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Fully Engaged - Eve Gaddy

It's been two years since Callie watched her fiance die in a wildfire, but her heartache began long before then. Now time has caught up with her, and her past looks sexier than ever in the form of her first love, Rick Montana. Both of them are harboring secrets, but she won't listen to his reasons for ending their engagement all those years ago. Rick wants a second chance with her, but with the rumor of a serial arsonist on the loose, one who may have been responsible for the death of her fiance, she's determined to find the truth before she thinks of giving up her ghost. Secrets are uncovered and a colleague is murdered. Who has it in for her, and will she lose Rick before it's too late?

Who doesn't enjoy a story about reunited lovers and second chances? I was Fully Engaged from the first page. A fast paced plot, action, a wealth of drama, suspense and heartache were all wrapped up in this story surrounding the wildfire firefighters, the Los Lobos Hotshots. At first I loved the character of Callie. Her job was tough, yet she was taken seriously by her colleagues. I got the feeling there was trust and mutual respect there. She could spar verbally with the best of them, and she had a fiery temper that made her seem...cute. But as the story went on, I lost that connection to her. I attribute that to the fact that Callie didn't fully let go of Johnny until the 96% mark. I didn't know that much about her aside from her Olympic aspirations during college, then the brief moment of her happiness at the very beginning of the book. The rest of the time she was defensive, competitive, in denial and stubborn. Rick on the other hand was cocky, loyal, a smart cookie and had a soft spot for animals. He had a lot more facets than she did.

Rick was an utterly loveable hero. A man who has spent years pining over the one he let get away, and doing everything he could to help her solve the mystery of her fiance's death...it doesn't get sweeter than that. But talk about an uphill and almost fruitless battle. Just when I thought he was making progress, Callie turned aggressively defensive. All I could do was feel sorry for him. I wanted to shake Callie but telling her to let go of Johnny even after two years would have been like telling a child that Santa didn't really exist. Talk about being in serious denial.

This story had a lot of layers that all seemed to come together in the end. I also love a mystery where you can't easily pin-point who the bad guy is. I was taken completely by surprise. Twice. Needless to say, I never saw it coming.

Aside from a couple of spelling mistakes, I noticed that the letter L was missing from a lot of the words, i.e. ful, al, wel, etc. It got progressively worse towards the end of the book, but maybe I received a faulty review copy?

Overall, I would definitely recommend this story if you love firefighters because it was exciting and sexy to read. The ending definitely made up for Callie's stubbornness. At least for me.

Final rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy from Bell Bridge Books via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.