I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Burning for You by Michele Dunaway
Published by Macmillan on April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Mark your calendar: The Man of the Month series is back—with a sexy new hero who will definitely heat things up...
The last thing Taylor Krebs wants is a man. Her crazy, possessive ex-boyfriend has caused her enough drama to last a lifetime. Putting drama and men behind her she focuses on her fledgling photography business. That is, until gorgeous fireman Joe Marino—otherwise known as Mr. September on the Sexy Public Servants Charity Calendar—walks into her life. Joe wants Taylor to photograph burn victims pro bono for a book he’s spearheading for the Burn Recovery Support Group...and he’ll do everything in his power to persuade her to take on his cause.
Taylor soon finds out that she isn’t immune to Joe’s persuasive charms—both professionally and personally—and soon they are burning up the sheets. But will Joe’s secrets and Taylor’s need for quiet stability tear them apart? Or will this Man of the Month also end up being Taylor’s love for all days?
Walking through the fire
Please don’t let me go.
Take me to the river
I need you to know
I’m burnin’ up
Come put me out
Come and put me out
Is it cliché to start a review off with the song Burnin’ Up when the book you’re reviewing involves a fireman main character? Possibly. But honestly this was the song that kept going through my head the entire time I was reading Burning For You by Michele Dunaway. It really did fit the chemistry and the tension between the two main characters perfectly. There were definitely times when a fire extinguisher could have been used! Although there were a couple of times where I may have wanted to smack them both upside the head with a fire extinguisher instead of putting out the flames between them. Like when there were misunderstandings that could have been easily taken care of if I don’t know they had just talked to each other? Those are the worst.
Taylor Krebs is someone that I could relate to in a few different ways. She’s twenty-six years old, trying to go to graduate school for media communications, and waitressing to help pay the bills. What she really wants to be is a professional photographer but she doesn’t have the credentials yet so get her name out there. Thus, also explaining her desire to get a master’s degree so that she has a fall back plan. I could totally get where Taylor was coming from in her frustration to want to do better for herself but also feeling stuck due to her lack of options and her innate self-doubt. It doesn’t help that her mom is pressuring her to move back home so that she can “help her out”. While a nice gesture, it is only causing embarrassment for her that Taylor that she cannot make it on her own. She is a tough character but she’s also got a heart of gold where she really wants to help people and make their lives better through photography. She’s also been a victim of an abusive relationship in the past which has caused her to put walls up. Walls that she isn’t so sure that she wants to have come down even for a man like Joe Marino.
Joe Marino is a local fireman with more than a few scars of his own. Although he is physically fit, mentally he has been battling a long sentence of guilt due to something that happened in his childhood. He also actively trying to put together a photography project for the local Burn Recovery Support Group. After seeing Taylor’s work as a photographer, he knows that she will be perfect for his project, as long as he can keep things completely professional. While I was reading Burning For You, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to Joe, and it wasn’t for the description of his good looks either. It was because of his good heart and the desire to want to remove some of the demons that he had carried with him for so long. Luckily, Taylor also feels this need to help heal Joe’s wounds as well even if he isn’t always willing to let her. The author Michele Dunaway worked hard to build-up their potential relationship as Joe and Taylor both tried desperately to maintain a professional relationship as a photographer and a client while under lying tensions lingered. And when the two do finally give in to their temptation? Trust me, there are sparks, and flames, and whatever other fire related analogy you can fit in here. It wasn’t necessarily an easy road to get there and thus explaining why I sometimes wanted to hit them both a fire extinguisher and be like “NOW TALK!” because of the miscommunication between them.
Another thing that I didn’t necessarily like was the fact that the side characters had so much involvement in pushing Joe and Taylor together. While I liked the side characters such as Joe’s sister Susie and Taylor’s best friend Marci as they each added some sort of personality to the story, I didn’t like the fact that they were divulging the secrets of the main characters before they felt comfortable doing it themselves. It kind of made me cringe a bit as Susie revealed Joe’s big secret to Taylor before he was ready and Marci revealed a big secret about Taylor to Joe before she was ready. I mean, I understood the purpose of it for the storyline but, I was like it not up to them to disclose this information as it is private to them. I think I was more understanding about Marci’s need to reveal the secret to Joe as it involved the crazy possessive ex-boyfriend from Taylor’s past but then I disliked how Joe kept the information to himself instead of trying to help Taylor right away. The way that the two of them kept secrets from each other for the “well-being” of the other person was constantly making me shake my head because you could see what was going to happen when the truth finally came out – a blowout argument which wouldn’t have happened if they had just talked! Again: fire extinguisher alert.
Burning For You has a wonderful message about beauty and acceptance and I believe will be an enjoyable contemporary read for those who are attracted to those types of stories. This story also has a lot of heart with within in which is why although these main characters had their moments of frustration for me, I do think that I will continue with the Man of the Month series by Michele Dunaway. I’m honestly interested in seeing what other topics the author will explore and the types of the characters she will introduce throughout all the months of the year.