Rating: 4 stars
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When Sam spots hunky firefighter Robert while wandering around town on Canada Day, it is lust at first sight. Seeing Robert all wet and sexy in his uniform is enough to almost make Sam come right in his pants, and when Robert agrees to go home with him, things heat up almost immediately. With sex that hot the guys exchange numbers, but Robert doesn’t want to just call Sam for sex and he doesn’t figure the younger man is interested in anything more with him. But neither man can forget their encounter, and eventually they reconnect.
It turns out both men are interested in something more than just sex, and soon a tentative relationship begins to build in the midst of the incredible heat between them. The age difference is a bit of an issue, especially to Sam’s dad. At 18 and 32 there is a big gap in life experience and the two men are definitely at difference places in their lives. But the connection between Sam and Robert is strong, and soon it is clear that there is a lot more between them than just great sex.
On Fire was released in 2008 and I first read it years ago. When it was time to select books for Men in Uniform Week, I knew this would be a great choice. Not only does it feature Robert, a huge, hunky firefighter, but Sam is all about the uniform. Sam is wandering around on Canada Day when he first spots Robert:
It really was a perfect day in Sam’s world, and he sauntered a little closer, looking for a bench to sit on. The fire department had the pumper trucks out, and the ladders were up, the entire rig set to spray downward. A charity car wash, which was nice, but the very best part was that the firemen were in uniform. Black uniforms with badges and patches, and Sam was sure that there was nothing on earth finer than fireman butt in those uniforms.
That is just the start and Robert in his uniform is a big turn on for Sam and the uniform features prominently in both his sexual fantasies, as well as some real encounters between them.
This story is fairly simple and centers largely around the sexual relationship between these two men. Sam is young and pretty much constantly horny. He also is basically a cum geyser and can get off an incredible number of times with seemingly little provocation (the first time it is watching Robert eat a sausage). Sam’s sexual energy definitely rubs off on Robert and despite being many years older, Robert manages to keep up with the insatiable Sam. So the reality is that the vast majority of this book is the guys having sex, preparing to have sex, or coming down after having sex. Honestly, I have read few books with such a large sex to plot ratio, so be prepared for what you are getting here.
I will admit that after reading the whole book in about 24 hours, I was sort of saturated on sex scenes by the end. It was a lot to absorb all that, and while they are creative and sexy, it is still a lot of repetition when you are talking about this kind of volume. That said, somehow this story worked for me despite the fact that there is so little plot going along with the sex. The biggest reason I think is that these guys are just so incredibly charming. Robert is big and hunky and so sweet and lovable. From the start he is incredibly hot for Sam, but at the same time he is determined that there be more between them than sex. He is just this all around good guy, charmed and delighted by Sam’s quirks and totally head over heels for his little spitfire.
Sam for his part is basically a walking hornball, like a puppy always humping Robert’s leg. Sam loves sex and makes no apologies for that. He is young and enthusiastic and adorable. For whatever reason I found his enthusiasm charming. He just adores sex and Robert and life in general and his joy is infectious.
The story does make an effort to be clear that there is more between these guys than sex. As I said, Robert makes an effort right from the start to have a relationship with Sam, not just a series of hot hookups. When Robert meets Sam’s dad, he is clear about what he loves about Sam apart from his body, and Sam and Robert talk about what they have in common and find appealing about one another. So it is clear as readers we are supposed to see that there is more here than just a sexual connection. However, we really don’t see a lot of in action. We are told about these conversations and connections, but again, about 95% of the time they are on page together, these guys are in some stage of sexual activity.
The age difference issue is handled a little differently here than in many books, in that despite the large age gap, there is not really a gap in sexual experience. Sam is not the young ingenue being introduced into the world by Robert. He is probably the more experienced of the two, and certainly the one more focused on sex. The age gap does come into play a bit in terms of life experience, but mostly about how other perceive them. There is also some concern, mostly by Robert, that someone as young as Sam won’t be interested in settling down. But mostly this problem is not a major issue and the story is definitely light on the angst and drama. In fact, there really is no major conflict, just two guys who are totally hot for one another enjoying each other sexually and building a relationship.
So overall I enjoyed this one a lot. As I said, we are talking about a fairly simple, basically conflict-free plot and a book that centers almost completely around sex. It manages to still be a charming story with really likable characters that made the book work for me despite the lack of a real substantive plot, and it is a fun read. If you are in the mood for something light and sexy, and especially if you enjoy a good hot firefighter in uniform, this may be a great pick for you.