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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Smolder is the first book in the Firefighters of Montana series written by Tracy Solheim. While trying to come to terms with the sudden death of his wife, Sam Gaskill moves to Flathead Lake, Montana to head up the local Forest Service as captain and smokejumper. Sam takes with him his wife’s palomino horse, Tabitha, housing her with Wayne Keenan at the nearby Whispering Breeze Ranch. As the previous captain of the forest service, Russ Edwards, had died in the line of duty, Sam finds himself wrangling with hostilities from his crew as they don’t take kindly to outsiders. An even bigger challenge comes in the form of Wayne Keenan’s daughter, Laurel, who’d left the wrong kind of first impression on Sam when he had first boarded Tabitha at the ranch. Although Sam and Laurel had gotten off on the wrong foot, they find it hard to suppress the deep and mysterious attraction they feel for each other. As they slowly let each other through the walls they had built around themselves over the years, they not only empathize with each other’s past tragedies, but realize that those tragedies may be what is keeping them from ever possibly having a future together.
Tracy Solheim’s story about two people from vastly different backgrounds, yet having an undeniable attraction to each other, has just the right amount of drama, action, love, lust, tragedy and suspense to create an epic romance which will leave you burning for more. Smolder is quite realistic in that each character has a depth which allowed me to connect and empathize with each and every one. The tight-knit community in the small town and the camaraderie amongst the firefighting crew was spot-on. Having had an upbringing where everyone knew everybody else’s business in such a small town, I became quite nostalgic in parts, even when the crew was cleaning up the forest, getting ready for fire season. The description of the terrain was remarkable and I was able to visualize myself walking in their shoes. I very much enjoyed Smolder and recommend it to all lovers of fine romance reading.