*I received a free ARC of HEAT OF THE MOMENT from InterMix via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
I've been trying to read my books in order of publication date and when I went to be sure that ROUGH AND TUMBLE was the next book on my list, I saw that HEAT OF THE MOMENT came before. I figured I hadn't read it yet (the title wasn't ringing any bells) so I went to open it and saw that, lowandbehold, I had indeed already read it. I guess, thinking about it, I suppose that the book is he is an arson investigator (...heat) and they do get down and dirty in the heat of the moment but....
Cameron O’Leary, a 4th generation firefighter turned arson investigator, thinks he’s the luckiest man in the world—after a year of sickness in the family, everyone’s finally on the mend, and his life can go back to its even keel. But even though Cameron has moved to Boston to be there for his family, some sort of live-in nurse is still necessary, given the demands of his job.
Erin Crosby is financing her master’s thesis in social work by acting as a home health care nurse. Working for Cameron seems like the perfect gig—low key, plenty of time to work on her thesis, and the patient is lovely. She might never have lived with a man before—she’s never found anyone she cared about that much, had barely even considered it—but Cameron is easy to live with, and an easy friendship blooms between them.
But it gets harder and harder for Cameron to keep his hands off of his charming employee—and for Erin to remember that she hasn’t really moved into Cameron’s life.
Cam is a single father. One day, eight years ago, his girlfriend told him she was pregnant -- and that she was aborting the baby. Cam convinced her to not, and he took sole guardianship of their baby, the mother never to be heard from again. The day the girlfriend announced the pending abortion, Cam was certain it was the worst day of his life.
Later, that changed when Janie, his daughter, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now, Janie is in remission and is coming home. As with many homecomings of this sort, Cam's family surprises Janie and sticks around long past what Cam would consider a comfortable stay -- but he's not about to shoo them out the door. They were just as affected by Janie's lengthy hospital stay and illness.
Cam folded [his poker hand], returned what little was left of his cash to his pocket, and tiptoed to Janie’s room to check on her.
He found Adam leaning against the wall, watching Janie sleep. “Janie hates it when people watch her like she’s some kind of science experiment,” he whispered.
Adam crossed his arms. “She’s asleep.”
“Yeah, and I’d like to keep it that way.” Janie had been born with a full head of hair; now she was sporting peach fuzz. It didn’t matter though. It seemed that Liz had only left one stamp on Janie— her fine features. Even bald as a cue ball, Janie was a beautiful little girl. “Janie’s home and she’s fine.” At least that’s what he kept telling himself. It looked as if he wasn’t the only one having trouble believing it.
Adam looked straight at him, his eyes unnaturally bright in the glow of the night-light. “Are you sure? We’re just supposed to take some doctor’s word for it?”
“She has a team of doctors, not just one.”
“How do they know?”
Shit, Cam wished he knew. “They know. They can tell from blood tests, CAT scans, and MRIs. They know.”
He had to believe that the doctors knew what they were talking about when they told him Janie was cancer free and could resume living the life of a normal almost-eight-year-old girl. He had to believe that in ten years he’d be waiting by the door to threaten Janie’s boyfriends and not visiting her grave. He had to believe that after two years of fighting to keep Janie alive, it was safe to breathe normally again.
Butch, the youngest of the O’Leary brothers, stepped into the darkened room. “Is Janie okay?” “She’s fine,” Cam and Adam said in whispered stereo.
I love watching grown men fold. I love watching grown men unafraid to have emotion. Watching over a little girl who they almost lost certainly pulls at the heartstrings...
To help with everyday things and getting Janie settled back into her home life, Cam is hiring a home nurse -- enter Erin Crosby. Instantly, he's attracted to her, but knows better than to act on this lust.
Erin is a former pediatric ICU nurse, who let that go as it was too hard on her emotionally (*as a nursing assistant at a children's hospital, who refuses, as must as allowed, to work in the oncology unit or ICUs, I can totally understand this).
Erin is hired, essentially, on the spot. Cam likes her, Janie loves her... perfect match. Slowly, though, Erin starts to make her mark on the house, making it even more of a home than it was.
While I enjoyed the story, one of my biggest qualms with it was when Cam and Erin moved from employee/r to lovers. They were sitting on the couch, doing their every day end-of-the-day things, and suddenly the clothes were melting off -- no talk, no discussion about what this meant for their working relationship... it just seemed off to me.
However... if you've read any of my reviews, one of my big things is that "heart clenching moment" -- when a book is written well, my heart clenches at moments of love, and Robin managed to do it twice for me: once when Cam is frustratingly telling Erin that he doesn't want another nanny, but her, and the other when he's laughing at her and trying to protect the family jewels (while yes, that's comical, it managed a good clench).
The pace was fast, the romance faster... but it was cute. And sometimes, for a novella, you have to make adjustments to how fast you like your romance. So... for the sake of happily ever after... this novella will get 5 stars.
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