After 10 years as an active-duty marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler's had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he's going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.
Instead of the arrogant, overprivileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, 23-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he's determined to find a way to help him before Tyler's carefully constructed facade turns to ash.
Would you listen to Fire Inside again? Why?
Probably not. Not to say it was bad, there are just so many, many, more audio's in my library that I enjoyed more.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Ramos, his tone very much matched his rugged exterior and the way I pictured him when I read the book.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Yes, it just didn't match the age for Tyler.
If you could take any character from Fire Inside out to dinner, who would it be and why?
Ramos, he's sexy
Any additional comments?
E-book review from June 2014
Short, Sexy and Steamy! My three favorite colors!!
Retired Marine Eric Ramos is taking on civilian life as the personal assistant/bodyguard for a Professional Basketball player that hasn't had the best of luck with his staff. After fighting for our country as a marine, suffering from PTSD and dealing with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the military... Eric is pretty sure he can handle one spoiled basketball player. Boy does he have his work cut out for him.
From the first meeting Eric is mesmerized with the tall, lithe basketball player with white blonde curly hair and sad eyes. Tyler Haley is very much like a child. Perhaps growing up in the system robbed him of something that he is now starving for, a life unlived. Eric quickly learns how Tyler works, his little ticks and what sends him over the edge. Tyler suffers from panic attacks and he is oddly very shy and withdrawn. Over the first few weeks that Eric and Tyler work in close quarters, Tyler stars to let down his guard and get more comfortable with Ram (what Tyler calls Eric).
Little by little Eric begins to peel back the layers that Tyler hides under and they get under one another's skin. But just when Eric thinks that he's figured out how to care for Tyler and keep him safe and happy, the damn bursts. The one promise Eric made to himself, that he wouldn't fall for his client, is about to become a very easy promise to break.
I loved everything about this little story! Eric is this large and in charge semper fi ex marine that storms into Tyler's life and makes Tyler feel something he never thought he could feel, safe and comfortable. Tyler is a conundrum. Very strong and confident on the court but so childlike and insecure at heart. When you learn Tyler's story, what he went through growing up, it will break your heart. And for him to have someone there to love and protect him in that most vulnerable moment when he finally tells someone the truth, feels comfortable enough with someone to tell them the truth, it's a thing of beauty.
Must read for fans of the genre. If you love a short story that has a lot of charisma and charm, along with passion and slow burning love, you will love this book!
Audiobook review March 2016
The story was narrated by Randy Fuller and while I thought he fully captured Ramos with the tone he chose for him, his voice is very mature so the tone for Tyler sounded too old for him. This is one of the audio books that wasn't quite as good for me as the written version. It was en enjoyable listen, the tones, inflections and nuances were all there and in the appropriate fashion, I just couldn't get used to the tone for Tyler.
I'd still say you would probably enjoy listening, definitely would enjoy reading.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Why? Why? Why? Why are there narrators that sound like they are 5 or 6 decades older than the main character?!
Lately, it seems as though as long as there is a narrator, it doesn't matter if he's the same age as the main characters or if he is boring as hell! I've never thought about returning an audio book before but this is getting ridiculous.
A bad narrator detracts so much from an otherwise decent story. If the narrator isn't going to perform or his performance is just awful the least that can be done is make sure the narrator sounds like he's the age of the freakin main character!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It's a good friend story. It leaves a lot of open questions. At the end your left wanting a happy ending but instead the story just stops. I'm left wanting more,
Any additional comments?
Tyler is a very, very young star basketball player who was recruited out of HIGH SCHOOL to play pro ball. He’s scared. He’s conflicted. He’s also gay.
Eric was hired because he’s gay. Tyler’s manager wants Tyler safe and so far all the staff either uses Tyler for his connections, his money, or his access to sex. Eric is seen as being immune to all that based on his past history and his indifference to the female form.
Eric is immediately attracted, both physically and emotionally to Tyler. He sees Tyler as a kid brother at first: needy, shy, naïve, innocent. When Eric begins to suspect Tyler might swing his way he’s conflicted about those feelings. He doesn’t want to take advantage of the guy but he’s also developed some serious feelings for him that go more than skin deep.
Tyler has had some super-bad experiences in h is past that make his life rituals important, and one night the team loses it’s winning streak, forcing Tyler to do something he hates, but feels is necessary to bring the team back to winning. It’s superstitious and awful, and it almost breaks him.
Luckily Eric is there to pick up the pieces and together they finally admit their attraction and begin to act upon it.
If you had asked me to rate this story at about the 50% mark I’d have given it 5 hearts, easily. It is so amazingly engaging. Dawn Douglas has created the perfect innocent paired with the toughest Alpha male and the sexual tension between them was both believable and hot. The separation between them was authentic and you questioned Tyler’s sexuality right along with Eric throughout most of the book. (Is he gay and closeted, is he in denial, is he gay for Eric… it was hard to tell!) The basketball stuff was a little unbelievable, but interesting and acted as a nice background for the romance to develop against.
I absolutely detested Tyler’s past (as I was supposed to) and felt wretched for how it affected him. I so wanted Eric to help him move through his fear and pain and know what real love is.
Without spoiling things for you, they do get together… in the last few paragraphs of the book. All that sexual tension is exploded with a few groping sessions and lots of tears and no, let me say it again, absolutely NO resolution.
The book/story just ends. POW.
I was flummoxed! Then pissed!
The story was so, so good and just ended… like the bell rang and the author had to turn her paper in at the end of class.
Since I was listening to the audio book I had to check to make sure I had the full story and that there wasn’t some technical error.
What I found was that, no, this is the entirety of the story, but that the ebook had this included as an epilogue/author’s note:
“I LOVE short stories. Not that novels aren’t wonderful, but there’s something special about being able to say everything you need to in a limited number of pages. And my favorite short story, bar none, is Frank R. Stockton’s The Lady, or the Tiger?
If you ask me when I’m irritated with my husband, stuck in traffic, or generally having a bad day, I’m pretty sure a tiger came out of the door to the right at the end of the story. When I’m in a better mood, a lady came out of the door, and the hero rode off into the sunset with his prize. I like the fact that the ambiguity of a short story leaves room for imagination.
In this novella, Tyler has some very serious history to address. Instead of turning what I had always intended to be a novella into a novel and exploring psychological issues that are far above my pay grade, leaving these particular characters with some ambiguity, with a happily for now, felt like the right thing to do.
That said, I’m the author, right? I created them, which means I’m allowed to suspend reality if I want to…
So in my mind, the real end to Tyler and Ram’s story goes something like this:
Tyler and Ram both found excellent counselors. The Fire Foxes won four successive NBA Championships. Tyler came out. The universe said, “Huh,” and moved on with life. Ram got his master’s degree from Wash U, went into politics, and changed the world. They got married, adopted baseball crazy twin boys, and were frequent guests on “Real Time with Bill Mahr.” And they lived happily ever after for the rest of their days.
So, yeah. The author tells us that since this is her story she can end it however she wants and that in her mind the couple ends up HEA but she doesn’t owe her audience the actual WRITING of the HEA.
Without this author’s note, I would barely call it a HFN (Happy for now).
Needless to say, this did not sit well with me and it definitely affected my rating of the book.
I had really loved this story up until the (NOT) ending and was so, so disappointed at where it left off.
Randy Fuller is not my favorite narrator, but he does a fairly nice job with the narration. I enjoyed his voice choice for Eric, but felt that Tyler sounded a bit too old and not enough different from Eric.
All in all I can’t really recommend this book or audiobook because I wouldn’t want to inflict the frustration I felt on anyone else.
I give it a 2.5 of 5 stars simply because Randy did a nice job and the writing was good up until the end, but the overall story/enjoyment really wasn’t there and I wouldn’t recommend it at all.
This was an OK read. I enjoyed the friendship morphing into love aspect of the story, but the plot and characters weren't dynamic enough to give me pause, or draw me in. similarly, the story line.. the traumatic past... well, all in all, it wasnt far fetched per se, but it certainly wasn't believable. And for some reason I just couldn't get over the idea that anyone so stunted by negative, hurtful, and harmful reactions to one's sexual preferences from sn early age in life-- abandonment issues much!-- could be so "easily turned off" after one, albeit comfortable, conversation.... nothing in life is ever THAT simple. So, not the worst listen, but certainly not a great listen. save your credits and cash!