Review: Burn Zone by Annabeth Albert



Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Hotshots #1

Pages: 336


Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts…

Smoke jumper Lincoln Reid is speechless to see Jacob Hartman among his squad’s new recruits. Linc had promised his late best friend he’d stay away from his little brother. And yet here Jacob is…and almost instantly, the same temptation Linc has always felt around him is causing way too many problems.

Jacob gets everyone’s concerns, but he’s waited years for his shot at joining the elite smoke jumping team, hoping to honor his brother’s memory. He’s ready to tackle any challenge Linc throws his way, and senses the chemistry between them—chemistry Linc insists on ignoring—is still alive and kicking. This time, Jacob’s determined to get what he wants.

Close quarters and high stakes make it difficult for Linc to keep his resolve, never mind do so while also making sure the rookie’s safe. But the closer they get, the more Linc’s plan to leave at the end of the season risks him breaking another promise: the one his heart wants to make to Jacob.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Some stories need an adrenaline shot. Or some stimulant. A sugar rush to imbue some life into the pages. No matter if it wears off fast and leaves you tired. At least it would be a hill in the road after a looooong straight journey. An event that wakes you up and makes you focus again in the road. For a reader, a journey without any variation of altitude is simple and comfortable, but ultimately forgettable. That is more or less my feelings about this book. It was nice, but next week I will barely remember it. Let’s hit the road to see what we have ahead of us!

Through these pages we meet Linc, a smoke jumper (kind of a firefighter) who leads a simple life hiding himself from the world and holding the memory of his best friend as a shield. The youngest brother of that friend is not other than Jacob, an adventurous guy who wants to follow the steps of his brother and become a smoke jumper himself. As it was pretty obvious, the rookie ends in the same team as Linc and their sexual tension gets hotter than a fire during summer. Too bad the more experienced smoke jumper made a promise to never touch the guy. Will he be able to hold it? If you bet against it, you should read more Romance

As i have mentioned in my weird introduction, this book is plain. Too plain. It doesn’t happen anything and it feels like an unending loop of the same scenes over and over again. I guess that could be the main reason why there are so many sex scenes in the story. They work as kind of a shortcut to avoid developing a dynamic between the two characters that didn’t have a lot of margin. Of all the books by Annabeth Albert I have read, I could bet this is the one with more naugthy scenes and possibly the most boring one due to that. It is not a short book, but, for some reason, the romantic part is already highly developed in the first pages. So, when we are in the 5% of the book we are almost at the 85% of the development. Before starting, the main characters already knew each other, already were attracted to each other and even they had had some kind of interaction to regard that attraction.

What else is to tell in the 300 pages or so that we have left? The drama, obviously. Is it good? Not at all. It’s repetitive, annoying and a perfect sleep inducer. All the drama spins around the promise that Linc made to Wyatt, Jacob’s deceased brother. All of it. It gets stale pretty fast and the book becomes just one monotone rutine that I couldn’t wait to get rid of. I kept going in the hopes of a change of direction, but nothing really happens. In this genre a lack of a exciting story can be compensated with a good romance. Something that makes us feel the sparks, the flames, the sweetness and the pain. It is important for the reader to connect emotionally with the characters to really enjoy the genre. This time I couldn’t feel more disconnected from them, which made the sex scenes feel like swimming through mud. A bit agonizing.

I won’t bother commenting anything about the characters as I usually like to do. I have nothing at all to say about them and that speaks volumes about the immense plainness I have found inside these pages. Annabeth Albert can do much, much better than this. The only comment I’ll make about them is a detail that has truly made me very angry: Wyatt. He is an homophobic bastard who can be barely called friend. I do not like at all the times where his hurtful behaviour is belittle and forigven. That guy practically ruined Linc’s life and he keeps defending him. Totally unhealthy and not really compatible with the character.

I was expecting much more after having read and loved the Out of Uniform books. Fingers crossed for something better in the following stories!


2020 – Book Gallery


Even though I had a hard time keeping my focus, I was able to catch a couple of words that were unknown to me. This is the one I have chosen:

ornery: ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper



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