Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Night Belongs to Fireman by Jennifer Bernard

I'm so excited to be hosting today's stop on Jennifer Bernard's The Night Belongs to Fireman Virtual Book Tour. Released September 30th, 2014 by Avon, The Night Belongs to Fireman is the sixth book in The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series. This is a sexy, contemporary romance that made me wish I'd read the first five books in the series! 

For all the stops on The Night Belongs to Fireman's Virtual Book Tour, check out Tasty Book Tours.

The Book

Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They're the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel

When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the "Bachelor Hero." But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she's none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.

Rachel can't deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin' hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she's made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.

The Night Belongs to Fireman is available now!

About The Author

Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to ... well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.

Find her on the web:

Q&A with Jennifer Bernard

-          To Each Their Own Reviews (TETOR): What drew you to writing about the firemen of (fictional) San Gabriel? Was there anything you found really challenging about writing about these men and women? 

Jennifer's response: I have a huge respect for firemen, and I love how they go about their jobs with so much humor and good nature, even when those jobs put them in mortal danger.  I love the camaraderie, the close bond they share, the way they accept risk, their protective nature. So all those things drew me to writing about a firehouse in my fictional town of San Gabriel, and the more I wrote, the more I learned about the fire service, so the more there was to write about! Wildland firefighting, Urban Search and Rescue, paramedic calls … there are so many fascinating fireman stories to be told. The biggest challenge was probably finding the right balance of firefighting, humor, and romance. I want to be accurate, but I don’t want to weigh the story down with too much technical detail.

-     TETOR: I really loved Night Belongs to Fireman. I thought it had a great balance of the frat-like atmosphere of a firehouse and the close bonds between the firemen as well as the isolation and longing of a woman in Rachel's position. How does it feel to wrap up the series with Fred and Rachel? Do you have any favorite firemen from your books?

Jennifer: Thank you so much, that’s great to hear! Writing this book was bittersweet, because I knew it was the last full-length Bachelor Firemen book (there’s one more novella due out in December.) Since the beginning of the series, readers have asked if Fred was going to get a story. I thought that was fascinating because he doesn’t seem like the typical “alpha male” hero. But the readers were right! He turned out to be a fantastic hero because he is such a regular guy – with an extraordinary inner core of heroism. So I wanted to give him a really special love story, in which he meets someone extraordinary in her own way. Rachel lives in very unique circumstances, as the daughter of a billionaire and the survivor of a brutal kidnapping. Maybe at first it seems like they’re from different worlds, but it turns out they’re perfect for each other. As for a favorite fireman … I couldn’t possibly choose. I love and admire them all, and they’re all smoking hot.  

 TETOR: I loved the idea the Refuge as a sanctuary for animals *and* for Rachel. What inspired that idea?

Jennifer: Your interpretation is exactly right! I believe that extreme circumstances sometimes allow us to access a more “magical” part of ourselves and the world around us. When Rachel is held captive, that’s what happens. She forms a bond with a stray dog, and the dog helps her escape. That experience influences the entire rest of her life, and she becomes passionately devoted to helping animals. An animal saved her; and her desire to help animals also saves her, as an adult. Her compassion is what keeps her connected to the world, when she could instead live in a sort of prison of fear because her kidnapper is still at large. So the Refuge is not only a safe haven for animals, it’s also a healing place for her, and – interestingly! -- the place where she and Fred first kiss. It’s also where she finally faces off with her kidnapper … but I don’t want to tell the whole story!

-      TETOR: What authors do you like to read now, when/if you have free time for it?

Jennifer: I read anything Lisa Kleypas writes, whatever the genre. I devour books by Eloisa James, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Molly O’Keefe, Lizbeth Selvig, Nora Roberts, Sherry Thomas, Conny Brockway, Kristen Callihan, Loretta Chase, Kresley Cole, Suzanne Collins, Tessa Dare, Lorraine Heath, Laura Kinsale, Ruthie Knox, Lori Wilde … should I go on? I always make time to read. It’s my relaxation, my escape, my warm blankie on a cold winter night. J

-       TETOR: What's next for you? I noticed on your website that you've got a series about a baseball team scheduled to start next year?

Jennifer: Yes! I’m a baseball fan from way back, so I’m having the time of my life writing this series. It’s about a minor league baseball team from Texas, called the Kilby Catfish, and these ballplayers are hilarious and sexy and altogether yummy. The first book is ALL OF ME, out in June of 2015.

Thank you so very much for having me on your blog!

My Review:

I haven't read any of the Firemen of San Gabriel series before this one, so Night Belongs to Fireman was really fresh for me. 

It's been a while since I read a contemporary romance that didn't involve either a former marine/soldier/etc. or a billionaire CEO. Fred the Fireman was a wonderfully endearing and welcome change of pace. He's sweet, he's humble, he does a great impression of being an Every Man though he's clearly not. As a firefighter, he's got that everyday hero thing going on. As an MMA hobbyist, he's also pretty ripped and badass. Okay, frankly, those qualities can also be applied to fantasy firemen as well, right?

Rachel was a delight. I found the complexity of her relationship with her father added a really welcome dimension to the story. I think it increased the stakes of everything for me, by making Rachel's decisions that much more difficult. She was strong but also tenderhearted. 

One of the things I loved most about this book is that the plot never sags. The pacing is spot on, with moments for the romance to bloom and plenty of action to keep things moving. I felt like so much happens in this book - it's packed full of story. This made the development of the romance plausible. This isn't an insta-love tale by any means, instead Rachel and Fred go through the wringer together. 

And speaking of the romance - wow! Hot hot hot! Rachel and Fred have great chemistry and they're smoking between the sheets. These two have real difficulties to overcome and I was glad that Night Belongs to Fireman didn't trivialize any of them. I felt that Fred and Rachel matured and developed and grew as characters throughout the book, which made their relationship quite believable.

Bottom line:

A completely entertaining, delightful romance, Night Belongs to Fireman is a satisfying read. I strongly recommend it!

5 stars
For fans of firemen, MMA fighters, contemporary romance.

The Contest

Avon is hosting a tour-wide giveaway to give three lucky winners print copies of the first three books in The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series: The Fireman Who Loved Me, Hot for Fireman and Sex and the Single Fireman.

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