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I Belong

Review: Pure Heat by M.L. Buchman

Pure HeatTitle: Pure Heat

Author: M.L. Buchman

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series: Firehawks (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 6, 2014

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1402286880 (Sourcebooks)

ISBN-13: 978-1402286889 (Sourcebook)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


She lives to fight fires… But he’s lit an inferno she can’t quench

Carly Thomas could read burn patterns before she knew the alphabet. A third-generation forest fire specialist who lost both her father and her fiancé to the flames, she’s learned to live life like she fights fires: with emotions shut down.

Former smokejumper Steve “Merks” Mercer can no longer fight fires up close and personal, but he can still use his intimate knowledge of wildland burns as a spotter and drone specialist. Assigned to copilot a Firehawk with Carly, they take to the skies to battle the worst wildfire in decades and discover a terrorist threat hidden deep in the Oregon wilderness?but it’s the heat between them that really sizzles.

Quick & Dirty: Smoke jumping and firefighters are their most dangerous and sexiest.

Opening Sentence: “Steve “Merks” Mercer hammered down the last half mile into Goonies’ Hoodie One camp.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Steve is a former hotshot smokejumper until an injury forced him to change how he rolls. He now pilots drones to check out fires before they send personnel in to deal with them. Carly is a helicopter pilot who has dealt with a lot of tragedy lately. During the summer fire season they spend their time at Goonies’. Steve decides that Carly is an angel before he even knows her name and spends some of their first interactions being more creepy than hot. However, Carly seems to really enjoy that as she tries to ignore him and fight her attraction. Meanwhile they are training and fighting fires.

Carly finally tells Steve that her father died and so did her boyfriend, and Steve is there for her. Their relationship continues to grow over their love of fires and firefighting.

I feel like I should be saying so much more, but that’s kind of the plot of the book right there. There is some suspense during the firefighting scenes, and some love making and some drinking in a bar. A lot of the book is technical information on smokejumping, firefighting, flying, etc. I found this book interesting enough to read, but I thought it was a little heavy on the firefighting and low on the romance. So I don’t think I was surprised to find that it was written by a man. Not that men can’t write good romance novels, but it made more sense why the novel seemed practical and straightforward.

I did enjoy it despite Steve starting off as a bit of a jerk and a creeper. Carly was a great female main character. She was strong, in charge, not afraid to stand up for herself and originally not taking any of Steve’s junk. Although by the time she started letting Steve in he wasn’t being a creepy jerk. He was totally reformed and immediately in love with her. So overall, it’s a pretty good novel. I didn’t love it because I felt like it was lacking in the emotion department.

Notable Scene:

“She was definitely hitting deep and solid into the field of Steve’s personal preferences in women.”

“A woman so convinced of her own abilities that she’d face down someone like Henderson.”

“Only a first-class smokejumper would so driven to over achieve.”

“Kissed her right through any fears of what it might be like to wake up together the morning after.”


1. Pure Heat

2. Wildfire at Dawn

3. Looking for the Fire

4. Fire Light Fire Bright

5. Full Blaze

6. Firelights of Christmas

7. Wildfire at Larch Creek

8. Fire at Gray Wolf Lookout

9. Wildfire at Skagit

10. Hot Point


FTC Advisory: Sourcebook Casablanca provided me with a copy of Pure Heat. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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