Sometimes, a book comes along at just the right time, and your reading experience is enhanced by real-life events. Summer always fire season here in the West, and just last week, flames surrounded a “hot shot” fire team as they fought an out-of-control fire. After watching the widows on television talking about their firefighting husbands and sons who perished in the fire, got to thinking about how difficult it would be to have a spouse with such a dangerous job. At its heart, Can’t Help Falling in Love, by Bella Andre, is a novel of overcoming this fear and embracing life and love despite the risks.
Since this is a novel of the Sullivan family (the third one), I am already well acquainted with the impossibly talented/handsome/fabulous Sullivan men. Having married off two of the siblings in previous books, it is now Gabe, the firefighter’s, turn to find love. Can’t Help Falling I Love opens with him being called to an apartment building and rescuing the residents that live there. As he and his team exit the building with an elderly couple, they are told that there are a young woman, Megan, and her daughter, Summer, who are still trapped inside. Gabe does not hesitate to go into hero mode and rescue them. Later, Summer wants to visit the fire station to thank the firefighter who saved her and sparks fly between Gabe and Megan. Also, Megan discovers that one of her friends is Gabe’s sister.
There are some obstacles keeping this couple apart. Megan’s deceased husband had been a thrill seeker and she is determined not to get involved with someone with a dangerous occupation. Gabe has been involved with a fire victim before, and he does not want to be worshiped as a hero again. He wants to be treated like a man, not like a larger than life character. This wariness forms the conflict in the story.
Once again, as in her previous book, Andre does well to focus more on internal conflicts rather than last minute plot twists. Though there is a fire near the end of the book that forces the issues in Gabe and Megan’s relationship, it is not overdone.
I do have a few quibbles about the novel. First, Megan’s daughter seemed too mature to be seven years old. She added quite a bit to the novel, but it would have been more believable had she been older. In addition, the romantic scenes from book to book are starting to feel quite similar. There are a lot of them. Once Gabe and Megan decide to “do the deed”, they do it for quite a few pages. Just like the previous books in the series, there was a waterlogged sex scene. I am beginning to think that this is a “thing” in every Bella Andre book.
Can’t Help Falling in Love was an enjoyable entry into the Sullivan series. It was fun to catch up with couples from previous books, as well as to get another peek inside the Sullivan family. The series probably won’t end until all eight of them are married off, so I still have a ways to go!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina
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