Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel Series (0.5, 1 and 1.5)

One Fine Fireman (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel 0.5)

Kirk, aka Thor, one of San Gabriel’s infamous Bachelor Firemen, certainly lives up to his nickname. He’s tall, handsome, and has a chiseled body worthy of any Viking god. But he’d give it all up for one glance from her.

Sweet, shy Maribel has no idea he’s been pining for her. There’s nothing he’d like better than to sweep her off her feet and show her just how exquisite their love could be. But Kirk has a secret and he won’t let anyone get close, least of all the sexiest woman he’s ever met.

Can a feisty little dog and an even feistier little boy help these star-crossed lovers to find the true love they both so richly deserve?

I purchased these Jennifer Bernard books on a whim and during an Amazon Daily Deals. I have yet to met (read) an Avon author I haven't loved. Add sexy firefighters and the cute dog on the cover, how could one go wrong? I was right! Devoured the first 3 before I realized I hadn't written a review. In this first installment, you meet all the men from San Gabriel's famous Station 1. Ms, Bernard has this incredible way of making you care for every character from the loud Norwegian owner of the diner, Ms. Gund,  that Maribel works at to the lost dog (Z, Buddy, Stan, Hagrid) that brings everyone together. 

Maribel, a content fiance of a New York photographer (Duncan) living in San Gabriel raising her son while they wait to set a date for the wedding works at this quaint diner, Lazy Daisy grill, that is frequented by the infamous Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel. 
My goodness, they were like hand grenades of testosterone rolling in the door, sucking all the air out of the room. 
Maribel knew all the guys from Ryan to Vadar to... Kirk was back. The quiet Kirk walked into the grill that morning with the rest of the guys. Kirk had been gone for months now, and suddenly he was back and the effect he had on her was back also. 
"Eight words. Anyone have eight?"
"He said eight words. I had five. Anyone get closer than five?"
The brotherhood that is shown so quickly in this book is what pulled me in as a reader. Even though the guys were giving Kirk (Thor) a hard time with his shyness around Maribel, they were encouraging and supportive. While joking with each other, you learn so much about each one. By the end of this book, I was cheering for the HEA you get with the main characters and daydreaming about what Jennifer will do with the rest of the bachelors. 
When he manages to put more than five words together around her, they are some good ones. Strong words filled with all the emotion you would desire from your true love. 
"You're so beautiful," he said in a whisper. 
Oddly, that statement seemed to confuse her. "You think I'm beautiful?"
"Why do you think I can never put two words together when I'm around you?"
The struggle Maribel feels between her heart and what she thinks is best for her and her Harry Potter loving son, Pete is intense. As a mother, I understand her desire for the stability Duncan represents, but as a lover of burning (PUN intended) love - I see the attraction that doesn't disappear with Kirk. 
The journey to Maribel, Kirk and Pete's HEA was beautiful and full of trouble, bumps, unwanted people, some ditching school, a fire (of course) and Alaska. If you haven't given Ms. Bernard a chance yet, I suggest you pick up this quick (208 page) read and fall in love with the Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel. I know I did! 

The Fireman Who Loved Me  (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #1)

Fearless, smoking hot, and single: meet the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel. These firemen might be heroes, but it's their bad luck in love that makes them legendary.

News producer Melissa McGuire and Fire Captain Harry Brody couldn't be more different, though they do have one thing in common: they're both convinced they're perfectly wrong for each other. But when Melissa's matchmaking grandmother wins her a date with Brody at a Bachelor auction . . .

Sparks fly. Passion flares. Heat rises. (You get the picture.)

Add a curse, a conniving nightly news anchor, a stunningly handsome daredevil fireman, a brave little boy, a couple of exes, and one giant fire to the mix, and Melissa and Brody's love may not be the only thing that burns

Jennifer takes you back to San Gabriel, and introduces you to the feisty grandmother, Nelly McGuire. The day is Nelly's birthday, and invitation told her granddaughter, Melissa to show up at the Hilton at 5 P.M. The San Gabriel County Firefighter and Law Enforcement Officers Fourth Annual Bachelor Auction. Nelly was going to marry off her daughter before it was her time to join her deceased husband, Leon - and this is where she was going to do it. 
Nelly purchases a date with the firehouse's main LOOKER, Ryan. When both Nelly & Ryan find themselves "indisposed" for the said date - Captain Brody finds himself picking up Melissa McGuire for a date planned for a grandmother. 
When the date goes well enough, the Captain walks Melissa to the door, and things get a little hot. Not before Nelly, who appears to be feeling better, opens it up to interrupt something neither party can explain. 
"I saw his hands around your neck! He's no fire captain, he's an axe murderer!"
"Grans, he doesn't have an axe."
"I'm not a murderer of any kind." Brody felt compelled to clarify. 
Melissa seemed to have forgot about the second part of the "date" her grandmother bought her, and that was the meal the firehouse agreed to cook for her. Ryan invited both Melissa and Nelly. Melissa took is upon herself to invite Channel Six's very own, Ella Joy. (Whom the firefighters adored!) Melissa had no intention of allowing the Captain to get to her like he had before, but when those two get around a door - there is no telling. 
"Again?" hissed Nelly. "Just like the front door the other night." 
Melissa knew after that dinner she was going to...Yep, better avoid the firehouse like a... well, a house on fire. Thanks to Ella Joy's wonderful idea to do a story on the infamous firehouse, Melissa finds herself as the firehouse so much, the guys give her a nickname. Hollywood. 
Both Melissa and Brody (Henry) have pasts that come back to haunt them in their attempt at finding happiness. Stubborn might be the only thing these two have in common because when the situation gets tough, outsiders have to take drastic (and HOT) measures to get them to see how the other cares for them. 
"That's so annoying," she said. "Just when I'm about to get mad at you, you do that."
"What?" he said, glancing up absently. 
"Look so goddamn gorgeous."
"I'll try not to," he said dryly. It shouldn't be too hard. Hoagie's the heartbreaker."
This story had so many elements to it, but was in no way overwhelming. All the contributing factors to the difficulty of the HEA were addressed with such ease and the story maintained an amazing flow. Nelly might have been my favorite character because of her undying love of her husband, smart mouth and the ability to see the good and evil in people. She speaks so honestly about her late husband. He was perfect, by any means - and she didn't paint him that way. 
"Oh, he would have give you an argument about that one. According to him, I was the biggest trial any man ever saddled himself with. Stubborn as rash, he used to say. Never did as I was told. I ran him a pretty dance. But then he'd turn around and tell me his life wouldn't be worth a gob of spit without me, and i thought what was a very pretty thing to say, for a rough man like him."
I fell in love all over again with the Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel all over again in this installment. 
Double D told the story of the time they managed to save the local church, with a congregation trapped inside. "I figure we got an automatic pass to heaven after that one," he joked. 
You can't help but love Hoagie (Ryan) and all his affirmations and the overwhelming feeling of family in the group of men (and the two female firefighters) at Station 1. The grand gesture in this one was wonderful. Both were in their comfort zones and it was sweet. 
"You're in your turnout gear," she said blankly. 
"You wore your glasses," he answered nonsensically. 
"They help me think straight."
Before I let y'all go to pick up EVERY book the talented storyteller, Jennifer Bernard had written - I want to leave you with the last line of the book which summed up my thoughts perfectly: 
"Any bets on which fireman is next?"

There was NO cover for this short,
but I think this will do. :) 
Falling for the Fireman (free short story) (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #1.5)
A taste of Bachelor Firemen fun, with a sexy hero, a brave heroine, some sizzle, and another visit with the crew of Station 1.

This is a sweet and short story about a reunion between two flirtatious souls who met during a rescue mission. Matt McBride is a firefighter for Station 1. His brothers call him "Nessie" for two reasons. One, he was born in Scotland, and two, he'd once pretended for a solid month that he'd been raised by the Loch Ness monster. 
The firefighters are called to a structure fire at the local hotel where some models were staying during their shoot with the infamous San Gabriel Bachelors.

Nessie is sent up on the ladder and finds a woman trapped underneath debris. A beautiful model who is full of humor and jokes during this ordeal.
"You could be my friend. You're saving my life, after all. Trying to anyway. If it works, I think we should be friends."
"Already in the friend zone, is it? Story of my life."

"Is that an invitation for sex? Because your timing is a little off.:
He burst out laughing. She was gusty, he had to hand it to her. Spoiled, pill-guzzling model or not, he liked her spirit. "How about a rain-check then?..."

A terrible fall causes them to never see each other again. Doesn't mean the two don't think of each other often. Three years later. A photo shoot reunites the two again. She hides behind the camera while he jokes in his endearing accent. Hoping she can get through the shoot without him recognizing her. "Stud" (Fred) bursts in to thank Lisa "Bianca" for the autograph he left for his sister all those years ago, and a light bulb turns on in Nessie's head. He knows this woman. There playful banter is still present all these years later, and lucky for Matt - "I'm sure glad that sex rain check never expired." 
No complaints from me about the short glimpse into yet another Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel. Matt & Lisa's story could have been turned into a full-length novel, but it didn't lack being a short story. I think, all characters that Jennifer pens have the potential to fill an entire novel. 

Overall, I adore Jennifer Bernard's style of writing. She doesn't leave me needing more, no questions left unanswered, except - Who is next? The supporting cast of characters are so lovable, you hope everyone gets their own story in time. I give this series (SO FAR) a 5 overall. Strong story lines mixed with burning romance.

Before I leave you to pick up the heartbreaker, Ryan's ("Hoagie") story - let's give the author some LOVE!

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