Under Control

Under Control

by Shannon Stacey

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“Stacey’s gift for writing easily relatable characters will hook readers and leave them eagerly waiting for the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

From New York Times bestselling author SHANNON STACEY

Meet the tough, dedicated men of BOSTON FIRE—and the women who turn their lives upside down

When faced with the opportunity to change shifts while staying in the same house, veteran firefighter Derek Gilman jumps at the chance. His new schedule means not working Saturdays, which means more time to spend with his two kids. His divorce may have been amicable, but being a firefighter and a single dad is a lot to juggle. And when fate brings a gorgeous, wealthy woman into his life, he’s pretty sure he can’t handle more than he already is.

Olivia McGovern loves plans. She planned to start her own business and planned its growth. It’s earning her seven figures now, but her personal life simply doesn’t exist. Getting trapped in a broken elevator figures in exactly nowhere, and freaking out in front of a sexy firefighter definitely isn’t on the agenda. Especially not one with two kids and an ex.

What would have been a random incident with an attractive stranger becomes something more when a charity event brings them back together. They’re from different sides of the tracks, literally—with friends, family and careers to consider. But as Derek and Olivia are discovering, chemistry doesn’t allow for plans, and love doesn’t bother with logistics.

Don’t miss the entire Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey! Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited and Hot Response are available now!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488079245
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Series: Boston Fire , #5
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 33,053
File size: 856 KB

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.

Read an Excerpt


Nothing made a guy feel conspicuous like walking down the hall of an office building in full turnout gear. Or he would if anybody actually noticed him, Derek Gilman thought as he shifted to the right to avoid running into a woman looking down at her phone. How people navigated the hallways with their eyes glued to their screens was beyond him.

One guy actually looked up from his phone as he brushed by, and then did a startled double take. "Should I be evacuating?"

"You can evacuate if you want," Derek said, "but there's no reason to. We're just doing some high-rise training."

Which was a fact everybody in the building was supposed to have been made aware of before they arrived. They didn't have much in the way of glass skyscrapers in their neighborhood, so the crews of Engine 59 and Ladder 37 had schlepped across Boston on what should have been a day off to hone their skills.

Remembering to bring everything they needed from the apparatus was apparently not one of their skills, however. Though he was over a decade past being a rookie, Derek was new to this Ladder 37 crew, so he'd been sent to retrieve the paperwork Rick Gullotti — their lieutenant and the guy in charge of paperwork — had forgotten.

A woman stepped out of an office ahead and turned, walking ahead of him in the same direction. She was notable for two reasons. One, she wasn't looking at a cell phone. That in itself was enough to make her stand out in this crowd.

But it was her looks that captured Derek's attention. He only got a glimpse of her profile before she turned, but she had delicate features and dark blond hair drawn up off her neck in a loose bun. Her navy suit looked as if it had been tailored specifically for her body, and the coat flared slightly, accenting the curve of her hips. Her legs were long, and his gaze lingered on her calves before sliding up to the soft spots behind her knees that were playing peekaboo with the hem of her skirt.

And he'd never realized how sexy the click of high heels on a marble tile floor could be. When he was a kid, he'd hated the sound because the high heels usually belonged to an angry teacher he was following down the hallway to the principal's office. But following this woman as she walked down the hallway with long, confident strides was a hell of a lot more enjoyable.

Of course, she reached the elevator just as the door opened and a man stepped out. Because he'd slowed to leave enough space to appreciate the view, Derek knew there was a good chance the door would close before he reached it and there was no way in hell he was taking the stairs if he didn't have to.

"Hold the door, please," he called as the woman stepped in and pushed a button on the panel.

She looked up at him and he saw the hesitation in her body language. She didn't want to, but he watched the fact he was a firefighter register, plus it would be rude to pretend she hadn't heard him after making eye contact. He smiled as she hit the button to hold the doors. "Thank you." The button for the lobby was already lit, so he stepped back as the doors slid closed.

She only nodded and pulled her phone out of the back pocket of the leather journal she was holding, which was stuffed with notebooks and paper from the looks of it. But Derek could see her reflection in the highly polished metal door and she was looking at him. And not a quick glance to make sure the stranger was staying on his own side, but a lingering look.

He should say something, but he wasn't sure what to say, since women wearing power suits in the Back Bay were way out of his league. The floors were ticking past like seconds on the clock, though, and he was running out of time.

She was taking a step forward, probably in anticipation of reaching the lobby level soon, when there was a grinding sound and the elevator lurched to a stop. Off-balance, she stumbled and — thanks to good reflexes and maybe some good luck — he ended up with an armful of beautiful woman.

Apparently he was getting an extension.

She tilted her face up to him, and he saw the distress in her pretty greenish- blue eyes. "What's happening?" "We stopped," he said, hoping she'd find the obvious answer funny. In his experience, humor relaxed people. She didn't even crack a smile, and he cleared his throat before continuing. "There are a few reasons it could happen, but the system probably has a problem or a malfunction somewhere and it shut the elevator down to be safe."

"This is not safe." She wasn't in a full-blown panic, but her anxiety practically crackled around her, and she was clutching his arm so tightly he could feel her grip through the heavy bunker coat. "And what do you mean by a malfunction? So something could be more wrong than the fact we're not moving anymore?"

"Everything's fine." He had to let his arms fall away from her as she backed away, wincing a little. "Are you hurt?" "No." He wasn't reassured by the quick way she said it, as if it was a reflex and maybe not the truth.

He pulled out his phone to send a quick group text to Danny Walsh — Engine 59's LT — and Rick Gullotti. Elevator's stuck. Why? Then he peeled off the heavy coat and tossed it on the floor, dropping the helmet on top of it while she sent a text message of her own to somebody. "We're okay in here. Just try to stay calm and we'll be out in no time."

"Stay calm," she muttered as her phone vibrated and she sent another text. "That's easy for you to say. Being brave in the face of death is part of your job."

That was a little dramatic, but she wasn't totally wrong. About his job, anyway. "You're not facing death. I promise."

His phone vibrated with a response from Walsh.

Working on it. Stand by.

The woman's face was slightly flushed. "Shouldn't you ... I don't know. Go up through the ceiling hatch and climb up the cable or something?"

Derek managed — barely — not to laugh outright at her, but he couldn't hold back a short chuckle. "I'm a firefighter, not John McClane."

"Who's John McClane?"

Oh, she did not just ask that. "The greatest action hero of all time? The guy from Die Hard?" "I've heard of those movies, but I've never seen any of them."

If he'd needed any more of a definitive sign this woman wasn't his type, that was it. There were six movies, so she had to work at not seeing any of them. "You're missing out. So, what's your name?" "Olivia."

"Pretty name." Classic and elegant, and it suited her. "I'm Derek."

"Can you pry open the doors?" she asked, clearly not in a place to be distracted by small talk.

"With my bare hands?" He held them up, showing off his lack of tools. "I work out a little, but not that much." Her gaze flicked over his body, and he stood up straighter and sucked in his gut. Not that there was much to suck in, but he wasn't in his twenties anymore.

Hell, he was barely still in his thirties. "You work out more than a little."

Her tone of voice made it sound like just an observation, but he didn't miss her gaze lingering for a second on his chest or the way her eyebrow lifted as her mouth curved into a hint of a smile. She wasn't flirting, but she liked what she saw and he'd take the win. He'd need all the ego boosting he could get once the other guys started giving him shit for having to rescue him from an elevator.

Then she shifted her weight and, when she winced again, Derek gave her a stern look. "You're hurt."

"No, I'm not. I twisted my ankle a little when the elevator stopped."

"You need to get those shoes off and let me look at it."

She laughed and shook her head. "I don't care how nice this elevator is, I am not touching the floor with my bare feet."

Derek picked up his coat, letting the helmet roll free, and — with a flourish — spread it over the floor in front of her. "Your carpet, milady."

Olivia McGovern didn't have time to be stuck in an elevator today. Her schedule was so tight the Lyft driver who was hopefully still waiting outside for her after her text would determine the fate of her punctuality streak, and she hadn't been late to a meeting in the three years since she'd officially hung out her McGovern Consulting shingle.

But none of that seemed to matter when she looked into the warm blue eyes of the firefighter smiling at her right now. It had been the smile he gave her as he stepped onto the elevator that first caught her attention. That smile that was just a little friendlier than a polite thank-you and radiated warmth had been sexy, she had to admit. His helmet coming off to reveal tousled dark, dirty blond hair, along with the Boston Fire T-shirt showing off a very nicely built upper body, hadn't hurt, either. But it was the boyish grin he gave her as he spread his coat out like a gentleman in a story that really kicked her heartbeat into high gear.

As did putting her hand on his arm to steady herself as she stepped out of the heels. The first time she'd clutched his arm — when she'd been thrown into his arms — he'd been wearing the coat she was standing on. But now she could feel the firm muscle and the warmth of his skin through the blue cotton.

"Thank you," she said in a slightly choked voice. Her ankle really wasn't that bad, but being out of the shoes for a few minutes would definitely help.

Then he dropped to his knees in front of her and she sucked in a sharp breath. His hands closed around her ankle and she pressed her lips together so she wouldn't make any sort of a sound when he ran his hands up over her calf muscle and back to her ankle. He pressed gently with his thumbs, and maybe it was her imagination, but it sounded like the deep breath he took shuddered just a little. "No swelling," he said, pushing back to his feet. "It doesn't look bad, but you should elevate it while we're waiting. You can sit on the coat."

Getting into a sitting position on the coat while wearing a skirt was a challenge, but Derek had turned away to retrieve his helmet so she did it as quickly and with as much modesty as she could. She assumed he was going to use the helmet to prop her ankle up, but he simply set it right side up and then sat down at her feet. An unexpected rush of heat flooded her when he lifted her foot and shifted so he could rest it on his thigh, and she hoped it didn't show on her face.

"It really should be elevated more, but we don't have a lot of options," he said. "Is this okay?" His hand was massaging her ankle and she didn't trust herself to speak, so she nodded. He had calluses and his hands weren't abrasive, but just rough enough so a shiver went through her.

"Are you cold?" he asked, his thumb brushing over her ankle bone.

"I'm fine," she forced herself to say, but she was struggling with the awareness that for the first time in her life, she was very tempted to make out with a total stranger in an elevator.

"So, Olivia," he said in a low voice that turned her on almost as much as his hands on her ankle. "You know I'm a firefighter. What do you do for work? That's quite a book you've got there."

She looked down at the leather cover protecting a variety of notebooks and papers, then back at him. "I'm a productivity systems consultant."

"Oh. Cool." He obviously had no idea what that meant.

"I shadow a company's employees and talk to them for several hours, trying to get a feel for their business flow. Then I present several productivity suites I think would help them work more efficiently — whether digital, paper or a combination. I help them set it up and train them on how to use it."

"Huh." He gave her a look she'd seen many times, as if he still wasn't sure what she did. She was used to that. Before she could say anything else, though, his phone chimed and he checked the message before sending back a brief reply. "They're going to pry the door." It was utterly ridiculous that disappointment would be her first reaction to imminent rescue, but it was. Followed fairly quickly by the awareness of how much time had passed since she sent an update to her Lyft driver and her assistant, Kelsey Harris.

"Does that take long?"

"Shouldn't. They've probably already cut the power to make sure it doesn't start moving again at a bad time, so it won't take long to bypass the door restrictors and get the doors open. How's the ankle feeling?" "Better, thanks." The ankle was better, but now the rest of her body was a little hot and achy. "I think I can get up."

He helped her, of course, taking her hands and pulling as she pulled her legs under so she was on her knees and then got to her feet. And he didn't let them go once she was standing. They were close — so close she had to tilt her head back slightly to see his face — and for a few crazy seconds, she thought he was going to kiss her.

And she wanted him to. "Can you put weight on it?"

This time she knew the blush was visible because she could feel it on her face. He was holding her hands because of her ankle. "It's fine. It really wasn't that bad and sitting for a few minutes helped."

As did his hand massaging her ankle, though she didn't say so. And she managed to stifle the sigh of regret when he released her hands. Then she heard sounds on the other side of the metal doors and realized they wouldn't be in the elevator much longer.

She sent a quick text message to her Lyft driver. They're getting ready to open the doors. It shouldn't take long.

I can wait a few more minutes.

Olivia told herself she should be happy when the doors finally opened and another very attractive firefighter looked down at her from the opening. They could do a calendar, she thought, and was very thankful she hadn't said it out loud.

"Hi there," he said. "I'm Aidan Hunt, with Engine 59. We're going to get you out now."

"Took you guys long enough," Derek told him, even as Olivia silently wished it could have taken just a little longer. Then he turned to her. "You ready to get out of here?"

She nodded, but didn't move to the front. "I ... they can't line up the doors with the floor?"

"The elevator's still stuck, so that would be a no. This is as good as it gets, but I'll give you a boost up." A boost? Olivia wasn't sure what that meant, but it implied him picking her up, and maybe having to hand her up to Aidan, which might involve Derek's hands on her butt. Not that she'd mind that very much, but she was in a skirt.

"That doesn't sound very graceful," she pointed out. "Or modest."

"I think we skimmed over being graceful at the fire academy. But, tell you what. To make it easier, I'll get on the floor. If you step up onto my back and take Aidan's hands for balance, I'll get up on my hands and knees and you should be high enough so one of the guys can get you under the arms and lift you out with no problem."

"You don't mind?"

"Trust me. It won't be the worst thing that's happened to me on the job."

Her gaze flicked to the scar that ran down his jaw, but she didn't ask. Instead, she walked to the opening and handed her leather notebook up to Aidan. "Please don't lose that or drop it down the elevator shaft or anything. It's my entire life."

"Don't lose this, Scotty," Aidan said, handing the book over to another firefighter. Then he took Olivia's shoes from her and set them aside. "I'm going to lay on my stomach so I can reach out and give you something to hold on to while you step up on Derek. Then Chris here is going to get you under the arms and lift you so you can reach the lip. You ready?"

She nodded, and Derek got down on the floor as if he was going to do some push- ups. This still wasn't going to be all that graceful, she realized as she stepped onto his back. "Am I hurting you?"

"Nope. You ready?"

She reached up and Aidan grasped her hands. "Okay.

But no looking up."

His chuckle vibrated through the bottoms of her feet. "I won't. I promise."

His back muscles flexed and she barely had time to register his strength as he lifted himself — and her — before somebody grabbed her under the arms and lifted her. She got her knees onto the lip, but they didn't let her go until she was on her feet and several feet away from the elevator shaft.

"Lieutenant Rick Gullotti," one of the older of the group said to her, and she shook his hand. "Are you injured at all? Do you need medical attention?"

She wouldn't mind Derek's hands on her some more, but she definitely didn't need an ambulance. "I'm not injured. Thank you — all of you — for getting me out." He nodded and then turned back to the elevator. She stepped into her shoes, thankful her ankle didn't offer up more than a slight twinge. And the firefighter who'd been called Scotty handed over her journal. "Thank you."

Her phone chimed with a text from the driver. Two minutes and then I'm leaving.


Excerpted from "Under Control"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Shannon Stacey.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Under Control 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring and uninteresting characters. I missed the action that was in the other books in the series.
HEABookNerd More than 1 year ago
I’ve long been a fan of the Boston Fire series and Under Control was a great addition. Shannon Stacey really excels at writing contemporary romances that feel real while also allowing her reader to get swept up in the fantasy of romance. Unlike some of the earlier books, I felt the firefighter focus was downplayed but I didn’t mind it because it just increased the focus on the relationship. With busy schedules, lots of commitments, and a long commute between homes, Derek and Olivia have to put in a lot of work to make a relationship happen. I liked that Stacey shows the complexity of modern dating between two people who have busy lives. Olivia if focused on growing her business and she’s also a bit of a control freak when it comes to work so she doesn’t delegate the best. Derek has a very set schedule as a firefighter and he has two kids that he values spending time with when he’s not working. I really enjoyed Derek and Olivia’s chemistry and while they each weren’t sure about a relationship at first they quickly move into one with open arms. Of course nothing is perfect and both worry about how to make a lasting relationship fit into their already hectic lives. Compromises have to be made and while I was happy with them, I also felt like some of the issues just magically stopped being issues, especially Olivia’s worries. Granted, they were probably each blowing their issues out of proportion anyway, but it just felt like it wrapped up a little quickly. That being said, I really loved this one and can’t wait for the next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read with just enough heat to flame the path through each chapter. This couple is hit by attraction as strong as the cables holding the elevate the meet and get stuck in. Rescued before they can swap information, fate brings them together for charity. I like that the author does not throw them together in a glass slipper fit, but in stead more or less shoehorns their lives together. She's a successful, single organization expert who moved cross country to escape her divorced parents very ugly sniping and fighting. He's a firefighter with two kids and an ex-wife whose remarried, expecting a baby and his BFF. Her life is precise, scheduled to the minute in multiple color coded charts and calendars, no room for clutter. His is constantly changing to fit each new situation, sometimes minute to minute -- the definition of a happy mess. These two lifestyles do not easily combine. There's bound to be some serious obstacles crop up, no matter how great they are together un bed or how much they begin to care about the other. It's real. It's messy. It's life. Well done Shannon Stacey. * ARC provide bu Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lovely modern romance. Not unrealistic millionaires or harrowing serial killers just career and kid troubles. Sexy and real.
RobinLovesReading More than 1 year ago
My rating: 4.5 Stars Opposites attracting by accident - this is the first thought I have as I am writing this review. Olivia McGovern is rushing between appointments and then gets stuck in an elevator with Derek Gilman, a firefighter. Upon first glance, they each took a hard look at the other - both liking what they saw. It should have been a fleeting moment, but a stalled elevator changed things quickly. Nonetheless, life went on. However, they run into each other again at a charity function. This time, neither of them plan on just being passersby. Their attraction sparks and they decide to see where things go. Olivia is well-off, and is extremely busy with her well-organized business. She runs her life with a planner in hand. Derek is divorced with two children and knows that he is not quite at her level. She is all about power suits and heels and Derek is most comfortable in jeans. But, their connection is real, and as it turns out, they do have some things in common. A determined Olivia is confident that a relationship with Derek will not change her fast-moving lifestyle. Beyond the pull that he feels for Olivia, Derek keeps his kids foremost in mind. Can he have both the wonderful responsibilities of fatherhood as well as a chance with Olivia? Under Control was a touching read. It is a book of love, responsibilities and compromise. The character development was wonderful in this book. I felt a strong connection to both Olivia and Derek. This is the fifth book in the Boston Fire series by Shannon Stacey. I hadn't had the opportunity to read the previous titles, but I felt comfortable with the other characters who had roles in this book. The problems relating to the growth of this relationship had a strong sense of realism. This book delivered a great afternoon read. Next is Grant's story. I truly enjoy the author's writing style and do look forward to reading more from her. Many thanks to Harlequin and Pure Textuality PR for this ARC to review in exchange for an honest opinion.
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
Ever since I read my first book by Shannon Stacey she has been one of my top favorite authors. She engages my mind with the deep and raw emotions in the realistic, life-like romance stories about regular people with rambunctious yet loving families and all the mess that goes with living and loving fully with no reservations. There is humor, there are tears, there is heat, and there are sweet, swoon-worthy moments that makes me smile and sigh and be glad that I found her books in the first place. Under Control is an ardent story that I easily related to. The past hurt and disappointments sometimes make us hold on to the little control we can actually have in life. Compromises are not always easy, the risks of trusting and loving with your whole heart can be scary, and veteran firefighter Derek Gilman and businesswoman Olivia McGovern learn their lessons the hard way. Derek and Olivia live in different worlds, on the opposite sides of the town. But it is not only the physical distance that is a challenge in their relationship, they seem to be the opposite in every possible way. Yet, the attraction between them is a sizzling, tangible force that keeps pulling them together, despite everything that is pulling them apart. I loved the energy between Olivia and Derek. I loved the honesty they shared, the connection between them had this aura of trust, flirtiness, and adoration that just pulled all the feels to the surface. I loved that Derek was such a loving, caring father and that the relationship between Olivia and his kids took time to develop, like it does in the real world, as well. I loved that while the story is realistic, it has that magical, whimsical wonder of falling in love, utterly, helplessly, and completely out of our control. Under Control was an unputdownable, emotional, intense, and fervent story that kept me up late at night. It is a story about family, second chances, giving up the tight hold of control we sometimes hang on to too long, learning to make compromises, and risking it all to fall utterly and completely in love. A wondrously enjoyable tale ~ Five Spoons
belllla More than 1 year ago
Olivia meets Derek when they stuck in an elevator together and they are both daydreaming about each other until fate once again put them together when they both work together for a charity. Of course, sparks are flying and they start spending more time together. But is har because they are from the different part of the city, they both have their jobs, and Derek has kids. Derek's insecurities escalate and their love is on a point take it r break it. A lovely story with great realistic struggle, and family drama. Both Olivia and Derek are great likable characters, I felt sorry for Derek when he felt not worth of Olivia because all the bling that she had she was down to earth person, not a snob and very kind. Another lovely read from Boston firefighters. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this romance. I have had this series on my radar since it got started and have even collected a couple of the installments but have never had the chance to pick one up. I am so glad that I finally jumped into the series. I am happy to report that this book works perfect fine as a stand alone despite being the fifth book in the Boston Fire series. I had a lot of fun with this really well done novel. I found that this book felt really authentic. I can't think of single thing that happens in this story that didn't feel like it could happen in the real world. I loved the fact that Derek is divorced with kids that are the center of his universe. Since I was a divorced mother of a 4 year old child when I met my husband, I could completely relate to the way he was trying to find the right balance. I also loved the way that Derek and Olivia met. I was once stuck in an elevator and while I didn't have a firefighter there to rub my feet while we waited for rescue, I did have a whole crowd of firefighters gathered to rescue me so I could totally see their meeting happening. Derek and Olivia were both great characters. Derek is a firefighter and divorced father of two. He has a great relationship with his ex-wife which did seem to make everything a bit simpler. Olivia is a highly organized and driven business owner. Her life is scheduled down to the last detail and she likes it that way. This pair had some great chemistry and there were plenty of steamy moments. There really wasn't any manufactured drama in this one which their biggest obstacle being trying to figure out how to blend their very different lives with each other. I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time spending time with Derek and Olivia and my heart may have melted just a bit as they fell in love. I do want to read more from Shannon Stacey very soon and will probably start with the earlier books in the series. I received a digital review copy of this book from Carina Press via NetGalley.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Loved! Single fathers and firefighters are right up there on my list of reading catnip, so it took me about 1.5 seconds to decide that this was one book I was going to have to read. It did not disappoint! I loved that Derek is "barely still in his thirties" and that he and his ex are not only amicable, but actual friends--so different from the norm, and so refreshing! Derek's can't-really-schedule-too-much life and Olivia's planned-down-to-the-last-second one (I loved when he had her schedule "Have GREAT sex with Derek" in her planner when they set up their first weekend date) at first seemed incompatible, and it definitely is a cause of relationship tension, but Ms. Stacey has them resolve things like heavily invested, very romantic grown-ups, and that was awesome. It doesn't hurt that Olivia and Derek's trapped-in-an-elevator meet cute is one for the ages either...I'm pretty sure that scene will be on my mind every time I get into an elevator from now on... ;) I've only read two books from this series so far (both worked well as standalones--though there's some substantial prep work for the next book in the series--Flare Up--here; I'm counting the days!) and absolutely loved them. I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the Boston Fire series books! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 STARS! With the next book in the beloved Boston Fire series, we get the story of sexy single dad Derek. It's always a lot of fun to revisit the characters from the previous books and get updates on how their lives are going. With this one, the characters were quick to grab and keep my attention . A sexy connection between them, and both with strong attitudes and beliefs that lead to a good bit of strife on the way towards their happily ever after. Really enjoyed their story! Veteran firefighter Derek Gilman is trying to juggle all the aspects of his life the best way he knows how, so when a change in shift will allow him to still stay in the house that he loves but will afford him with more quality time with his kids, he is all for it. He and his ex might have made their way back to a decent friendship in order to keep life cordial for their kids, but he still wants as much time with them as he can manage. Executive Olivia McGovern has worked hard to get her consulting firm off the ground and though business is going well, she doesn't have time to sit back on her laurels and let someone else swoop in and snatch her potential clients, so getting stuck in an elevator on the way to a critical meeting is the last thing she needs! Then leave it to her to freak out in front of a sexy firefighter who has the misfortune of being stuck in there with her, and her day is totally shot. On the up-side, wow, what a hunk!
Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
Business consultant Olivia McGovern and firefighter Derek Gilman find themselves trapped in a stalled elevator. They’d checked each other out right before entering and their attraction was undeniable. They went their separate ways following rescue but days later had an unplanned reunion at a charity meeting. This time they wasted no time in moving forward after having failed to exchange contact information the first time. So what could go wrong? Olivia’s highly successful and her lifestyle is proof of that. Derek is divorced with two young children and lives modestly. Even though there’s an obvious income disparity, these two have a lot of interests in common and genuinely like and enjoy each other. I liked how Olivia didn’t shy away from the issue, embracing her accomplishments without diminishing Derek and he didn’t fall into that trap of believing his manhood was threatened. They confronted the real issues a single father faces in co-parenting and introducing a new relationship to his children, as well as those fears and concerns a woman would experience walking into the situation. It was refreshing to not see manufactured drama, just the small things that can place strain on a new and developing relationship, figuring out how to communicate and handle them. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about two people from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds (she was from Virginia, he from Boston) who focused on what really matters in a relationship but weren’t unrealistically oblivious to the differences. While both were appealing, they weren’t perfect, had some missteps and behaved maturely and honestly. The narrator seemed to capture their personalities really well and delivered a strong performance. This is one of my favorites in the series. (I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shannon nails it again. A wonderful story that I couldn't put down and ended with happy tears. Thank you! I can't wait for the next Boston firefighter to get shot with Cupid's arrow.
whatsbetterthanbooks More than 1 year ago
Amusing, sweet, and romantic! Under Control is a lighthearted, engaging tale that features the organized, driven Olivia and the rugged, devoted, divorced father of two, Derek as they discover that even though they come from different backgrounds and have different goals they might just be perfect for one another.  The writing is fluid and effortless. The characters are charming, quirky, and authentic. And the plot is an enticing, delightful mix of instant attraction, steamy chemistry, friendship, community, tender moments, unconditional love, and real-life relationship struggles. Overall, Under Control is a passionate, heartwarming novel with a captivating storyline and endearing characters that reminds us that life never goes to plan and sometimes true love is worth all the hard work, communication, and compromise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this author but the story seemed slow. Great series though!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.25 stars--UNDER CONTROL is the fifth instalment in Shannon Stacey’s contemporary, adult BOSTON FIRE romance series focusing on Boston’s first responders. This is firefighter and single father Derek Gilman, and business consultant Olivia McGovern’s story line. UNDER CONTROL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.’ Told from dual third person perspectives (Derek and Olivia) UNDER CONTROL follows the building relationship between firefighter and single father Derek Gilman, and business consultant Olivia McGovern. Trapped in an elevator was never in the plans for Olivia McGovern but trapped with firefighter Derek Gilman made Olivia think about the possibilities of something more. Approached to help with a children’s fund-raiser Olivia is shocked to learn that the fireman starring in her fantasies is also a member of the fund-raising board. What ensues is the building relationship and romance between Derekk and Olivia, and the potential fall-out as Olivia struggles to step outside of her comfort zone in an effort to make time for the man, and his family, with whom she is falling in love. Olivia McGovern is a well-organized and detailed planner; a consultant whose own life is revolves around a schedule of meetings, business appointments, and very little time for personal affairs. Meeting firefighter Derek Gilman throws all of Olivia’s plans into disarray especially where is concerns emergency call-outs, and family considerations. Derek Gilman never again thought he would find love but life proved him wrong falling in love with the woman who stole his heart. Hoping to make Olivia his happily ever after Derek struggles with Olivia’s current life-style, a life-style he believes isn’t conducive to family or a happily ever after. The relationship between Derek and Olivia is one of immediate attraction; an accidental meeting between two people whose lives go in opposite directions. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. Most of the previous story line ‘firefighters’ and their spouses play secondary and supporting roles, We are introduced to Derek’s ex-wife Amber, and her husband Jason, and their children Julia and Isaac, as well as Olivia’s PA Kelsey. Firefighter Grant and Wren’s story line is next in FLARE UP. The world building focuses on the relationship between Olivia and Derek as they must come to terms with their diverging careers. Olivia battles between head and heart while Derek believes Olivia’s career matters more than his kids. Herein lies the conflict when Derek addresses the elephant in the room, a presumptuous elephant that is about to stomp all over Olivia’s heart. UNDER CONTROL is a story of family and friendships, heartbreak and misunderstanding. The premise is engaging and real; the characters are colorful and charismatic; the romance is passionate and spirited. UNDER CONTROL is a sexy, sassy and animated look at the reality of life and everything it has to offer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Derek Gilman is a happily divorced father of two and a fireman. His life is all about the job and making the most of the time that he gets with his children. Olivia McGovern has built a very successful business teaching others how to better manage her time. She writes books, she lectures and she helps people and companies one-to-one to improve productivity. Her entire life is mapped out and meticulously planned. When she gets stuck in an elevator with a sexy firefighter and has a panic attack he manages to talk her through her anxiety and massages her twisted ankle in a way that leaves her more than a little flustered. Derek and Olivia make no plans to meet, they don't exchange numbers, but fate crosses their paths once again when Olivia gets involved with organising an event for a charity which is close to Derek's heart. But can physical attraction overcome the disparity in their lives and incomes? Of all the books in the Boston Fire series that I've read I think this one had the least plot surrounding actual fire-fighting and the fire house. Although I liked this book I didn't warm to Derek and Olivia in the same way as I did Gavin and Cait (Hot Response) or Jamie and Scott (Fully Ignited). Derek was too hung up on the differences in their wealth and homes and seemed to think that because Olivia didn't have children she resented helping out with his children. Olivia on the other hand is living with the fallout from her parents' acrimonious divorce which still requires her to listen to recriminations and dramatics, no wonder she loved to Boston to get away from it. Can she trust a divorced man with children? And how will the uncertainties of a firefighter's work patterns and children fit into her uber-planned life? Overall I felt that the book needed some outside tension rather than the one-note angst about the difference in their lifestyles - that felt too much like navel-gazing at times. Is the next book going to explain what happened with Grant and Wren? I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book! I love this series and Under Control is a fantastic addition to it. Derek Gilman is a single dad with a crazy schedule at the firehouse and too little time but somehow he's making it work and seeing his kids as much as he can. Time for a relationship - no way, even if the woman in question is beautiful, kind and sexy. Granted being stuck in an elevator with her isn't the greatest way to meet but she definitely made an impression. Olivia McGovern couldn't be more different from Derek if she tried. She's planned, organized, and orderly. He's fly by the seat of your pants chaos. She's downtown, he's the burbs. Different as night and day. Love doesn't always stick to the rules though. Can these two find a way to make their differences work for them? Very entertaining read that I highly recommend.
KindleKat64 More than 1 year ago
Love this series! Always happy to catch up with some of the others when each new book comes out. Derek is another awesome member of this firehouse! I just love him! As a firefighter and divorced father of two, having anything for himself outside of his job, his crew and his children, Isaac and Julia, has not really been on his agenda. Until he meets Olivia. I love how they meet and then meet again. Olivia is a force for sure. I love that she is such a planner but the one thing she did not plan on was meeting Derek. She has a very interesting job and I love his reaction when she says what she does because he has no clue what she is talking about. Their relationship is not always the easiest and there are some bumps on their journey to HEA but Derek and Olivia have what it takes and have such wonderful chemistry in and out of the bedroom. Their banter is fun. I also love the dynamic between his kids and Olivia and how that plays out. And even the relationship dynamic with his ex-wife is something you definitely don't see very often. Really great addition to this series! I am looking forward to Grant & Wren's story.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and loved Derek - hot and sexy fireman that is a dedicated and gentle with his kids? Swoon alert! This novel started with a great elevator scene that made me fall a bit in love with the characters. This is a classic tale of opposites attracting that the author tells in an engaging style. Derek is the busy fireman living on the wrong side of town (and where his life is based), while Olivia lives on the opposite side of town, in an expensive hi-rise apartment and dines in restaurants whose entrees are more than weekly food budgets for Derek's friends. I found that, while I connected to Derek, I didn't connect with Olivia. To me, she was a bit too rigid (yes, I know that's the point), without enough back story for her to make sense to me. I would have loved to know more about her so I could have felt a bit more invested in her. This is a perfect choice for summer beach reading. Additionally, I loved the appearances of characters from prior books in the series. This is a fun novel and a good addition to the Boston Fire series. While this is part of a series, this is a stand alone novel.
Sunshine1006 More than 1 year ago
Olivia McGovern is a business woman constantly on the go. If it's not in her planner then it is not important.. This leaves no time for a personal life. Derek Gilman is a firefighter and between work and his two kids, he doesn't have a lot of time. When they get stuck in an elevator together, there is an instant attraction but once they are rescued, they leave without exchanging phone numbers and will probably never see each other again. Olivia offers to volunteer to help with a children's charity. It will help with networking and give back to the community. When she walks in, there's Derek. It must be fate. They talk to each other and a relationship begins. She is living on the good side of town in an expensive condo, whereas Derek is living in an apartment driving a beat up car to be close to his kids. Can love conquer all? Will his kids like Olivia.? Can she give up her lifestyle and make room for Derek and the kids? So many complications and work. will have to go into this to make it work. Loved this book. It has today's real problems and shows that things can be worked thru with enough love. I received this book from Net Galley and Harlequin - Carina Press for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.
tradermare More than 1 year ago
This book starts out with Olivia and Derek meeting when they are trapped in an elevator together. After they get rescued, Olivia rushes off to her meeting and never gets Derek's number. Derek has the same problem -- he didn't get Olivia's number either and both of them can't stop thinking about each other. That is until fate brings them together via a charity organization. It's really cute that they both want each other and it doesn't take long for them to move the relationship forward even though they have many obstacles to deal with. Derek is a devoted father and Olivia is a dedicated career woman and they live on opposite sides of town making their opportunities to be together a challenge. I really liked how they both had to decide what they were willing to compromise on for love. The ending of Under Control hit many emotional notes for me and I absolutely loved it. Under Control works well as a standalone and drops quite a few names from the previous books in the series that made me want to reread them again. That's a good thing. Overall, I liked this. It's a sweet, adult romance that deals with some real-life issues in a very realistic way.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Under Control" is a great addition to the Boston Fire series, which follows the Ladder 37 and Engine 59 crew. The book begins with a bang- Derek and Olivia are trapped in an elevator together. She's startled but he remains calm- as a firefighter, he knows how this will go, and he even treats her sprained ankle while they wait for help. Too soon, they are out of the elevator, and Olivia must leave. As an organizing/productivity enhancement consultant, she must be on time to her scheduled meetings and lives by her planner. Although they don't exchange numbers, they think about the other a lot- until luckily, they meet again. They don't make the same mistake twice and trade information. As their relationship grows from casual to something more, we learn a lot about both of them and their families. The slow build was done perfectly and paced just right. We really believe in their relationship and understand who each of them are. As a single father, Derek's priority is his two kids, 8-year-old Isaac and 10-year-old Julie. Their lives are undergoing a lot of turmoil, and he's afraid of how Olivia will handle them. The relationship talks take some serious turns that were really interesting to witness from both sides. The moral of the story is that relationships are about compromise, and I thought this was a great message and handled very well. I could have done without the mildly sexist overtones (the man must be the provider), but they are apologized for in the end, which I liked. The heat level was pretty high with these two, although there are only a couple (relatively short) intimate scenes in the book (so not clean but not hot and heavy). That being said, I didn't think anything was missing and liked the overall pace of their relationship. Overall, I really liked the build of their relationship and how they must overcome potential (often just internal) conflicts. They were both great characters, and from start to finish, I found it a really entertaining journey (especially the watching/critique of 'Die Hard,' which had me laughing out loud with commiseration/same thoughts!!). There wasn't much on job action in terms of firefighting, but I liked the focus on family and relationship development. I think fans of this series will enjoy this installment! Please note that I received a copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Nicola1202 More than 1 year ago
Everything about this series so far has worked for me and divorced single dad, Derek’s romance with career-focussed, Olivia keeps up that trend. “...for the first time in her life, she was very tempted to make out with a total stranger in an elevator.” This was such a departure from many stories containing a divorced couple sharing custody of their kids, and rather than taking the clichéd, yet often all too realistic route of exes at war, Derek and his ex-wife have a great relationship focussing on their kid’s happiness. And when Derek meets Olivia, his kid’s feelings naturally factor, but not before he and Olivia really get to know one another. “There’s nothing sexier than a woman with a plan.” Of all the books so far, this is the one which resonated hugely with me as I once walked a very similar path to Olivia—a single woman in a corporate world who fell in love with a divorced dad with two kids. And myself and my hubby followed a path almost identical to Olivia and Derek in how I became involved in their lives, so as far as I’m concerned Shannon Stacey has done a superb job in bringing that element of real to her romance, with a natural feel to how things unfold. “She’d found the man she’d share a water bottle with.” With likeable characters, the right balance of romance and passion, and conflict on the lesser end of the drama scale, Under Control does lacks the firefighting action of its predecessors, but is another engaging, enjoyable addition to the Boston Fire series and with a lead in to Grant and Wren’s story, I’m looking forward to Flare Up.
MAustinreviewer More than 1 year ago
Under Control was a great 4 star read and book five in the Boston Fire series. Derek and Olivia initially meet when they get stuck in an elevator together. Derek’s unit were doing some training in Olivia's office building. Sparks literally fly between them, but Olivia quickly runs off after their rescue and Derek isn’t sure how to get in touch with her. Fate of course steps in and they both are brought together again during a meeting with a non-profit organization. They start to develop a relationship after Derek gets Olivia to agree to a date with him, she eventually meets Derek’s children and his ex-wife, I have to say that meeting the ex was a LOL moment for me. Not the way I would want to meet the ex, that’s for sure. We do get some steamy moments from them. At times Derek feels like he isn’t good enough for Olivia because of her status and job. Olivia also wonders if she’s good enough to be around his kids. Can these two get past their doubt’s and have a HEA? This is my first read from Shannon Stacey, I was pulled right in with her writing and couldn’t wait to see how Derek and Olivia’s story would end. The secondary characters were great. I was very happy with the ending and I can't wait to read more from this author. This book can be read as a stand alone, however I plan to go back and catch up. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. Reviewed by MAustin from Alpha Book Club
MAustinreviewer More than 1 year ago
Under Control was a great 4 star read and book five in the Boston Fire series. Derek and Olivia initially meet when they get stuck in an elevator together. Derek’s unit were doing some training in Olivia's office building. Sparks literally fly between them, but Olivia quickly runs off after their rescue and Derek isn’t sure how to get in touch with her. Fate of course steps in and they both are brought together again during a meeting with a non-profit organization. They start to develop a relationship after Derek gets Olivia to agree to a date with him, she eventually meets Derek’s children and his ex-wife, I have to say that meeting the ex was a LOL moment for me. Not the way I would want to meet the ex, that’s for sure. We do get some steamy moments from them. At times Derek feels like he isn’t good enough for Olivia because of her status and job. Olivia also wonders if she’s good enough to be around his kids. Can these two get past their doubt’s and have a HEA? This is my first read from Shannon Stacey, I was pulled right in with her writing and couldn’t wait to see how Derek and Olivia’s story would end. The secondary characters were great. I was very happy with the ending and I can't wait to read more from this author. This book can be read as a stand alone, however I plan to go back and catch up. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. Reviewed by MAustin from Alpha Book Club