Joint Review – Fanning the Flames (Jackson Girl’s Night Out #0.5) by Victoria Dahl

Fanning the FlamesPublisher: HQN
Publish Date: 1 Jul
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Burning for you…
Some men are off-limits. Close friends of your ex-husband, for instance. Or firefighters who work in the same building as you. Yet despite her best judgment, librarian Lauren Foster can’t help noticing fire captain Jake Davis whenever he jogs by…shirtless. They’ve always been friends, but all it takes is one not-so-chance meeting at a local bar and one not-quite-innocent walk home to ignite a fierce, uncontrollable desire between them.
Widower Jake Davis has tried to ignore the spark he feels whenever Lauren’s around, but once he sees her curves in a little black dress, there’s no turning back. No matter how often she says she’s all wrong for him, the sexy, outspoken divorcée is driving him wild in the best possible way. Maybe she’s just blowing off steam. Or maybe he can convince her to fan these flames into something deeper, hotter and truer than they ever expected….

This blurb came from the author’s website.

E: I have been looking forward to this start of Dahl’s new series ever since she started tweeting about naughty librarians. I know that her stories will provide me with women who enjoy and aren’t ashamed of enjoying sex. They also tend to have a variety of different careers and aren’t dependent on men for anything as much as they enjoy having one around. They demand to be treated with respect and respect men in return so I can sit back and enjoy knowing I will have some laughs, some good smexy times, and a great journey to a relationship.

MinnChica: It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Dahl book, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. I love her writing, and the sex scenes she writes are super-hot, so I’m not too sure why I haven’t glomed onto her books recently, but I’m so glad that I picked up her latest series! Like E, I love the fact that Dahl’s heroines don’t feel the need to apologize for wanting what they want, and doing whatever it takes to get it!

E: There were so many things I enjoyed about the set-up for this story. The complicated bonds of history and friendship between Lauren and Jake. Their mutual reluctance to muck with those bonds due to their fears about what other people would think. The wish to break out of a rut but also seeing that rut as safe and comfortable and therefore needing a bit of a push. Their less than perfect sexy times made me laugh and brought depth to their relationship as well as the world-building. Their mutual embarrassment after a particular scene was priceless!

MinnChica: I loved that scene!!! It was absolutely hilarious, and something that I’m sure ever parent of adult children fears. I also liked seeing the different dynamics at play in their relationship, especially since they both had older children, and they both were involved in marriages that impacted who they are today so much. I wish we would have gotten to see a little more when it came to Lauren’s ex-husband, especially after the one small scene of interaction they had. Especially since Jake is friends with her ex. Hopefully that will be something that Dahl explores more in the future of the series.

E: In addition to the primary relationship and the focus on Lauren and Jake, I got a kick out of the supporting characters. I really enjoyed the interaction with their respective co-workers and Jake’s family. Their support and sometimes well-intentioned interference was great to see because it indicated how Lauren and Jake were regarded by others and helped bring life to their personality within the limited word-count. The one thing Dahl did not included that I wished I had seen was the scene when the ex-husband learned about the new relationship. I didn’t have a good first impression of him when he had a minor appearance on page so I wanted to see my thoughts were accurate or if he was more complex.

Fanning the Flames was a very enjoyable read despite my slight quibble mentioned above. Dahl proved once more that her contemporary romances work for me and I can’t wait to see what else happens with the ladies of Jackson Hole.
I give Fanning the Flames an A-/B+

MinnChica: All in all, I adored the kick-off novella for Dahl’s new Jackson Girl’s Night Out series. The secondary cast of characters were all fabulous, and I look forward to seeing them get their happily ever afters as well. I liked the fact that our hero and heroine were a bit older, and as such had different problems and obstacles in their relationship than what is commonly seen in romance. I’m excited to see where Dahl takes us next!
I give Fanning the Flames a B

3 thoughts on “Joint Review – Fanning the Flames (Jackson Girl’s Night Out #0.5) by Victoria Dahl”

  1. Just sent this review link to a friend who works in the same building as fire and police! Lots of opportunities for her to get her blood pressure taken by hot guys in the lobby, so I thought this was funny.

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