Embrace the Fire (Through Hell & Back #3)
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Photography: Varion Krylov of Strangeland Photography
Length: 90,000 words
Through Hell & Back Series
Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but he’s finally accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.
Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian "Tash" Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.
Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along.
NB This is a re-release and has been extensively re-edited and revised with almost 10k words of additional content added.
I can't think of a better story to complete this series than Embrace the Fire. An age-gap romance, it delivered the drama and angst I expected for this series while still keeping things fresh with Brandon and Tash's own demons to overcome.
Brandon has had his own version of hell to live through, just as his foster brothers Ash and Luke before him did, and through his strength and determination comes through on the other side-but still with shadows in his past tormenting him and hanging over his head. He's an intelligent, selfless young man who has seen more in his life than others twice his age. Tash maintains that he is too old for Brandon, though his heart and body don't really care about that at all. Having gone through his own turmoil previously, he's hesitant but at the same time wants to give Brandon help and support-while quickly falling for him.
Once again, Felice Stevens totally drew me in with all of the emotions and my desire to see the final piece of the brothers' puzzle resolved, as well as for Brandon and Tash to find peace and contentment with each other. They fit so well together, and their chemistry is plainly evident from the moment they meet. Their relationship may seem quick, but it also felt right, and not like insta-love.
The story wraps up just about everything surrounding all three brothers, with a small bit of an opening still left regarding Donovan, the bad guy street boss, though I think that part of the story was probably resolved enough to consider it done. There is a nice epilogue that not only gives us final conclusions for all three couples from the series, but also for Mike and Rachel which was a nice touch.
Embrace the Fire could technically be read on its own, but I honestly believe most readers would get much more satisfaction from it by reading the other two stories in the series first to get the full background for Ash, Drew, Jordan and Luke. This series was fantastic, and Embrace the Fire gets 4.5 stars from me. This book and the entire series is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.