Let Me Burn
by Carrie Elks
“Let Me Burn” is the first book in the ‘Angel Sands’ series by Carrie Elks. It’s about two people who definitely aren’t looking for love, and who both aren’t prepared when it comes looking for them. It also includes a message that I love; changing your dreams is often a sign of great success, not a sign of failure.
Lucas is a stand-up guy and dedicated to his job as a professional firefighter. Past experience has taught him that he can’t be successful in a relationship and at his job, simultaneously. When he’s forced to take a couple of months leave from work, he returns to the town where he grew up. He figures he’ll use the time to renovate the little house he and his sister inherited from their grandparents. Emery has gotten over her broken engagement, and the embarrassment of everyone in her small hometown knowing about it. She enjoys her work as a teacher, and spending time with her best female friends. She’s not interested in starting a new relationship, but then suddenly Lucas moves into town and captures her attention. The sparks that fly when they’re together are just too hot for either of them to ignore.
I’ve seen some people review this book as being ‘low angst’ and I have to respectfully disagree with that characterization. There is plenty of emotional, internal angst for both characters, and because the story is told from dual points of view, we get to experience it with them. When Lucas reveals to Emery the reason behind his leave time from work, it actually made me cry. And when Emery must deal with something about her former fiance when she and Lucas are at a party, her reaction is heartbreaking. There are also several other emotional scenes. Yes, it’s a gentle story about finding love when you don’t expect it. It’s also very well-written, which makes it an easy read. Those are both wonderful qualities. The beach town setting makes it particularly appropriate for this time of year, but it would be just as enjoyable to read curled up under a blanket in the winter. I enjoyed the secondary characters so much that I’ve already purchased the next books in the series, and I’m looking forward to reading them.