Fury on Fire
Sophie Jordan     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Devil's Rock
Book: 3

Heat Level: Hot

When you live next door to the big bad wolf . . .

After years in prison, North Callaghan is finally free. But the demons haunting him still make him feel like a caged beast. He loses himself in work and hard living, coming up for air only to bed any willing woman to cross his path. So when his new neighbor snares his interest, he decides to add another notch to his bedpost. The only problem? Faith Walters is a white picket fence kind of girl.

Prepare to be devoured.

Faith’s new neighbor is the rudest man alive. He’d rather grunt at her than speak and he takes her “welcome-to-the-neighborhood” scones without a thank you. She knows she should run for the hills from the ex-con. If only he weren’t so smoldering sexy…if only the sounds of him with other women didn’t drift through their shared wall and fill her with longing…and if only he didn’t look at her like they were a collision waiting to happen.

Other books in the series:

Instead of attending college after high school, North Callaghan spent twelve years in Devil’s Rock prison for manslaughter. Yes, he and his brother Knox (All Chained Up) took the life of the man who raped their cousin. They didn’t mean to kill him but the beating they gave him didn’t make him any less dead.  North is two years on the outside, keeping his nose clean, working full-time and living on his own when Faith Walters moves into the townhouse next to his.

I smile just thinking about Faith. She’s such a good person. At twenty-six, this is her first home and she’s excited to be living on her own and out from under her overprotective father and brother, respectively a former sheriff and the current sheriff of the town. And everyone knows the neighborly thing to do when you move into a new neighborhood is to bake your next door neighbor something yummy—chocolate chip scones. Everyone also knows the “unneighborly” thing to do is to return said scones uneaten. Yeah, North can be a bit of a grumpy, cold, hardass. Understandably, he lost his manners in prison and he has a little chip on his muscular shoulders.

This romance reminded me a bit of Sleepless in Seattle because for the almost the first half of the book, they communicate more by text messages than they do face-to-face. Faith knows what North looks like (boy does she ever!—I’m thinking of the naughty scene of North in his backyard) but it takes a while for North to get a good look at Faith. The green avocado face mask doesn’t count. But he’s seen and very much appreciates her body and her hair. By the time he finally sees her face, he’s pretty much a goner. He’s in lust and their every interaction needs only the slightest spark before things explode.

“Sure you did,” he drawled, taking a step closer that made her pulse jump at her neck. “You know, you could have just texted me and asked me nicely to move my bike. Instead you came out here half-cocked—” His gaze dropped. “Half-dressed.”

She gaped. “Are you insinuating I’m looking for a fight?”

“I think you’re looking for something.”

There was no mistaking the sexual nature of that statement.

As one might expect, the problem is that North is an ex-con and Faith is a “good girl”. What would a pretty, college graduate, social worker want with him? And that right there—his insecurities and his feelings of not being good enough for her—endeared North to me. Ms. Jordan does a wonderful job of balancing his hardened exterior and cockiness with his inner vulnerabilities. And what he feels is natural given his history and circumstances. There are many people who would judge him and find him not worthy. Thankfully, Faith isn’t one of them. She’s not nearly as hard on him as he is on himself.

While their rocky, sizzling, tension-filled romance unfolds, Faith has to deal with problems caused by her job, which adds a bit of suspense to the plot. And North is dealing with his internal struggles as his brother and his sister-in-law’s life moves happily on ahead. They’re trying so hard to pull him closer as he’s pulling away. A life of home and hearth isn’t for him. Or so that’s what he believes.

Honestly, my heart ached for North because he is a good person. He’s loyal and has a good heart. He’s also sexy as hell and appeals to my love of all things dark and broody. And Faith is the perfect woman for him. I just needed him to wake up to that fact. And guess what, he did. ;)

~ Beverley