Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Burning for You by Michelle Dunaway is a cute novel about two regular people who meet and fall in love because they get to know one another first (although the attraction is there right from the start, and the HEA with the “I love you’s”, and all that’s involved happens a bit too fast- in less than a month). But if you like hunky firefighter heroes (this hero is modeled after actor, Joe Manganiello), you’ll enjoy Burning For You.
Taylor is in grad school and barely making ends meets as a waitress and photographer. She’s slowly building her photography client base, and scores a big job photographing the Sexy Public Servants Charity Calendar, filled with sexy firefighters, police and other types. She hits it off with Joe, one of the hunkiest firefighters. Joe likes how Taylor works and is attracted to her, but wants to keep it professional between them. He asks her to work for free to create a book for the Burn Recovery Support Group, which will feature pictures of burn victims. Joe’s sister is a burn victim, and Joe is one also. Because of his scars, which he keeps hidden, he’s afraid being intimate with women. He doesn’t want their pity. Taylor accepts the jobs, and these two become friends pretty fast. Joe comes from a big loving family, and they welcome Taylor into their fold. Taylor only has her mom, and she’s still recovering from an obsessive ex-boyfriend who pops up again after two years, needing to speak to her. As Joe and she become closer, he has to decide if he wants Taylor on a personal level and if they should become lovers, knowing she may turn away in disgust because of his burns.
Burning For You has a great message about beauty only being skin deep. Joe has a great package to most of the female population, but he has self-esteem issues because of what happened to his sister and his guilt over it. Taylor doesn’t want to be rejected by Joe but she thinks she has inadequacies also. There’s some push and pull between these two, and when they go for the gold with one another, it happens very fast-within a few days of meeting one another.
The secondary characters are nice, especially Joe’s family and his firefighter co-workers. The subplot with Taylor’s ex seemed tacked on and didn’t really bring anything worth while to the story as a whole. The HEA is sweet as can be, but again happens so fast.
Burning For You doesn’t have burning, smoldering love scenes, but it’s still an enjoyable contemporary romance with characters you sympathize with.