Author: Daisy Harris
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
At a Glance: I don’t want to give too much away about how these two managed their relationship, but it sure held my interest throughout the story.
Reviewed By: Kim
Blurb: Seventeen years ago, firefighter Rick Turner kissed a boy, and he liked it—then he paid a horrible price. Now he spends his days running from who he is and what he wants, his nights hooking up with a man who doesn’t fill the aching hole in his soul.
Until one night, newly dumped, he gets into a fistfight and is picked up by a cop-and-counselor team…and the counselor is none other than the guy who gave him that fateful first kiss.
Stan Gable relishes serving people who actually want his help. When he encounters grown-up Rick—and oh my, how he’s grown—Stan’s first instinct is to step in and use his counseling skills to ease Rick out of his fears and out of the closet.
But Rick’s prickly temper and lack of self-acceptance make him his own worst enemy. Before Stan can help Rick overcome those obstacles, he’ll have to take a look deep inside…and heal his own guilt before he can heal the man he still loves.
Warning: Contains a blustering, angry, and very closeted firefighter, and a counselor who doesn’t know how to mind his own business. Flashbacks of a gay bashing could be upsetting to some readers.
Review: As the blurb for Ghost in the Flames reveals, seventeen years ago, Rick Turner kissed a boy and then paid a high price for that kiss—he was caught by a gang of teenagers who beat the snot out of him. While in the hospital recovering from the bashing, Rick starts to distance himself from both his gay tendencies, and, from Stan.
In the present, after breaking up with his f**k buddy, who was also in the closet, Rick finds himself drunk and in another type of fistfight outside a bar. The police are called and it’s here that Rick meets up again with the boy he’d shared his first kiss with. Stan Gable barely recognizes Rick because the man is totally beefed up, and Rick only remembers that Stan was the one who ran away when the bashing started. Woo-eee…does Rick have some issues with that one!
As it turns out, no charges are pressed, but Stan offers to take Rick home since he’s still a bit sauced. It didn’t help on the drive home that Stan starts up with the counseling questions (I’ve never heard of the police teaming up with a counselor, but it sure sounds like a damn good idea, considering the situations they find themselves in), but Rick sidetracks with a subtle pass while still denying he’s gay. In fact, Rick comes off as a bit of a homophobic jerk, but once I learned his story, my opinion of him changed. The plot then thickens, and this is how the two again start up a tentative friendship.
I don’t want to give too much away about how these two managed their relationship, but it sure held my interest throughout the story. I liked getting to know both Rick and Stan, with all their quirks. As much as I enjoyed From the Ashes, Ghost in the Flames makes me want to read the rest of the Fire and Rain series to see what I missed out on. The books are officially on my TBR shelf. I also loved the fact that Ghost in the Flames is set in the Northwest. Hey, what can I say? I love reading stories about my home state! There’s also the added bonus that Rick is a firefighter, something that I find hard to resist reading about—a man in uniform.
You can buy Ghost in the Flames here: