Damien is an American lawyer working in an office in Germany, and he hates it. His colleagues mostly use him to translate documents. Damien is ready to just quit and go home when he’s asked to be in charge of the firm’s annual autumn ball.
Yannik is a young, hip party planner who is as good at skateboarding as he is at assembling the right caterers, entertainment, and décor for parties of any size. He’s due to meet with Damien to make a presentation to convince him he’s the right person to plan the firm’s event, but it doesn’t go well at all. Yannik’s late, and spills coffee all over himself. To top it off, even though Damien thinks Yannik is super hot with his green eyes and blonde dreadlocks, he doesn’t feel Yannik’s unconventional looks would properly represent the firm’s reputation.
Damien is distraught to find out he’s being labeled a homophobe because he sent Yannik away. The employees think Damien sent him away because he was gay, and he’s forced to have another look at Yannik thanks to a higher up. The question is, will the men be able to put their opposite personalities aside and work together, or will the party be a huge failure and ruin things for both of them?
It’s International Week of our Reading Challenge Month and I had wanted something a little different. I’ve read plenty of books that take place in England, Spain, and Australia (maybe even a few from Canada), but I’ve never read a story that takes place in Germany. I also enjoy a good opposites attract story, and Burning Fall certainly fit that bill. I was pleased to discover a charming little book that I enjoyed quite a bit.
Damien and Yannik are both likable characters. Even at the beginning, when Damien seems to be grumpy and a bit on the angry side, it was pretty obvious it was because he was nervous and homesick. Also, when he sent Yannik away, he was only trying to do right by the firm by dismissing a young, scattered, and unconventional looking planner. He paid the price when all the other employees began to avoid him because they thought he was homophobic (he was not out at work). Yannik was a cute and personable guy. He’s young and seems to be pretty successful in a field where one would think more mature people would be suited. It was a teeny bit annoying how he didn’t have a dress shirt that fit, even though he was supposed to be a professional, and he spent a little too much time at the skatepark. All in all, though, he was a good man.
The men had some serious chemistry between them, and once they caught on to that, their relationship was cemented rather quickly. Not at a breakneck speed, though. It was pretty smoothly written. Their sex scenes were sweet and hot at the same time. I do have one little issue. In the big scene…the one that makes their coupledom truly official…something happened that took me right out of it. I had to stop for a few minutes before I could finish.
“And there went Yannik’s cock, hitting his prostrate with every single stroke”
It’s nothing major, but it’s a pet peeve of mine. I’m never sure if it’s just a typo, or if the author doesn’t know the difference. However, it didn’t make me like the story any less, and I didn’t take any points off for it.
This book is low on conflict, and I really like that. The one misunderstanding was solved within a chapter and it wasn’t particularly painful. This isn’t a very long book, so I think it was a fitting amount of time.
There are only two background characters who play an important role in Burning Fall. Vanessa is Damien’s personal assistant at the firm. She was the first to think Damien might be a homophobe, but she turns out to be good to him and becomes a friend to both men. Then there was Diego. He owned Yannik’s favorite restaurant and was able to save him from a jam when there wasn’t going to be enough food for the number of guests attending. He was a bit of comic relief, and he would say dirty things to Yannik in Spanish, not realizing Damien spoke the language as well.
The end was tidy and predictable, but I enjoyed it. The happily ever after came about quickly. It was sweet and made me smile. Burning Fall was a really nice way to spend an hour or so, and I have no problems recommending it to just about anyone. Also, since the is the first book in a series, I will definitely be looking forward to reading any future installments.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for International Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a prize pack of some of our favorite International Books. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a Kindle Fire filled with Dreamspun Desires/Beyond books, plus a 3-month subscription!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on International Week here, including a list of all the books in this week’s prize.