☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
The one man she’s always wanted is now the sexy sheriff of their hometown.
Battered but not broken, grad student Brianna Avery returns to the childhood home she abandoned four years ago. With her abusive ex behind bars, Bree needs the summer to relax and recover before returning to school. But her overprotective brother decides she needs someone to babysit her in his absence, and he picks the one person guaranteed to drive her nuts.
She’s the one woman he can’t have.
Telling Bree no has never been easy. Four years ago, Liam Hollister did it to preserve his friendship with his best friend—Brianna’s brother. Now, no matter how she tempts him, he’s determined to do the right thing. As deputy sheriff of their rural area, Liam is torn between protecting Brianna and wanting her for himself.
Take a risk or lose the chance.
Spending so much time alone together challenges them both. Old feelings and hurts resurface immediately. With each hot, sweaty day it’s harder to deny their attraction.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
Bullets and Bonfires by Autumn Jones Lake is a hot standalone novel. Impressively Ms. Lake tackles the ugliness of abusive relationships in a friends-to-lovers romance. Except, Liam and Bree were not so much friends but high school crushes kept apart by the old “bro code” of “thou shalt not date your best friends little sister”!
Brianna Avery and her brother, Vince, grew up in the same small town as Liam Hollister. Unlike Liam, their family life was less than happy. Bree leaves town to put the bad memories of her abusive and neglectful parents behind her, only to land in an abusive relationship. Bree proves her strength of character by leaving that abusing, controlling boyfriend. While definitely bruised and emotionally wounded, Bree is not a weak and simpering. She is an admirable, inspirational character.
Liam Hollister did grow up with near perfect parents. His cookie baking mom and good-tempered dad couldn’t be better role models. Not only is Liam is the hottest looking sheriff in town, but he is just the right amount of strong, protective alpha-male and new-age, sensitive guy. While he has many admirers, there is really only one girl he truly wanted. That girl is now in need of time to heal, protection from her ex-boyfriend, and a safe place to regroup.
Ms. Lake’s talent as a writer is apparent in her portrayal of Bree’s emotional make-up and her experience in and trying to get out of an abusive relationship. From physically getting out of the house to therapy, group sessions and self-defense class, it is clear that Ms. Lake thoroughly researched her topic before delving into the writing of her latest romance novel. I loved the sympathetic support from Liam’s very manly friends. Even more so, I loved the sensitivity with which Liam approaches Bree as their attraction to one another is rekindled and realized.
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Autumn believes true love stories never end. She’s easily amused, a procrastinator and loves romances with true alpha heroes who cherish the sassy women they fall in love with. Her past lives include baking cookies, slinging shoes, and practicing law. Playing with her imaginary friends is her favorite job so far. Autumn prefers to write her romances on the classy side of dirty, and she’s a sucker for a filthy-talking, demanding alpha male hero. The bigger the better.
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