Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bachelors of San Gabriel (2, 3, 4, 4.5 and 5)

With just 11 days to spare until her newest release, I finished all the books in Jennifer Bernard's Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel series. Before I dive into the 5 stories I gorged myself in, let me just say that Jennifer is an incredibly talented author. With each brave fire fighter, I fell more in love. The dedication they each had to their jobs, the journey to their HEA and the background stories were unique and intriguing. As a whole, this series is a strong 4.5 - and I cannot wait for #6.

Hot For Fireman (#2)
Add to your TBR shelf on Goodreads

Ryan Blake got suspended from the San Gabriel firefighters a year and a half ago for a daredevil act that nearly killed someone. Now he’s back in San Gabriel, fighting to return to the force. He takes a job at a local dive, the Hair of the Dog, while he studies for the test that will get him his job back. 

But the real test comes in the form of Katie Dane, bar manager. Katie got stuck running the family bar when her father had a heart attack. The place is losing money like crazy and the insurance is about to lapse. Her desperate solution? Burn the place down, collect a million dollars. The only problem--little does she know, her new bartender is actually a firefighter. 

Can a professional fireman and a wannabe firebug ever manage to get along? More importantly, can they stay away from each other and/or keep from ruining each other’s careers? Not likely. This is San Gabriel, after all.

With the previous reads, I could not wait for the firehouse playboy, Ryan Blake to meet his match. This man was so far out of her league, they didn't even play the same sport. Get a grip. I instantly loved Katie. She is full of spunk and met Ryan quip for quip. 
He opened his mouth but nothing came out. 
"If you laugh at me, I'll knock your teeth out with my bat, " Katie said. 
The spell broke. 
Ryan met his match indeed with Katie. And his GRAND GESTURE of the Firemen Bar Scene was perfection. I think I have decided what my favorite thing is about this series - the insight you get with each member of Station 1. She leaves you eager to meet these men more intimately. Leaving this story behind, one of my favorite men was Vader. First, he shows his nerd with his name, and second for the silliness that is scenes like this one: 
"I'll have a G-Spot, straight up," a redhead in a tube top asked Vader. "Do you know what that is?"
"Honey, I invented the G-Spot." Vader leered. 
"Seriously? The drink or the, you know...?"
"Both. At the same time. With one hand tied to a bedpost." 
The internal battles Katie and Ryan had in admitting their feelings was hilarious to say the least. I love scenarios where everyone tells them, and they still don't get it. 
"Did you just admit you like me half the time?" Ryan gave her a half smile, which she supposed was all she deserved. 
"At least half. Maybe more."
"More than half? You're scaring me now. Let me know when I'm up to sixty-one percent and I'll tone it down."
Another bachelor is off the market! Katie is one lucky lady. 

Sex and the Single Fireman (#3)

The toughest captain on the East Coast, single father Rick Roman has come thousands of miles to San Gabriel to put an end to the "Bachelor Firemen" media hype. But when a stunning woman he nearly hooked up with in Reno turns out to be a firefighter from his new station, Roman realizes it's going to be tough keeping the tabloids at bay. 

But there's even more Sabina isn't telling him. Before dedicating her life to battling blazes, Sabina led a very different life, one that made her famous. The last thing she wants is to have her secret exposed. The papers, bloggers, and TV gossips will have a field day with that—especially when they sense the obvious sexual heat between Sabina and Chief Roman, who's torn between firing her...and falling in love with her!

You meet two feisty people in Reno who are up for some no-strings attached fun while celebrating Thanksgiving after having each receiving tickets from Reno PD.
"Hey, I don't even know your name," she said suddenly surprised. Somehow it felt as if they'd traveled way past introductions. 
"Ha. I don't know your either." He lifted his glass. They clinked again, 
Sabina sipped her pink gin."Of course, they're on file with Reno PD."
In this installment, you get into the head of one of Station 1's female firefighters, "Two." (Otherwise know as Sabina or "Jones" to her brothers in the house) Enter Station 1's newest addition, "...Battalion Chief Rick Roman, the section commander in charge of the Training Section, specializing as the department's safety and hazmat specialist." (Who also happens to be a nameless figure from Two's NOT SO DISTANT past in Reno) 
There was a different feel to this installment. Roman and Sabina's story was intensely deep and complex. It didn't have the lightness of the previously novels, but it was wonderful just the same. Roman's past made him the overprotective father he is today, and you see it in the intensity that he loves. Sabina is hiding from her past as if she was a convicted felon, and not a well loved child star. While Roman is expected to keep this media-magnet of a station, he is finding hurdle after hurdle - the largest? Falling head over heels in love with the one woman he can't. 
The depth didn't stop with these two. Perhaps, it is because I am a mother first, but add kids into the mix, and I am a goner. Luke, Roman's son, is a constant reminder of all that he lost while Carly, Jone's "sister" from the Big Sister program is a representation of a normalcy that she craved as a child. 
And finally, this HEA was drastic with a wonderfulness all wrapped up neatly with a bow. And Roman summed it up so well when he told her:
"...when I say 'I love you,' it doesn't change overnight. Or in two weeks."

How to Tame a Wild Fireman (#4)
Firefighter Patrick "Psycho" Callahan earns his nickname every day. Fast, fit, and a furious worker, he thrives on the danger which helps him forget a near-tragedy that changed his life forever. But when his off-duty carousing gets out of hand, Patrick is sent back to Loveless, Nevada, where the wildfire threatening his hometown has nothing on sizzling Dr. Lara Nelson.

Lara would rather be thought of as the physician who returned to Loveless than as the misfit brought up at a hippie New Age commune. But right now she's focused on her job at hand, patching up injured firemen...until the past hits her in the hard-muscled, blue-eyed form of Patrick Callahan. Now, the embers of their decade-old attraction have ignited into a full-on inferno, as the bad-boy firefighter and the good doctor take a walk on the wild side they'll never forget.

Psycho's story is easily my favorite from the series to date. Patrick is from a small town in Nevada called, Loveless. After a tragic accident he never returns to that town and his past. That is until his Captain offers his an opportunity to go help with the wildfires that are endangering his hometown. Patrick hasn't seen his family or Lara in what seems like an eternity. Both left Loveless to never turn back. Love him or hate him, Patrick wasn't the kind of guy you ever forgot. 
The old friends to lovers is one of my favorite troupes. Patrick is cocky and forward and obviously very interested in his old friend, Lara. Lara? Not so much. 
"I don't think we should be involved anymore. We'll still be friends, of course. I'm glad we got to know each other again. And I really appreciated the... well, having sex with you." 
I have to say, I almost died with how hard I laughed at her saying this. Can we say awkward? 

Of the 8 in this series that I have read so far, there isn't a point that sticks with me more than when Patrick is trying to prove to her how he feels. 
"But it comes down to this. I love you. I want you. I trust you more than anyone I know. I admire you. I respect you. And I can't keep my hands off you. To me, that adds up to spending my life with you. But, if you aren't there yet, I'll wait. Not patiently, though. I'll be the kid in the backseat going, 'Are we there yet, are we there yet?' " 

Desperately Seeking Fireman (#4.5)
Fire Captain Jeb Stone and incredibly successful press secretary Nita Moreno have both been burned by love before. That's why neither of them is looking for more than a few steamy nights of passion.

When circumstances find them stranded on an island together, babysitting a cross-dressing senator and the very pregnant wife of San Gabriel's most famous captain, they allow the sparks they feel to take center stage. But as their feelings grow, can they each allow the other past the barriers both have built to protect their hearts?

Captain Jeb Stone and Nita had a brief encounter several years ago at the wedding of Brody and Melissa. Unfortunately, Jeb was married and Nita was working on it.  This novella is 3 years later when the two are called together for the greater good of hard-hitting news and a VERY pregnant reporter, Melissa. Circumstances are incredibly different when they meet up the second time. Up front Jeb lets Nita know his intentions to spend the few days on St. Lucia on a "date" with her. "The kind where I want to find out what your favorite flavor of ice cream is, and whether you like Shane Black movies and who your first crush was and why you looked sad when you asked me about Melissa and the bathroom."
I can't say much about this novella other than it is a beautiful story of friendship, second chances, forgiveness and loving yourself just as you are. Wounds and flaws didn't make her less perfect. They made he more perfectly human. 

Four Weddings and a Fireman (#5)
Firefighter Derek "Vader" Brown is one of a kind—six feet of solid muscle with the heart of a born hero. It's that protective streak that has him pursuing a promotion to Captain to pay for his mother's home care. And it's why he intends to figure out why his sometime girlfriend Cherie Harper runs hot as hellfire one minute and pushes him away the next.

Cherie's got it bad. Vader sweeps her off her feet—literally—and their chemistry is combustible. There's just the little problem of a nightmare from her past she was desperate to escape. And then her sister Trixie arrives, causing havoc for Cherie and the male population of San Gabriel. Cherie doesn't want her past to complicate Vader's life or his career. But there's nothing like a firefighter to break through all your defenses, one smoldering kiss at a time

Vader is awesome! Vader is your goofy party guy always armed with the video camera. The side you don't see if the son who has been taking care of his Mom since he was 14, and she loves those videos - and he continues to make them for her. 
As for Vader and Cherie - we have know about these two for quite some time. Vader went to Sabina a few books ago for advice on helping him with Vader. Your heart can't help but melt when you see a manly man as he is so head over heels in love with 'his girl.' He isn't sure why she is fighting it when he knows she loves him too, but he isn't giving up.  Even after she has turned down his marriage proposal TWICE! 

His brothers may give him a hard time of how such a muscle head tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, but he doesn't care. "I'm proud of my sensitive nature. Helps me appreciate fluffy kittens and walks in the rain. Chicks are all over that shit." This story had the most layers to peel back with Vader hiding aspects of his past, and Cherie hiding everything down to her name. What will you find in this installment?
  1. Crazy family histories
  2. A pole riding (And shirtless firefighter) - Check out the Youtube video
  3. Unrelenting love and dedication. 
  4. Love - in all styles
  5. Family
After all that and two failed proposals from Vader, it ends with "Save the planet, Vader. Will you marry me?" I laughed so hard with all of Cherie and Vader's antics and how they deal with all that peeling back every layer reveals.  When these two got their HEA, I was so pleased and relieved. The segued into the upcoming book was just a tease. 
Vader clapped a hand on his back. "Freddie, I'm going to get mushy right now, because it's my wedding day and I want everyone to be happy. You ready?"
Fred, looking a little alarmed, nodded. 
"If the girls knew what a hero, you are in here" - he thumped Fred's chest - "You wouldn't be able to take a step without some chick falling for you. So be careful what you wish for." 

Now, I must wait ELEVEN days for some more Fireman love. Tell me in the comments, who is your favorite type of hero? Military, Firemen, Billionaires, Bikers? While you ponder that one, let's give the wonderful Jennifer Bernard some LOVE! 

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