Up in Smoke by Annabeth Albert _ Book Review

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Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.

Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.

Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.

Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.

Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.


[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Up In Smoke
 is the 4th book in Annabeth Albert’s Hotshot series. Each book can be read and enjoyed completely as stand alone.

For Shane’s birthday his sister Shelby drags him to skydive because she has hots for the trainer Brandt. Yet Brandt ends up spotting Shane, and they have somewhat of a connection. However, when the jump is over Brandt goes back to flirty Shelby. 11 months later Shane shows up on Brandt’s doorstep with a baby that his sister claims is his. Now Brandt has to figure out how to be a dad. Shane steps up to help and the two create a little family of their own. But there are plenty of things that make the arrangement temporary and complicated. Brandt’s job as a smoke jumper is more than a little dangerous, what happens when Shane is offered a big break for his music career and what will happen when Shelby shows up again.

“Guess I am. I’m not giving you up that easily.”
“The odds aren’t great.”
“F*ck the odds.”

I’ll be honest I struggled with the beginning of this book. The whole situation with Brandt, Shane and Shelby didn’t sit right with me and gave me not so pleasant feelings towards Brant. Thankfully we find out that Brandt and Shelby were together the night before he met Shane not after so that made me feel a little better about things. I actually ended up enjoying it way more than I expected too, so maybe I’ll just ignore the beginning lol Up In Smoke could have easily ended up being really predictable and cliché, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. It didn’t have the baby momma drama that I expected nor the grand assumptions on each other’s feelings which I appreciated.

“His voice was always sexy, but Brandt wanted to hear him like this always, like each word was for Brandt and Brandt alone.”

Now lets talk about the characters. Shane from the start I loved. He was a bit serious, but he found ways to express his care and every time he talked about singing or sang you could feel the emotion he put into it. From the paragraph above you can tell I wasn’t the biggest fan of Brandt but damn it that man stole my heart. He fully embraced being a dad and his playfulness and love of baby Jewel put a smile on your face. He was such a warm personality and tried to make the best of every situation. The two of them made such a great team and the book is full of so many cute family moments. On a less innocent note, holy moly the sex scenes in this were hot🔥. Both men have had little experience when it comes to being with men, and they don’t hold from back exploring and experience new things with each other.

“Oh, I’m going to keep you. For as long as you’ll have me”
“Forever may not be long enough.”

In the end I struggled with what to rate Up In Smoke because of my feels about the beginning, but I definitely loved the parts I loved enough to give it 4 stars. Here’s to hoping that Annabeth Albert continues to write more books in the series!

—Written by Amanda—-

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