I may be pretty new to the Kimberly Kincaid train but I’ve taken my seat in the lead car my friends, this woman can write a story! DEEP BURN is the second book in her Station Seventeen series and I’ll admit right now that I haven’t read the first book, Skin Deep. I did just fine with the character dynamic catch-up but now I have another book I need to add to my “hurry up and get to” list! In DEEP BURN, Kincaid gives me more of the catnip I’ve grown to love from her…strong heroines, sexy heroes and with this one, in particular, a nerdy hero too boot!
Shae McCullough is a firefighter. She comes from a family of Tarheels so you know I’m gonna have to love her. On the surface, she looks like a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda’ girl. Don’t be mistaken by the surface. Yes, Shae is a giant walking, talking adrenaline junkie but she’s also very measured with her approach, she’s just really good at not letting anyone see her motives. She is impulsive but once you get her backstory, you completely understand her reasons. Shae lives every day to its fullest and you can’t fault a woman for that, can you?
James Capelli is my Spencer Reid. I honestly have no idea how Kincaid describes him in the book, in my head, he’s a slightly more buff version of my favorite brainiac nerd from CrimMinds. Much like Dr. Reid, I think it could be easy to place Capelli somewhere on the spectrum, his need for order and logic to keep his big brain in check is very telling on this point. Also like my favorite sexy nerd, Reid, Capelli has an eidetic memory – that, if you’re keeping score, is like a photographic memory on steroids. A blessing and a curse, especially if it involves memories you’d rather forget. Capelli is the tech guru at the local police station, he’s part of an elite investigation team.
Capelli had an extremely shitty upbringing and because of that, he deems himself unworthy of Shae. His mother manipulated and abused his big brain and led him into a life of crime. Luckily, his boss at the RPD realized his worth, not just for his brain but for the good heart inside and rescued him from the system, giving him a job, a place to live a fresh start in life. Capelli and Shae are paired up to investigate a wonky arson case that seems to mimic other fires that have been set in town. Herein lies the romantic suspense portion of the book – Kincaid writes an amazingly clever bad guy that is one step ahead of the RPD at all time. At times this might come across as procedural but for this reader, I found it fun and enlightening. She parses out the specifics in the case much like a detective would do as they uncover evidence. When the big reveal happens, there’s real edge of your seat stuff going on – it kept me up to almost 4am reading because I wanted to see the super villain get his due!
Now, the sex. I tip my hat to Kincaid in the sexy times department. First off, it’s a slow burn, which, when done right is a real turn on. No insta-love up in here. The chemistry on both sides is clear but neither one wants to admit it outside of their heads. The voices in their heads, as they contrast to the scenes we get between our couple early on, are rather entertaining. Shae kinda, sorta puts it out there and Capelli tries really hard to shut it down but their internal dialog tells a vastly different tale! When they both finally give up the ghost and let lust rule, man…it’s always the quiet nerdy ones with the dirtiest mouth, no? Phew. The exceptionally cool part of this story is, it’s Shae who vocalizes the consent issue, not once but twice. You certainly don’t see that every day and really, it flies in the face of the “impulsive” label that has been tagged on our heroine. I love that when the physical connection is made, the back and forth is minimal. It’s refreshing to see these two talk things out and share their fears with each other. This is especially true for Capelli as he’s never truly opened up to anyone since his mother’s giant betrayal. I just really enjoyed Shae and Capelli, they are the yin to the other’s yang and it’s fun to read, definitely, an opposites attract trope. Because of the procedural nature of the beginning, you might find the initial pacing a bit slow, but, I urge you to keep with it, it’s all necessary to set up the big bad at the end. The courage of Shae and the growth of Capelli are worth the price of admission and the sex is the icing on the cake! Keep ’em coming Kincaid, I see you. (read the book, you’ll see what I did there!)
Smooches,Tags: 4.5 stars, email firefighter, nerdy hero, opposites attract, romantic suspense, scandal, Station Seventeen series