Title: Fan the Flames by Michele Dunaway
Man of the Month Series Book Three
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 180 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Former Navy SEAL turned marine rescue firefighter Brad Silverman is tasked with his toughest mission yet: taking care of his best friend’s wife. The only problem is that Scarlett Harrison has always been the one-the one who got away, the one who held his heart, and the one who has always been off limits…
Now widowed Scarlett returns to her childhood home in St. Louis, determined to get her life back on track. She misses her husband but can’t fight the attraction she feels for sexy fireman Brad. As she spends more time with him, the connection they have had since high school grows stronger. Are they finally ready to overcome their pasts and lose their hearts to each other?
Fan the Flames by Michele Dunaway is a lovely friends to lovers romance. This third installment in the Man of the Month series pairs up war widow Scarlett Harrison with longtime friend Brad Silverman and the resulting romance is sweet yet sexy.
After mourning her husband Todd’s death for two years, Scarlett and her young daughter Colleen have finally moved back to her hometown to be closer to friends and family. Brad, who was also Todd’s best friend, has offered them a place to live while they get back on their feet. He has cared for Scarlett since they were teenagers and his feelings for her have not lessened in the intervening years. His reasons for helping her are complicated by the guilt he feels for not convincing Todd to reconsider his plans re-enlist before Todd’s last deployment. Brad is also trying to carry out his friend’s last wishes but will telling Scarlett the truth ruin their chance at happiness?
Brad and Scarlett are well developed, likeable characters and their shared past provides a strong foundation for their blossoming romance. Although they shared a mutual attraction in high school, Brad stepped aside when Todd expressed his interest in Scarlett. After Todd’s death, the two renewed their friendship and they have become fairly close. Scarlett is surprised by her renewed attraction to Brad and they slowly transition from friends to lovers. Brad is always honest that he is not looking for a casual hook up and much to his relief, neither is Scarlett. Their relationship is relatively free of conflict but with Brad holding back the truth about Todd’s last wishes, it is only a matter of time before this becomes an issue.
Fan the Flames is a light read that is fast paced and engaging. Brad and Scarlett are charming characters and it is quite enjoyable watching them fall in love. Their dates are sweet and their love scenes are quite sensual. Although it is the third novel in Michele Dunaway’s Man of the Month series, it can be read as a standalone.