Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blog Tour: Hot Shot

Thank goodness Karina Halle writes - and publishes - quickly because I don't know how much longer I could have waited for Hot Shot! It's the third book in the North Ridge series and we finally (finally!) get to see Fox and Delilah get together. I couldn't wait to dive back in to the world of the Nelson brothers and, once I did, I didn't want to leave.

Here's the synopsis:
Delilah Gordon has a secret.
She’s been in love with her best friend and the boy next door, Fox Nelson, since she was six years old.
And while most of her friends and family know about her unrequited crush, the one person who remains oblivious is Fox himself. To Delilah, it’s better this way. She’d rather pretend that they’re just friends, even though her feelings for the moody rugged mountain man are anything but tame.
Fox Nelson has a secret too.
As a wildland firefighter or “hot shot,” Fox parachutes into danger every day he’s on the job, risking all to fight wildfires that threaten ranches, forests and thousands of lives. But while Fox’s job is only for the brave, inside he feels anything but. The more he grapples with his raging demons, the more he realizes Delilah is the only one who can put out the flames.
As the two friends grow closer – and more intimate – than ever before, the more complicated their relationship becomes.
And Delilah has one more secret to reveal.
A secret that will change both their lives…forever.
I mentioned that this book is part of a series but I always want to note that Halle's series don't require you to read all the stories in order. That being said, I'm a series purist and always need to start from the beginning. This way you're not being spoiled by any little details. The big details - who ends up with who - are pretty easy to figure out so skipping a book isn't really going to be the end of the world. 

Wild Card (which I reviewed here) was really dark and heavy. Maverick was more lighthearted (and a tad steamier!). Hot Shot was somewhere in between. No one way is better than the others and I think it highlights how well Halle can write both light and dark. 

I don't know if it was just the mental headspace I'm in right now (see my post earlier this week about my favourite 2017 reads to get an idea) or what, but the emotional punch Halle almost always delivers in her books was particularly hard this time around. I always get so incredibly invested in her characters that my emotions are soaring and diving right alongside theirs. It's intense for an empathetic reader like myself. It's great because it shows how freaking amazing Halle is at writing these stories but it's also hard because some of the emotions are so hard to deal with.

Even though I knew Fox and Delilah were probably going to finally get together in the end, it was agonizing (in a weirdly good way) for me to read as they slowly realized that what they assumed the other was feeling might not actually be the case. They had buried their feelings for so long that it was hard to face them. Fox, in particular. His were so far buried that he almost seemed shocked when he realized he might want Delilah as more than just a friend. (Jeez, boys are dumb sometimes!) 

But, Fox had a lot of issues to work out before he was ready to commit to Delilah. And I am so glad that she knew what she deserved even if it was breaking her heart. It made the ending so much sweeter.

One final note - I absolutely loved the squirrel in this story. He wasn't a major plot point but he provided lighthearted moments (I literally laughed out loud when a chapter opened with Delilah's mom telling her that her squirrel was trying to drink her coffee) as well as deeper moments when Delilah realized some parallels (can't get too spoilery here!). It sounds a bit weird, I know, but I just loved that little guy.

I think I might be in denial that the series is over but Karina Halle gave us readers the most delightful epilogue so we know what all the Nelsons are up to and where their lives are heading next. Hot Shot, just like the rest of the North Ridge novels, was an absolute delight to read (even when it was ripping my heart out) and I highly suggest everyone pick up this series!

*An eARC of this novel was provided by the author and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for a review for the purpose of a blog tour. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Find (and buy!) Hot Shot
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon CA * iBooks * Nook * Kobo
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Meet Karina
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Connect with Karina
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