Smoldering Flame (Rekindled Flame, #3)by Andrew Grey Published 13 Feb 2018
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Sometimes the strongest flames take the longest to ignite.
Firefighter Dean’s life revolves around his very ill son, Sammy. Caring for Sammy and working to make ends meet leave Dean time for little else, and romance isn’t something he can even consider—no matter how much he longs for someone special to join their family. Because money is tight, Dean couldn’t be more grateful to the photographer who does Sammy’s session free of charge.
After growing up in the foster care system, Marco knows how to rely on himself, and his hard work is about to pay off—he’s poised on the cusp of fame and success he could only have imagined as a lonely child. When Dean brings Sammy into Marco’s studio, Marco can see they’re struggling, and both the boy and his father stir Marco’s heart. The slow burn between the two men isn’t something either expected, but neither wants to lose the possibility of a loving future. With Dean’s dangerous and possibly life-threatening career and Marco’s demanding one, can romance and forever find a place to fit?
"Smoldering Flame (Rekindled Flame, #3)" Reviews
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR-STAR ✩ AUDIO ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Half-dressed fireman posing to the side of flames. Nothing to express the gravity of the book's content. I love the synopsis.
> > Looking Deeper < <
POV ~> Third-person
Fireman and single father, Dean, met photographer, Marco, at the prompting of his ill son, Sammy. Sammy noticed a photo taken by Marco and wanted to see the prop in person and the men develop a slow-building relationship.
The main characters were solid and Sammy felt age-appropriate. The secondary cast were varied. The chemistry between them was nice. Their relationship built slowly but felt natural. There were a few conflicts... Marco's indecisiveness over Dean's profession annoyed me at times but it still felt fairly natural. The external conflicts were handled as best as possible.
Predictability was below average. The conclusion was solid and satisfying.
Overall, the story was enjoyable and heartfelt.
Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.275 ~ Stars: 4
This is the first book I've listened to that was narrated by Michael Pauley even though he's narrated for several of my most enjoyed authors. The audio sample pulled me in and I'd thought this would be a grand slam but it was not without its pros and cons.
While pronunciation/diction is clean and easy to decipher, the words sometimes were spoken too quickly and made it difficult to follow. I'd also noticed, several times, that the character voices and intonations were not stable, bled together, or were lost entirely to the point where the listener would not know who was speaking. The biggest exception to this was Angus, who was done beautifully.
The drama- and angst-ridden plot of abandonment issues and unaccepting parental figures, topped with the fears of a dangerous job and having a potentially terminally ill child, all made for an emotional story. Those emotions were conveyed well by Mr. Pauley.
I give the overall narration 4 out of 5 stars.
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received an audible copy of this book from the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
I’ll alert you ahead of time, this one starts out as a heart-tugger. It does have an HEA, because that’s what Andrew Grey writes, so stick with me on this. I’ll also tell you this is my favorite Andrew Grey romance. It’s so sweetly written, with just enough gentle angst and loads of love that you will not be able to put it down until you finish it.
Dean is a firefighter. He’s also a single father, through circumstances that are explained in the book. His little boy, who is about 4 years old, first appears in the book bald, tired, and dragging his oxygen tank behind him as he and his father enter a photographer’s studio. You can imagine for yourself what is wrong with Sammy. Sammy had seen some photographs at the hospital of other patients in costumes or with props and because his father is a firefighter, he really wants his picture taken with a huge stuffed dalmation he had seen in one of the photos. Dean tracked the photographer down to this studio and came to ask the photographer, who is in high demand, to simply let Sammy see the stuffed dog. It’s near closing time but Marco, the photographer, couldn’t resist the opportunity to make Sammy happy by pulling the prop out of a closet, and then taking pictures of him with the dog.
There are a number of connections between Marco and Sammy, including childhood cancer. Marco had grown up in the foster care system, including one couple who essentially raised him but never adopted him. There’s also a tug between Marco and Dean, both single gay men, but both have reasons to keep any relationship on a back burner. It’s a push and pull between them almost all the way through the book.
The characters spend quite a bit of time in hospitals, for various reasons and there are a number of life threatening challenges for everyone to cope with. The question becomes whether there is room in each other’s life for love and whether Sammy will get hurt somewhere along the way.
The ending is absolutely fantastic. Best ending I’ve ever read! I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I really wanted to give this one 10 stars.
Check out our Smoldering Flame post on Wicked Reads.
Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team
Avid Reader – ☆☆☆
Sammy and Dean have had a hard go of it as of late. I loved Sammy's spirit and thought that he definitely made Dean seem more down to earth. I thought that Dean was somewhat aloof when it came to his job and family – he knew that he was amazing at his job, but also knew that if he made a mistake, it could cost him a lot more than his job.
Then when Dean and Sammy meet Marco, it changes the dynamic of everyone's lives. Dean does what any responsible parent would do and protects Sammy at all costs. However, he also is attracted to Marco in a way that he hasn't found himself in a while.
Throwing in Dean's strict and somewhat bigoted father, Dean and Marco have to overcome a few obstacles – the number one being their ability to communicate.
This story didn't carry with it the usual heat that I'm used to with Grey tales, but it did have a good sense of family in it.
Overall, this was just an okay story for me. I think that for my taste, it lacked chemistry between Dean and Marco, and even though Sammy helped them in that family-feeling department, I just didn't really connect with these characters.
Reviewers received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
Another great book by Andrew Grey. I loved that this book was not only an extremely emotional read but also an exciting read. I like a good fire fighter read but when you throw in a son and a man that completely understands the things this amazing little boy has been through and you have a fabulous read that will capture your heart.
Den is a single father of an incredible little boy named Sammy. Dean is not only a father but he is also a fire fighter that loves his job. He is good at his job, almost like he can read what a fire is going to do before he does it. But the most important thing in his life is this precious little boy.
Sammy is only five years old but he has had a hard time of things. He is fighting the fight of his young life against cancer. It has most definitely taken its role on him and Dean is extremely concerned that he is going to lose his little boy. So when Sammy shows a huge interest in wanting to meet the stuffed dog that he has seen in pictures at the hospital, Dean does not hesitate to take Sammy to the man that took the picture in hopes to be able to let his little boy meet the stuffed animal his little boy has becomes so infatuated with.
Marcos is the photographer that took the picture that Sammy seen and when he meets both Sammy and Dean for the first time their is no question about letting the boy play with the stuffed dog and even less question of whether he will take picture of it or not. Meeting Sammy brought back Marcos past pain of going through the same thing that Sammy is going through but at the same time the pictures of Sammy turn out to be one of Marco's favorite.
Marco was not expecting to meet and start to feel something for someone, much less someone like Dean and Sammy for that matter. But that is exactly what has happened. But what happens between Marco and Dean when Marco is no longer sure if he can handle the stress and emotional war that he feels within about Dean's very dangerous job? Can he get over the fear he feels or will it all just be to much for him?
Andrew Grey did such an amazing job on this book. It is truly an emotional read. There was times that I was in tears and other times I found myself smiling. It is definitely one of those books you want to have some tissue handy while reading it. I look forward to more books by Andrew in the future.
Was given this galley copy for free for an open and honest review
Wow! This is book three in Rekindled Flame but it stands alone ok. Some of the characters carry over from the previous books but the story is solely Dean and Marcus.
Dean is a firefighter and loves his job. He is a single father of a six-year-old son that is battling cancer.
Marcus is an up and coming high-end photographer.
Sammy, Dean's son saw a photo in the hospital of a child with a stuffed dalmatian that Dean took and wanted to see it. Dean takes him by the studio and the sparks start.
Sammy won my heart over just like he does Marcus. Even the Grinch's heart would melt meeting this sweet little boy. Andrew Grey dis a spectacular job creating Sammy. He is charming, innocent, yet the angst is not overdone. We see a normal child though he is dealing with a terrible monster.
Marcus has some secrets and he can relate to Sammy and that is part of why they click so much. He gets him.
The relationship is a slow burn which was perfect for the story but once those sparks turn to flames...watch out! The chemistry here is smoking!
I love this series and I think this one is my favorite so far!
Michael Pauley really brings the awesome characters to life. he makes a charming voice for Sammy and we can tell his age. I love the way he laughs when there is a laugh chuckle if its called for and sighs. and in the bedroom he makes the scene come alive.I suggest if you are going to invest in an Audio try this one! Or buy the book and add the audio so you have the est of both worlds. You won't regret it.
I am not one to reread a lot but this is on my will read again list!
Full review available at: https://optimumm.blog/2018/02/13/revi...
Smoldering Flame by Andrew Grey is the third book in the Rekindled Flame series. I haven’t read the other two books in the series, but this book is very much a standalone read. I have read quite a few books by Andrew Grey, and he has this way of writing that just engages all of my emotions. I can’t help but become invested in his characters and what they have to go through to get to their happily ever after. I just knew this was going to be a special book when Marco meets Dean and Sammy for the first time at his studio and he does a photo shoot with Sammy and Sparky, a giant stuffed Dalmatian dog. The scene brought tears to my eyes, and I was glued to the book until the very end. The book was everything that I wanted and more.
Smoldering Flame starts out, and we meet Marco and get a look into his hopes and dreams for his photography career. He’s on the cusp of making it big and getting all of his hard work and dreams realized. Marco hasn’t had an easy life growing up. He lost his mother to cancer and entered the foster system. He also had leukemia as a child and was able to beat it. However, he didn’t have any family, and so he had to battle all of the treatments by himself with just the nurses and doctors to keep him company while he was in the hospital. There was a very nice firefighter that would come in and visit with the children, but he was later killed on the job. After beating leukemia, he was fortunate enough to have wonderful foster parents that were very supportive of his photography passion.
Dean’s a firefighter, and his life revolves around his very ill son, Sammy. Dean’s a single father, and his parents help out with babysitting while Dean’s at work. His mother’s very supportive of Dean being gay. However, his father is retired military and believes that Dean just needs to find the right woman again. He doesn’t support his son being gay and has very bigoted views. However he does love his grandson, in his mind he just wants his son to find the perfect woman to be Sammy’s new mother. He feels that Sammy needs to have a mother in order to have a well-balanced life.
During his treatments, Sammy sees a picture in the children’s ward with a little girl and a giant stuffed Dalmatian dog. He’s taken with the dog, and so his father finds out who shot the photo, and they visit the studio in the hopes that Sammy can see and interact with the stuffed dog in person. When Marco sees Sammy, he’s moved to offer an impromptu photo session with the dog. Marco can empathize with Sammy, and he loves how Dean cares for Sammy. Marco finds the way Dean cares for Sammy to be very attractive. And it’s Sammy and his love of Marco’s stuffed dog, Sparky, that keeps bringing Dean and Marco back together until they start dating. But Marco has trust and loss issues, and Dean has a very dangerous job. Can Marco handle the stress of Dean’s job? Can their new relationship handle how busy Marco’s job is and how much traveling comes with it? I know that I enjoyed getting the answers to those questions. I fell in love with Sammy, Dean, and Marco and of course, Sparky and Spotty, the hand puppet. I can’t wait to read the first book in the series about Marco and Richard, who are friends of Dean and Marco’s.
So for me, it’s 5 OptimuMMs for Fire Daddy, Fire Papa, Sammy, Sparky, and Spotty for stealing my heart.
***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***