Everyone likes Hayden Kinsella. He’s good at his job as a paramedic and the appeal was to be able to drive fast and save lives. He’s been on his own for a long time and doesn’t even know what a relationship looks like and hookups are what he does best.
Hayden keeps running into cop, Matt Deakin, and after a rough first meeting, Hayden thinks that Matt doesn’t like him much. One drunken conversation turns into a one-night stand, which leaves both men looking to spend more time together. Neither man has a lot of free time with work and Matt living with his grandfather to help him out, but the men find themselves falling into a relationship.
But shift work takes its toll on the men and living each day processing trauma has Hayden on edge. The men have to find a way to ease the pressure of the day job to find a balance between work and a relationship that means more to the men than they were ever looking for.
Lights and Sirens follows Two Man Station in Lisa Henry’s Emergency Services series, but can be read on its own. The books follow the lives of shift workers in the police and medical field in Australia. While Two Man Station showed a rural area, this location is not as remote.
We get point of view from both Hayden and Matt and their jobs keep them busy and their minds occupied. The first time Hayden saw Matt he thought he was cute, but Matt was in full police mode and left Hayden not liking the man much. But, Hayden knows he thinks Matt is hot and after a conversation to clear the air, the men are on each other.
This is a quiet, slower paced book. Hayden and Matt like each other, they know that, but they have no idea what to do next. And, while it doesn’t take long for Matt to claim Hayden publicly, working out the finer details of a day-to-day relationship between the two of them takes some planning and rearranging.
The story closely follows the details of both Hayden and Matt’s jobs and the trauma they process on a daily basis. There are many details of the calls that they work on and Henry makes it effortless to feel the exhaustion and overwhelming head space of processing death and trauma on a daily basis. Their jobs are a true focal point to the story and the scenes are well written, so you would want to be prepared to follow along with emergency calls and the various outcomes that come along with that.
Hayden and Matt are good together though and their love story has an ease to it. Matt jokes, “…they were a one-night stand that had gone horribly wrong,” as he realizes they are so much more than one night. The tension comes from the stress of their jobs and Hayden’s past as he has to learn how to make room for Matt permanently in his life and in his heart. The setting of Australia is not as visual as the last book, but Henry writes a realistic story of life as a first responder and making a life outside of the job. This is a solid series for me and I certainly will look for more books set within this world.