Controlled Burn

Controlled Burn

by Erin McLellan

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At eighteen, Joel Smith's life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn't let anyone get close--not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn't plan on the articles about his boyfriend's death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn't plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn't simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he'll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

NOTE: This is a reprint of a previously published novel.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161966983
Publisher: Erin McLellan
Publication date: 08/24/2018
Series: Farm College , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 307,334
File size: 810 KB

About the Author

Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the Great Plains, with characters that are complex, goodhearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Originally from Oklahoma, Erin currently lives in Alaska with her husband.

Customer Reviews

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Controlled Burn 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
AustenRowling More than 1 year ago
Joel’s high school boyfriend died in a car accident after making the choice to read a text message he’d sent while driving. Unfortunately, he and Diego were outed. He’s been living with shame and guilt ever since, and hasn’t been able to properly grieve. In the aftermath, he’s changed his name and moved to another state. While sitting in his Ethics in Journalism class, he’s confronted with his past all over when his professor unknowingly chooses to highlight his case in class. Paulie is a fellow student in his class, who is his note buddy, but they become friends as a result of this assignment. Unfortunately, Joel doesn’t come clean about the articles until it’s almost too late. I love watching their friendship blossom into love, and watching Joel let go of Diego, though it’s not always easy. This really was a beautiful story.
Addicted_Reads More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful love story! This was an emotionally charged book. Joel's journey brought out so many emotions in me. When he meets Paulie, he starts to feel something he hasn't felt in a long time. I adored Paulie, he's fun, confident, flirty. He was a perfect match for Joel. All of the characters were well written and complex. The writing was amazing and really brought home how Joel was feeling throughout. This is one angsty romance you won't want to miss out on!
sweetpotato101 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars! I had some mixed feelings about Erin McLellan’s Controlled Burn. It delivers all the angsty-goodness, however, and I’m looking forward to more from this author. Joel has a really rocky past, and he’s wallowing in massive guilt. Enter Paulie, a cheery classmate who manages to sneak past Joel’s defenses and get him facing his past. But will it be enough? From the beginning, this book was all flame emojis and heart eyes for me. Paulie is so adorable, and I loved how fun and confident and flirty he was, even when coming against his own past which…*heart clutches* just broke me into pieces. Joel, by contrast, is far more serious. His past dogs his every step, and damn, did these two need each other. The angst continues throughout, and I teared up so many times because the emotion was just punch-you-in-the-face good. I was wrung dry and built back up only to have it all shake up again. It’s delightful getting that deeply into a book again. My problem was Joel. I really don’t think he deserved Paulie, even by the end. And while I got why the ex was brought up so much, Joel thought about him EVERY TIME he and Paulie were intimate. Every. Time. There was also a few decisions both characters made that never got talked about and left me a little flabbergasted. Despite that, though, I really did enjoy this book. A sweet and spicy tale that hits all the right notes.
CRISSYM More than 1 year ago
This was such a fantastic read and I can't wait to see what story this author comes up with next. The storyline was perfect, the characters were fantastic and I enjoyed them a lot. Joel, Diego, Paulie and his aunt Ruth will have you smiling a lot. Paulie was definitely the life of this story and deserved every bit of happiness and love; he was definitely my favorite. I laughed a lot with his antics while reading this story. The sex scenes were definitely steamy and I remember one part being a bit much but I got over it quickly. This is the perfect readers looking for a great m/m romance read that will not disappoint. The characters in the story struggled with life problems and it was great seeing them grow and develop throughout the story. I was completely happy with the ending and I look forward to reading more books from this author. I really hope Diego gets his own story and we get more of the same characters I enjoyed in this story.