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I admit I'm picky when it comes to contemporary romance. I wanted to read this based on synopsis alone. It just sounded like so much fun and it does start out that way. I loved the idea of grandma taking her granddaughter to an auction for hot fireman. Main character Melissa wasn't as keen on the idea as I was. Grandma bids on a hottie who isn't thrilled at the idea of dating an old lady (he wasn't aware that she was "buying" a date for her granddaughter) and persuades the fire chief to go in his place. Initial date is now a permanent d-bag in my book. Being the nice guy that he is, fire chief Harry plans a fabulous date. When he arrives he realizes it is Melissa he is dating and he isn't disappointed. The date starts off great until Melissa starts questioning the charity the auction money benefits. Why is it Widows and Orphans? What if the firefighter is a woman? Seriously? This made me go from liking her to not. She just seemed so petty. Unfortunately, I just can't find love for a book when I don't like one of the main characters. Harry was fine (a little boring), but Melissa got on my nerves. All the secondary characters didn't help to salvage the plot. It just left me wondering why on earth this little romance novel needed so much going on. This just wasn't the book for me.
This book was sadly a slightly below average romance read. It bills itself as being hot and sexy and I guess it could have been if the "humor" was not so flat and forced.
When Melissa's grandma forces her to attend a firefighting charity auction, Melissa is nothing but embarrassed. (Side note: these events can be a lot of fun if you go in with the right spirit. All Melissa felt was embarrassment and annoyance and thus it made the entire auction rather embarrassing). She has no plans to bid on a fireman but since it's her grandmother's birthday, she'll attend. But she cannot take the auction for long and as her grandmother is in the midst of bidding on a blond fireman for her, Melissa is scuttling out of the room where she falls flat on her face and is rescued by Fire Captain Harry Brody. He's making sure the auction is running smoothly though he isn't participating.
When the fireman who was "won" by Melissa's grandmother bails on the date (which made me dislike him immensely. Seriously, man up and take the elderly woman out. It's not the end of the world and she paid good money for this date), Harry steps in and finds that much to his surprise (but NOT the readers by any means) that he is not dating an elderly woman but instead, her granddaughter, Melissa. The sparks fly between them but they both have a lot of baggage and frankly it seems Melissa has never gone on a date before because she is awkward city around Harry for much of the book.
I liked Harry infinitesimally more than Melissa because he was just a nice guy (who unfortunately let his past relationship weigh him down for way too long). He does the right thing. I thought it was really sweet that he had planned a true date for an old woman even if it would not be a typical date. Unfortunately, Melissa really grated on my nerves and I found their romance to be forced in many situations. The "comedic" happenings of the book (and I use that word very lightly) try to give this book a rom-com flavor but it just is not happening. Klutzy situations get old fast. And then, the kicker of all things is something that happens in the end which seemed, given the lighthearted tone of the book, strange. I do not want to spoil it but I really thought the author should have avoided that particular plot.
I love a great fireman story. Fireman are one of my favorite romance hero archetypes and while I didn't mind Harry, I wasn't completely sold on his romance with Melissa by any means. She frustrated me to no end as did the hijinks of her grandmother. Aren't there enough romance stories with interfering grandmothers out there now? I have no desire to read the next book in the series (
Hot for Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel
) particularly given the "hero's" actions in this book.
Harry redeemed the story slightly for me but overall, this book was a below average romance story. If you truly want to read it, borrow it from your local public library.
I really liked the main characters but the supporting characters got on my nerves. I just wanted everyone out of the h/h business. Mettling family and friends is funny and great plot trope to add humor but sometimes it's too much. And that was the case with this book.