Book Reviews

Nothing but Smoke (Fire and Rain 3) by Daisy Harris

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Firefighters / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-June-2018

Book Blurb

Sometimes good boys do bad things.

Michael Larson considers himself one of the good guys. He recycles, eats mostly vegan, and volunteers. But one night, while on a jog through a Seattle park, he encounters a sexy man on a motorcycle he wants to be bad with.

Firefighter Nicky O’Brian barely has time to even think about a sex life. Between his job and caring for his critically ill mother, his only pleasures involve a few racy videos and occasional nighttime forays to find men willing to help him forget his troubles.

It was supposed to be a one-time, anonymous hookup—until fate intervenes and their mutual attraction blossoms into a furtive affair. Michael doesn’t date closeted guys, but for the haunted, lonely Nicky he makes an exception.

When Nicky’s mother takes a turn for the worse, Michael is forced to make a choice between idealism and compassion. And as Nicky’s needs spiral out of control, Michael realizes that a new set of ideals could be exactly what he needs to keep love in his life—for good.

First edition published by Samhain Publishing in June 2014.


Book Review

The saying goes – where there is smoke there is a fire – and this story about Michael, an out-and-proud barista, and Nicky, a closeted firefighter certainly proves that. Initially there is a lot of smoke when they meet up in the park for some hot encounters. But the deeper emotions, the fire underneath those encounters is definitely there as well, only neither man wants to admit it. They both have their reasons, and it seems to take them forever to figure out what they are, why they may no longer be valid, and what the heck to do about it. Their conundrum and various conflicts certainly makes for interesting reading.

Michael sees himself as a good boy because he recycles, eats mostly vegan, and volunteers. But some of his friends call him a Goody Two-shoes, implying he may be overdoing it and is unable or unwilling to be self-critical. Meeting Nicky makes Michael want to be “bad” and leads him to admit that he has deeper feelings for a closeted man – a situation he never wanted to be in again. His last experience ended badly and has led to the odd situation where he wants to be out but shies away from a deeper commitment.

Nicky is a firefighter and rides a motorcycle, which may lead some to call him a bad boy. In truth Nicky is lonely, religious, and taking care of his very sick mother takes up every free moment. Nicky is deeply closeted, so their relationship is not an easy one and has more than one “bump” as they get to know each other. He desperately wants a commitment but can’t make himself come out to be honest for fear of his fanatically religious mother, his only remaining family, rejecting him.

Michael and Nicky’s struggle with how to relate to each other is very emotional. Both men can understand the other’s position rationally but their feelings make it very difficult for them to open up and get closer. The trouble is not just how to behave in public and whom to tell the truth, it is also about finding out whether they work well as a couple and how committed they want to be. There is a lot of anger they mistakenly direct at each other and working through all of it isn’t easy and takes a while.

If you like stories where the main characters battle each other as well as their past, if you enjoy reading about passionate men who don’t hold back, and if you’re looking for an intense read that is hot as well as touching, then you will probably like this novel.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 188 pages/54000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-May-2018
Price $3.50 ebook
Buy Link