Published by Kate Meader LLC on December 6, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Firefighters, Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Gay, Fiction / Romance / Sports
Format: ARC, eBook, Paperback
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Firefighter Jude Torres and hockey player Hudson Grey fall hard in this crossover book between the Hot in Chicago Rookies and Rookie Rebels series.
It was supposed to be a random hookup.
At a crossroads, my life a hot mess, I swiped right on the guy with the washboard abs and the tree-trunk thighs. His handle was Holt (yeah, really) but as soon as he opened the door, I recognized him: Hudson Grey, the hottest prospect in pro-hockey and apparently, secretly playing for my team. Not mind-blowing enough? He needed someone to punch his V-card and I was only too happy to volunteer as tribute . . .
Then he ghosted me when it got to be too much.
A year later, my life is back on track and I'm a candidate firefighter at legendary Engine 6. While I might be new to the Chicago Fire Department, I'm a veteran in the game of steamy hookups. My No. 1 rule? No newbies. Except now Hudson has been traded to my hometown team, the Chicago Rebels, and he's out, proud, and ready to date. And he wants my help introducing him to the local gay scene.
My messy past means I'm the worst guy to be mentoring the shy, sexy jock. But neither can I stand by and watch while others touch the man who already feels like mine.
I might have been his first, but I'm about to learn that the new guy has even more to teach me about hunger, hope, and falling hard . . .
An opposites attract, emotional gay romance with sizzling chemistry, Down In Flames by author Kate Meader was everything I hoped for and more. ~ Sharon – Simply Love Books
An opposites attract, emotional gay romance with sizzling chemistry, Down In Flames by author Kate Meader was everything I hoped for and more. We got a taste of this couple in White-Hot Hookup, a previously published prequel (included at the beginning of this book), and from that it was easy to see this couple had chemistry in spades but circumstances kept them from going past that one night until a rescue puts them in each other’s path again. Their road to happily ever after wasn’t easy, they both were dealing with demons they had to overcome, but one was convinced they were meant to be and the other one just needed some time to figure it out.
I’m just putting it out there that Hudson Grey is one of those romance book heroes you can’t help but love, but he’s also such a contradiction. Steadfast in his convictions yet always worrying about the outcome which gives him anxiety and panic attacks and I’m glad this was addressed. As a NHL player who recently came out, Hudson has been labeled a role model, but he doesn’t believe that he is. Hudson feels like a fraud, he may be out but he has no idea how to meet other gay men that are like minded. He doesn’t want a play fast, hard, and loose lifestyle; he wants a relationship, a home, a dog, and he wants that with Jude, but Jude isn’t interested.
Jude Torres finally has his life on track; he’s owned up to his past mistakes, has a job as a Chicago firefighter trainee, has friends, and is living in his own apartment, but he’s not prepared for how he feels when he helps Hudson rescue a man during the Polar Plunge. They had one fantastic night, a second one planned until Hudson ghosted him and while there might have been a reason for it, it still stings. Yet when Hudson asks him to help him find people to date, he agrees knowing it will be one of the hardest things he’s ever done.
These two men are such opposites but because of that I feel they brought the best out in each other. Jude helped Hudson overcome his social anxiety and gave him the strength to speak out more and not worry about what other people thought about him. Hudson gave Jude stability and helped him to reconcile the past, to realize he’s grown and changed. They brought out the best in one another and even though they had some moments of questioning, it was easy to see the bond between them was unbreakable.
I will admit there were a few times in this book I wanted to throttle Jude, but that being said I’ve never walked in his shoes and realize that his fears, his shame was something he had to deal with and move past. I loved that Hudson believed in Jude and knew that Jude had a lot to offer not only him but the youths he mentored and those people he served in his job as a firefighter.
My one complaint and it is a small one is I would have liked to see Hudson date a few other people, not necessarily sleep with them but give him a slice of that life as he had been closeted. I think that is an important step that he missed and honestly it was something Jude was worried about given he hadn’t dated as an out man.
I loved seeing characters from books past both the Hot in Chicago series and The Rebels series, I especially loved that Hudson played for a team that had his back.
I devoured this book and then immediately started a re-read to savor it, yes it is that good. Down In Flames is everything I’ve come to expect from Kate Meader and I can’t wait to see what she puts out next!