Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review: Flashback

Title: Flashback
Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: American Heroes: The Firefighters/Book 2
Published: August 2008

From the back cover ~

Firefighter Aidan Donnelly has always battled the flames with trademark icy calm. That is, until a blazing old flame returns—in the shape of sizzling soap star Mackenzie Stafford! Aidan wants to pour water over the unquenchable heat between them. But that just creates more steam….

Kenzie is not the delicate, fragile female she looks like. She has one clear objective, and nothing will stand in the way of her goal—well, nothing but the red-hot touch of a certain dangerously sexy fireman, that is!

The cover ~ It's become a habit with these Harlequins but I have to say something about the cover. I like it except my eye keeps going not to his chest and abs but to his left hand. That would be the hand highest up on the suspenders, near the nipple. Anyway, is it just me or does it seem almost too small for the rest of his body? Maybe because his chest is so big it makes the hand look small but to me it looks like it belongs on a smaller man.

Another hot and steamy firefighter story from Shalvis. This time it's Aidan and Kenzie that heat up the sheets. Aidan we met in Flashpoint, book 1 (my review). He is the partner of Zach, the hero from book 1, and is a bachelor at heart. Or so he thinks. You ever notice how they say that but then they're the next to fall to the ol' luv bug? This has one of my favorite romance tropes - former lovers, in fact they're former summer lovers, even better. Ah, summer love, where everything is perfect and you feel like it can't end. But it did end when Kenzie got serious and Aidan got scared. Six years have past and while they've both changed that attraction is still there. Kenzie is back in Santa Rey not because of Aidan but because of her brother Blake who was killed in a fire. He was also a firefighter and good friend of Aidan.

You know what I liked about Aidan aside from the obvious sexy firefighter hero thing he's got going? He actually admits he made a mistake all those years ago. He admits that he was a jerk for running away from Kenzie when things got serious. He admits that he wants a second chance with her. Aidan is a good guy, faults and all. He's sweet and gentle and knows when to push and when to ease back when it comes to Kenzie and sex. And sometimes he's just down right adorable it just melts your heart. Like after they have sex and Kenzie thinks that maybe she's broken his heart a little. Aidan quickly disabuses her of that notion. ~

"You screamed my name." He lifted his head, revealing a strong smile. "You begged." He out-and-out grinned then, not broken, not even a little bit. "We still work hard."

"There is no we." She pushed him off her, suddenly and irrationally irritated. "No we at all."

Completely oblivious to the picture he made sprawled out on the bed, buck naked, he put his hands behind his head and continued to smile like an idiot. "Are you telling me you have no desire to do that again?"


"Ah, Kenzie. You're such a pretty liar." page 88

It goes on and Aidan asks her to stay and she does but she asks him why he really broke up with her six years ago.

He looked at her and she nearly backed down; she certainly held her breath, but he touched her face. "Because I didn't know what I had." page 89

Loved the way Aidan opened up to Kenzie. She tries to resist but he proves irresistible. :)

Kenzie is a former soap star. Former because her soap was cancelled and now she's out of work. She comes back to Santa Rey, looking into the circumstances surrounding her brother's death. Thankfully she's not a diva but easy to like and while she can be stubborn she's smart enough to ask for help when desperate. That's how she lands on Aidan doorstep, in need of a place to stay. The sparks are there but Kenzie has decided that this time she's not going to let things get serious. She there to find out about her brother's death, that's all. I liked Kenzie. I liked her determination, her cunning and her need for revenge on Aidan. Yep, she admits to him that all she wants to do is break his heart like he broke hers. At least she's honest. :) She does have a few moments when she gets herself into some trouble but I think those were more due to lack of experience rather than TSTL syndrome.

Aidan, Kenzie and Sex ~ Shalvis can write some very hot, very steamy sex scenes. With a short format there's only so much that can be devoted to the build up and climax *grins* of the scenes. When compared to some of the erotic romances I've read where the sex scenes go on and on, page after page, I'd say Shalvis does an amazing job in the short format. With the anticipation, culmination and grand finale', she still makes it more than just the physical. She gets these characters to open up and expose their insecurities, hopes and fears.

Give it another win for the hot men and their heroines of Firehouse Thirty-Four. The plot was interesting but easy to figure out the who behind the arson fires. I liked the overall story, especially Aidan and Kenzie's romance, and getting to know more about the people that make up this firefighting family. Next in the series is the anthology Heating Up the Holidays with Shalvis' story, All He Wants for Christmas about an EMT and a firefighter from Firehouse Thirty-Four. Jill Shalvis and her books can be found on her website.

Rating: B+


  1. Leslie, after you reviewed the 1st book, "Flashpoint," I read it and immediately went on to read this one... I also loved it. Aidan was lovely and I really didn't expect that for some reason.

    That begging scene was too good *g*... Shalvis certainly knows how to write them... thanks for the reviews and the recommends. :)

  2. You're welcome Hils. :) I was surprised at how much I liked Aidan too. And yeah, the begging was hot and sexy and even sweet. :D

  3. I love Jill's books. I think she manages the short format really well. She even did it wonderfully in her Temptations, which were even shorter than the Blazes.

    I really liked this one, too. Great review, Leslie!

  4. Thanks Lori! I'll add her Temptations to my UBS list. :)

  5. Ugh, I need to hunt down these Harlequins of hers!!

    Thanks for the review, Leslie :D

    Regarding the hand, now that you mention it, it does seem rather delicate compare to the rest of his body... Hmmm, photoshop, LOL!

  6. Delicate LOL Maybe because it's so pale compared to the chest? :)

  7. Holy moley, I can see I AM going to have to get some of these by Shalvis! I loved the quotes you pulled. :)

  8. Definitely give Shalvis a try KMont. She does very well in the short format. :)