Anne Ashburn and Danny McGuire are both firefighters, who are also acting as groomsmen in the wedding of one of their fellow firefighters. The event itself has been nothing short of a nightmare, but the experience has drawn Danny and Anne closer together. However, the last thing Anne wants is to become involved with a co-worker, when she's worked so hard to get where she is as a female firefighter in a male-dominated world. But being so close during the wedding only adds fuel to the five-alarm blaze of sexual tension that's been burning between them since the day they started working together. Can Danny and Anne find a way to make a relationship work or are they doomed to have only one passionate night together?
The Reception is the second installment of a serialized novella prequel to J. R. Ward's new contemporary romance series, Firefighters. This part was equally as good as the first and way hotter.;-) It takes place on the day of the proverbial wedding from hell. I won't give away what happens, but I still stand by the assessment I made following the first half that the (un)happy couple is doomed. Luckily, though, they aren't the focus of the story. That honor goes to Danny and Anne, who will also become the hero and heroine of Consumed, the first full-length novel in the series.
We learn a little bit more about Danny and Anne, all of which intrigues me. Danny, it seems, has lost his entire family, so his firefighter brethren are his only family. He's been a playboy for most of his adult life, never committing and generally only engaging in one-night stands. But with Anne, he feels completely different, like he's finally found someone special with whom he could see spending his life. Too bad Anne doesn't really feel the same way... yet. She appears to have some complicated family dynamics. She's also worked her butt off to get where she is as a female firefighter in a male-dominated world, so she isn't about to give that up for a man. Unfortunately, due to a no-fraternization policy, that's exactly what she'd have to do in order to have a relationship with Danny, so even though he tempts her, she can't allow herself to go there. The only thing she will allow is one incredible, steamy night with him that was utterly delicious. A part of me was a little frustrated with Anne when she clearly breaks Danny's heart, but of course, if there wasn't a major conflict, which I fully expected, this would be the end of their story and there wouldn't be another novel about them.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Reception and thought it was a great wrap-up to this prequel. There was a third part, but since it was my understanding that it was merely an excerpt of Consumed and I already have that book at the top of my TBR pile, I didn't feel the need to read it. I am, however, extremely eager to get to Consumed to find out how Danny and Anne finally get their HEA. If this prequel is anything to go by, it should be amazing.
Note: The Reception was offered as a free ebook download, but it was apparently a limited time offer, as it no longer appears to available at any book retailers. If it does becomes available again, I will be sure to post the link.
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