Love Burnsby Babette James
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Smokejumper Dave Knight lives by two simple rules—play hard, work harder. Heartache taught him love and commitment don't mix with his high-intensity lifestyle. That hot kiss with the classy Olivia Benedetti-Harper was a mistake, but he walked away in time. Too bad he can't run from the memories. Then a plane crash shatters his future, forcing him to face the ashes of his past, the woman he can't forget, and the toughest challenge of his life: Stop running.
The right man broke her heart. How could the wrong man heal it? Obedient daughter and dutiful wife, Olivia always followed the rules—only to be abandoned by her unfaithful husband. As she rebuilds her life, bad-boy Dave is a sizzling temptation she can't afford. However, breaking the rules with the wrong man might be the best mistake this good girl's ever made for love.
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Dave and Olivia have both faced heartache and pain within their lives. Each has used running away as a coping mechanism. Dave through his smoke jumping career and Olivia by trying to block out years of emotional abuse. When Dave is injured ending his career he begins to realize he must face his painful past in order to gain a future with Olivia. Love Burns by Babette James is heartbreaking inspirational tale of two people trying to face pat mistakes and get over painful experiences. An emotional read that will leave you spellbound. I received a copy of Love Burns for an honest review.
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite Olivia is a good girl, always doing what is expected of her. This good girl behavior left Olivia divorced and broken after the ‘right guy’ tore her down. But Love Burns isn’t really the story of the broken down version of Olivia. She meets smoke jumper Dave Knight when he intervenes on her behalf and then kisses her senseless. When an unexpected accident leaves Dave retired and unemployed, he is a shell of the fun loving, hardworking man he once was. But two weeks of camping with close friends and Olivia and Dave discover they are more than the good girl and the bad boy. Author Babette James perfectly gets to the core of the issues surrounding Dave and Olivia. They are both broken, but in different ways, so how could they possibly heal each other? What I loved so much about Love Burns is that it is a true love story. Dave and Olivia obviously have feelings for one another, but they don’t get their happy ending right away. They both must adjust to the new and unexpected paths their lives are on, which is something Babette James does with ease. We get to watch them each heal and leave their demons in the past. I have to admit that at times I wanted to scream at Olivia for allowing her parents to have such a say in her life, but I loved that when she needed to she pulled strength from Dave. I loved Dave even though I thought he was a coward at times, but Uncle Jake was my favorite. He was plain-spoken, wise and kind. The deep friendships that surrounded the main characters, I think, are what helped them heal. Love Burns is filled with lifelong friendships, love, and way too much family; pretty much the perfect recipe for a quality adult romance.
This sexy emotional romance is the story of Olivia and Dave. Dave was there when Olivia's marriage finally fell apart after years of emotional abuse while at a summer camping trip with her husband's friend, and one year later they are back at the same camp with mutual friends but under new circumstances. Newly divorced, Olivia just wants to enjoy her vacation and figure out her future path. Dave, permanently injured in a tragic accident that forcibly ended his smokejumper career isn't the same carefree playboy he was when they met the year before. Both working on healing, they discover that being together is a way to forget all the pressure and stress and just be. But when their idyllic week is over and it's time to go their separate ways, will they be able to take the seeds of a new relationship and help it grow into something worth fighting for? After being introduced to Dave and Olivia as characters in the previous story Clear As Day, I was really hoping to see them get a happy tale for themselves and it was with delight that I started this story. The author has a knack for pulling the reader in from the first page and while Olivia and Dave have been through some hard knocks in the run up to this week of summer fun, the simmering attraction between them is there, and ready to be acted upon. Dave is no longer the same man as a year ago though. While still friendly and charming when he wants to be, the bitterness and stress of his accident, recovery and realization that he will never be able to go back to the one thing in life he loves have taken their toll. He suffers from PTSD, he is physically challenged by his injuries and with women he no longer feels that he is a worthy player. Olivia on the other hand has grown into a more mature and self-sufficient woman, having gone through a divorce to her husband for whom she was only a trophy wife and realizing that she can now pursue her own goals, not those of her parents or her ex-husband. When she and Dave spend some time alone, they give into the attraction that's been beneath the surface and the love scenes between them are tender, sexy and emotional ( and plentiful for only being together a week!). Establishing this sexual connection means that when the week ends they have to decide what to do next. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I will say that I really liked how the story continued, the struggle for both of them to decide about their futures and the way everything unfolded. It's not an easy trip to a happy ever after for them, but the work involved in making a relationship secure means that it's all the more worthwhile when it happens. A key part of the story besides the romance between Dave and Olivia is the enduring friendships of the rest of the characters who gather every year for their summer vacation. I love seeing the whole group together again, the banter, the friendships and the obvious love and affection they have for each other. I hope there will be several more stories for this group of friends. Overall I found this to be a lovely story with a steamy yet tender romance. 5 stars.