tuesday, August 21, 2018

REVIEW/RELEASE: Smokin' by Olivia Rush

Series: The Hot Boys Series #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Falling for a fireman is so cliché.

Yet, here I am. The elementary school teacher who’s all worked up over New York’s finest.
It started out as a simple ride along.
Now the only brass pole I want to slide down is his.
I know, good girls don’t think those thoughts, right?


The sculpted jaw, the tight t-shirt rippling with muscles. I’m only human.
Now, I’m the only witness to a crime. One that puts me on the run.
Solving the case is our main focus. Well, almost.
Staying at his place was supposed to be temporary. His love wasn’t expected.

Can a girl have her cake and him too?

~Book Review~
2.5 Stars

Ethan Stokes is a NYC fireman. Chloe Parker is an elementary school teacher. The blurb sounded promising but issues cropped up early on.

The good ole boy, objectify women mentality of this fire hall was a huge turn-off.  Chloe can’t even stop in to arrange a field trip for her students without being ogled and harassed by the men, and then Ethan proceeds to make lame ‘boys will be boys’ type excuses for them, rather than apologize and address their bad behavior. In fact, he lets it continue later at a bar as he drinks while on the job, and the boys say things like, “‘You gotta at least take a shot at hitting that.’”

*climbs on soapbox* There are enough problems in the real world with politicians, newscasters, and movie directors indulging in that kind of behavior; we don’t need romance heroes to glorify it and contribute to the culture. The #MeToo movement is very real, and I’d much rather see a heroine report that kind of behavior than flirt, fangirl, and fall in love with one of the sources of it.
“…Ethan was basically what every little boy wanted to be when he grew up. And, not to mention, he was who every little girl wanted to end up with.”
Enough with perpetuating this myth! It’s not healthy. I wouldn’t want my son to idolize guys like him or my daughter to marry one.  He might be good at his job, but Ethan is far from someone to emulate.

There’s little relationship development before these two spout off eye-roll worthy clichéd romance-porn dialogue while engaging in unprotected sex. No discussion of sexual heath or contraception when they’ve only known each other less than 36 hours!

Perhaps ignorance is bliss for our heroine but the reader has already been told that the hero is a former manwhore who racked up a lot of notches on his bedpost. The romantic factor was weak and their repeated unprotected sex acts following threats to her life were hardly sexy.

There’s also some suspension of disbelief needed over the field-trip premise. I had a hard time believing the fire station had never hosted an elementary school class before; but, they all acted like this request was such a put out. At the same time, it was set up with hardly any time for the students’ parents to have signed permission slips.

At various times, I questioned Chloe’s judgment as a teacher. Caught up in her lust and fangirling over Ethan, she seemed more focused in recklessly showing him off than properly explaining his job and teaching the dangers of fire.

There’s a suspense subplot, but it didn’t hold my interest because I was not invested in the characters either separately or as a couple. Told via their dual first person POV, the writing and editing is solid (though the dialogue was often hokey), but the underlying messages in the story were bothersome. 

99c for a limited time
Free in Kindle Unlimited

Olivia Rush writes romantic suspense with healthy dose of steam. She loves writing about beautiful characters in adventurous tales. She lives with a pain in the ass teen, her awesome hubby, and the world’s coolest cat. Netflix is watched daily in the Rush household and coffee is run through an IV drip.

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