passion rating: hot
It’s safe to say I don’t want to live in Shannon McKenna’s fictional world. The bad guys are Machiavellian and ubiquitous, and way too much gruesomely horrifying stuff happens to reasonably good people. But, man, she’s fun to read. I had plans —big plans including a trip to Costco and Trader Joe’s (I needed some peppermint Jo-Jo’s) — before I started reading this book. A day later, I hadn’t done a thing but (briefly) sleep and read. From start to finish, Blood and Fire is a wild ride full of sex, violence, torture, revenge, breathtaking getaways, kick-ass men and women, crazy families, and, of course, true love.
Blood and Fire is the eighth book in Ms. McKenna’s McClouds and Friends series and I think it’s the best. My favorite books in the series are those that feature non-McCloud heroes — Seth inBehind Closed Doors, Nick in Extreme Danger and Val in Ultimate Weapon. Blood and Fire’s hero, Bruno Ranieri, is only a semi-McCloud by proxy: He was Kev McCloud’s best friend and non-blood brother during the years Kev was separated from his clan. (Let me pause here and say Blood and Fire won’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t read the previous books in the series although I suspect it would still be a fun read.)
Bruno is — like all Ms. McKenna’s heroes — gorgeous, cynical, funny, and blessed with a big brain and a talented dick. He’s an orphan with a murky past — he suffers from nightmares that suggest something very bad happened to him when young — who, as the novel begins, has been roped in to running his Zia Rosa’s diner in Seattle. (Rosa is, somewhat inexplicably, off caring for one of the McCloud spawn.) Diner duty would suck for Bruno except for one thing — the sexiest woman he’s ever seen keeps coming in every night and he’s sure she’s as hot for him as he is for her.
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