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New Release Review! UP IN SMOKE by Annabeth Albert (Hotshots #4)

Up in Smoke cover

Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.

Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.

Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.

Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.

Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.

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Up in Smoke is a lovely addition to Ms Albert’s Hotshots series! I really enjoyed Brandt and Shane’s story. It is hot, hot, hot (so much so that it was slightly awkward to read while floating in our vacay pool with my entire family, aged from 10 to 70+, liable to pop up over my shoulder the whole time…I persevered, though! ;)) and the addition of baby Jewel added a layer of sweetness that was just delightful. They call her “diva” you guys! <3

Where Jewel came from is a bit on the squicky side–a year before the main story starts, Brandt sleeps with Shane’s sister after he took Shane on a birthday tandem jump that Shelby paid for (yay for pansexual hero, but…his sister? I know, I know–necessary for the plot, but still…) but once these two guys are trying to figure out parenting together? So many feels.

Baby (and baby mama) aside, this book is fairly low drama, which made it a perfect vacation read. There’s also not a lot of actual smoke jumping happening–Ms Albert explains why in her note afterward, and I felt her choice there was 100% understandable. Up in Smoke is the 4th book in the series, but as it’s focused more on Shane and Brandt figuring out their domestic situation it could easily be read as a standalone.

Though you know I’m going to tell you to read them all anyway, right? 😉

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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