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Fired Up

Fever Falls, Book 1
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Series: Fever Falls Series, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Summary

Ashton

If there's one thing I know, it's how to play the game...both on and off the field. If it hadn't been for that one teenage slipup where I kissed Beau Campbell, I'd be able to keep fooling myself. Football is the one thing I use to distract myself from the truth, and when I screw-up and lose the game I love, I find myself right back in Fever Falls. And right back face-to-face with Cranky Campbell, who hates me even more than he did when we were kids. Whatever magic he held over me then is still there. As much as I fight it, I still want him. And I always get what I want...well, except with Beau, who constantly calls me on my crap. Why do I like that so much?

Beau

I might've spent years watching Ash live out my dream - without the off-field antics and orgies with women, at least - but I've made a good life for myself. I'm a firefighter, and I coach my brother's football team for those with developmental disabilities. But when Ash swings back into town armed with his monster ego and an arsenal of stupid nicknames, everyone is in awe of him. Nope, not me. I don't care if our kiss years ago was responsible for my sexual awakening. I won't fall for Ashton Carmichael. Though that resolution would be a whole lot easier if he wasn't so tempting. Once he finds his way into my bed, I'm screwed - in more ways than one. But there's more to Ash than meets the eye, buried beneath his ego, sarcasm and how we burn up the sheets together. Soon, it's more than a game. We don't just get each other fired up, we just might win each other's hearts.

Too bad things are never that simple....

©2018 Riley Hart (P)2019 Riley Hart

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Loveable

Absolutely loved this book! The friends/enemies 1st time with a man was so gd. Loved beau and ash together they was so sweet! But kenny stole the whole book! Had me giggling too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-03-19

Beautiful

I loved the story. Well written and emotions were tangible. A moving romance novel. Excellent!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 21-02-19

C#cky Carmichael and Cranky Campbell

It all started with a kiss.  An epic kiss for Beau and apparently a mistake for Ashton. Then it’s ten years before the men meet up again.

I adore Riley Hart’s books but haven’t listened to one for a while.  This one was a very slow burn and it took a while for the two men to really connect.  Beau has spent the past ten years envying Ashton and his professional football career.  He chose to stay in Fever Falls because he put family ahead of ambition and he has no regrets.  Doesn’t mean he doesn’t ask himself ‘what if’ questions every once in a while, or sit in judgement of the hash Ashton has made of his life. Orgies and sexcapades? Beau is disgusted, and rightly so.

Ashton has returned to Fever Falls with his head bowed in shame.  He knows he’s blown his career – one that hit great heights – and now scandal has driven him to the safest place he knows.  The place where he can just be Ash, not Ashton Carmichael the superstar quarterback. Upon his arrival home, he discovers Fever Falls has grown by leaps and bounds and, interestingly, has so Fever Street where there are a number of gay-friendly businesses.  It’s a visit to one of these bars that lands him right at Beau’s table.  Beau is out-and-proud, not hiding his sexuality and he’d been lucky to have been accepted by both his family and his work colleagues.  He’s also a proud firefighter – a job he fell into by happenstance, but has made a name for himself.  When Ash shows up, he’s still feeling resentment for their past encounters.  Ashton doesn’t understand the antipathy and falls into the old habit of calling Beau ‘Cranky Campbell’.

Ash is in need of friends and Beau is still the friendly guy from high school.  They embark into an uneasy friendship where Ash is in awe of Beau’s ability to be out.  Eventually Ash reveals his true nature – and sexuality – and the men begin a new journey fraught with pitfalls.  How can an out-and-proud gay man survive in a relationship where his partner is in the closet? How can a professional football player who still secretly hopes to make a comeback come out when there’s no one out in the entire league? This is often a problem that professional athletes – men and women – face all the time. They know they’ll be treated differently – scrutinized in a way that has nothing to do with their athletic prowess and everything to do with speculation about their sex lives.  It’s still that way in so many professions.  The fact we have the first openly gay man running for president is a relief and I hope he’s viewed for his experience as a politician before the fact he’s married to a man.

Progress is often incremental.

By the time Ash and Beau were a true couple, I was rooting for them all the way.  It is a Riley Hart book, so they do get their happy ending – but there might have been some doubt thrown in for good measure.

I want to take a moment to talk about Beau’s family.  His dedication to his single mother and his younger brother Kenny is heart-warming.  He’s protective of Kenny – as any big brother would be – but he also treats his brother like the man he is, rather than letting Kenny’s developmental disability define him.  I love Kenny and have high hopes for him.  Since this book is part of a series, I’m hoping Kenny might pop back in at some point.  And Ash as well as Beau.

Finally, Michael Pauley.  It’s hard to choose the correct superlative to describe his performance of this book.  I always adore his work, but this time he went above and beyond.  Tackling unique characters is always a challenge, but I think he portrayed Kenny brilliantly.  I felt it was an honest performance without relying on stereotypes.  Again, he delivered the perfect note for the entire book.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, written by Devon McCormack.  Well done, Ms. Hart.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Cynthia Shepp
  • 08-07-19

Loved this!

I always grab anything by Riley Hart, and anything narrated by Michael Pauley. I wasn’t disappointed in either. Great book with perfect narration!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • IceWanda
  • 22-03-19

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel...

A simple predictable HEA story yet very entertaining with so many emotions. Really enjoyed the humor side between the two men, Beau's loyalty to family, the intensity of their feelings, little brother who's not little, etc.

Michael Pauley does an amazing job bringing this book to life.

Highly recommended. Enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ILoveBooksSue
  • 17-02-19

No one makes me cry like you do!

Devon and Riley, I feel like I need to tell you once again that the feelings you are able to invoke with the words you put on paper and phenomenal! No one makes me feel all of the feelings like you two. Then you add Mr. Pauley and it becomes other worldly. I needed this today. I didnt know that I did but now that's its over I can thank you.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Leezard_Love
  • 24-04-19

Ash and Beau forever 💜 love, kenny

Riley Hart does it again!

This was a great story about a football playing struggling with acknowledging his sexuality coming out with it in the spotlight. They had a past together, one with a abrupt halt. While Beau has come to terms with his sexuality and has no problem being out, Ash remains in denial for a long time. I liked Kenny's inputs and his intros to each part of the book. I don't know anyone with special needs, but I love that this book gives Kenny just a positive light and doesn't make him seem weak for it all.

Great book that addresses some real issues.

Oh and don't worry, you still get your sexy times. 😉

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • averi54
  • 06-02-19

An OK Story...

So I've read/listened to several of Riley Hart books and she's always been one of my favorite author. Fired UP though fell a tad empty. During the whole read, I kept waiting for the story to fascinate me, to take me on heartfelt ride - but nothing. Honestly, only reason I finished it was because the author is Riley Hart. For me, this story doesn't possess the awe quality her previous books have. The plot was slow moving nothing insta-wam-bam which is nice, but I felt like a lot of the MCs' emotions were repetitive. And though both MCs were Ok, I just didn't feel for them the way I did with Ms. Hart's Last Chance and Blackcreek MCs. There's little angst here and the hardship seemed like it was even glossed over, not badly done but nothing so memorable. It's just one of those stories that you won't hate but won't remember either. Well this is just the first book in Fever Falls so I'll still wait to see how the rest of the series turns out.

Narrator: Michael Pauley is always nice to hear. Does the job every time.

Overall: Not bad, not great either. I guess if you're a Riley Hart fan like I am, you can just read because it. If not, you're not missing much here either. Or one can always wait until the series is complete to fully critique it.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 12-02-19

love love love

this book was so good I could not stop listening to it u mush get this

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Zell Oakley
  • 11-10-19

No narrator could save this one

I really enjoy Michael Pauley, but he does narrate some books of, um, questionable quality. I've heard good things about Riley Hart, and I'll give her another chance, but this one, at least, does not come recommended from me. The chapters from Ash's point of view are just constant ruminations about how wonderful Beau is--which, I guess would be ok if it weren't constant. The chapters from Beau's point of view just say the name "Ashton Carmichael" over and over again until I just want to throw something and shout "Yes, I know that's his name!"

In addition, I don't understand why anyone would think Kenny was a good representation of a person with disabilities. I appreciate the fact that he's included, but he suffers from that affliction that strikes a lot of disabled characters where they always say JUST the right thing at the right time, and it's just too much for me. I'm not going to finish this one.

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  • Brittany (A Bit Smutty Book Blog)
  • 29-09-19

Loved

Adored this story!!! Blew through listening to it!

And Michael Pauley as a narrator might be growing on me! 🙄