I’ve crushed on my brother’s best friend since I sprouted hairs on the unmentionables. Once upon a time, he was straight, until he wasn’t… and talk about bad timing.
And when we’re finally at a place for me to make my move, sexy rural firefighter Dan clams up and acts weird and I’m left with pants that are too tight and my heart feeling bruised… but he’s a good friend and I’m grateful he’s in my life.
Because of course Dan is a good guy.
Though him being “good” and ridiculously easy on the eyes and possibly the best man I know only makes me want him more.
When we’re thrust into a situation that brings both of us close to danger, it’s hardly the time to be chasing first kisses or finally acting on my crush. But Dan doesn’t seem to mind.
I just know that when the stakes are high and emotions are running wild, sometimes you have to show your hand and go all in.
And that’s exactly what I plan to do.
High Alert was originally a 7,000-word short story in the March 2020 charity anthology “When the Smoke Clears.” It is now a 64,000-word full-length novel, complete with smouldering low-angst loveliness and a group of Aussie men who will capture your hearts.
Easing off my knees, I stood, groaned, and angled back. A satisfying pop of my joints followed. Before I could respond to Dan’s question, his “Fuck, I hate that sound,” had me chuckling.
“But it feels so good.”
His scrunched-up face looked somehow cute, despite his unshaven jaw and the streaks of dust on his cheeks. “But it sounds bloody awful.”
I grinned and went back to his question. “As for the next job, I’m not sure yet. There’s a few things I want to get done. Maybe start the firepit.”
“Just in time for summer, huh.” He quirked his brow.
With a roll of my eyes, I said, “If you don’t want there to be a fire for toasting marshmallows, then keep up the snark.”
“I wouldn’t dare, not if marshmallows are on offer.”
Oh this book was so sweet. And it was a love story not only between 2 men, but also a love story to Australia and the fires and floods they endured last year.
Classic story of crushing on your brother’s best friend. This time the age difference is only 2 years (why does it always seem like more in books?) AND he wasn’t the annoying little brother, he was often included in whatever they were doing.
Now everyone is a grown adult, the little brother Ross is the high school librarian, and the brother’s best friend, Dan, just moved back to their small town. Dan also has a crush on Ross, but neither know the other’s feelings. Poor Craig, older brother/best friend does know how they feel. Poor Craig.
Dan doesn’t want to lose the friendships he has with Ross and Craig so he decides to take it slow. Feel Ross out. Just be there until the time is right. Ugh, it was so cute without being saccharine sweet. It was almost like they were becoming best friends as well. So if you like slow burn…this is slooooooooooooow burn.
Speaking of burn. Paying homage to the devastating fires Australia had, Craig and Dan are both volunteer firefighters called in to help with the huge brush fires. Ross finds and helps a koala and her baby with burned paws, making note of the devastation to wildlife. And then the floods. It’s all so apocalyptic, but it happened. The country was ravaged by one extreme and then the other.
There is a great little side story about a guy who used to be in a group of bullies in high school who tried to torment Ross coming back to town. It was well done.
And without getting preachy one way or the other, respect is paid to the indigenous people of Australia, their stories and customs.
Overall this could have been a very in your face book about Australia with just the romance as a side note. But all of the facts were woven into the story so well you never felt like you were being lectured- but you did learn things.
And above all Dan and Ross were just perfect together. None of the silly stuff about treating him as the little brother even though they are all adults. No one was proving who they were. There was no relationship drama or angst. Just two normal guys from two normal families who fell in love.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.
Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.
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