Review: All Fired Up by Lili Valente (Hometown Heat #1)
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.
Lili Valente's got a new series, and if the first book sets the standard for everything else to come, then it looks like readers have more small-town romance goodness mixed with firefighter hotness in the offing. All Fired Up is book one in Hometown Heat, which is a spin-off of the author's Bliss River series, and it's a second-chance romance between high school sweethearts Jake Hansen and Naomi Whitehouse. They were eighteen and very much in love, but that young love wasn't enough for Naomi to want to stay in their hometown of Bliss River. She leaves everything and everyone behind, with nothing more than a Dear John letter for the boy who owned her heart. A decade and a half later, Naomi's returned, and she would love nothing more than to forge a friendship with Jake once again. But he's changed over fifteen years, and he doesn't seem ready to forgive her.
Jake and Naomi's story was definitely an entertaining one, and I appreciated that they both went on with their lives after she upped and left Bliss River, especially Jake. While I have nothing against second-chance romances where main characters stay celibate during their years-long separation, I like the realism that comes with characters who move on before the opportunity for rekindling said romance is presented. The secret that Naomi kept from Jake was interesting in that you knew it was going to cause conflict down the line. This is where the importance of trust, honesty, and forgiveness come into play for their rediscovered romance, and thank goodness there wasn't this prolonged period of pussyfooting. I enjoyed everything All Fired Up had to offer, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next book and what awaits the next couple. This snags four stars.
Release Date: 16 July 2021
Date Read: 10 July 2021
Learn more about Lili Valente.