My first Shannon Stacey novel was a second chance romance with SO much potential. FLARE UP follows Grant, a Boston firefighter, and Wren, the woman who broke his heart five months before. Wren ran away from Grant and her relationship with him because she is scared of a violent ex-boyfriend.
The relationship between Grant and Wren really shined in this book. The unique premise of a quick, it was never really over, second chance romance kept me turning the pages. Ms. Stacey did an excellent job of portraying the many complex layers to a relationship and love.
Grant. What a dreamboat! I am so in love with the way he loves Wren. I mean come on, he’s a sweet, sensitive firefighter who loves his parents and is devoted to his girlfriend. What’s not to like?? He’s so nice and normal, it’s worth reading this book just to meet your latest book boyfriend.
Here’s the thing with this story: I loved the characters and I enjoyed Shannon Stacey’s writing. What I didn’t like was that the entire book was based on a very, very thin plot line. Wren ran away from Grant because she was scared for him. Okay, I get that. What I don’t understand is that when they get back together, NOTHING has changed. Nothing. She is still scared of her ex, she just decides to tell Grant this time around. She hasn’t learned anything in the five months she was away and she hasn’t grown at all. The other characters in the book didn’t really even get it.
I also thought this book had one of the weakest suspense climaxes I have ever read in my life. When I got to the end of the chapter, I literally flipped a few pages ahead and thought, that’s it? I understand that Ms. Stacey prioritized the emotional connection over the actual plot, but I could have used just a little bit more.
Overall, I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I think Ms. Stacey is a really great writer and I am hoping to go back and read the other books. FLARE UP just starts with a shaky foundation and it continues to be a problem throughout the story. I do recommend this book for the hero along. Grant, call me?
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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