Up in Smoke (Hotshots #4) by Annabeth Albert

Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with explosive chemistry and heartfelt feels.
Freewheeling smoke jumper Brandt Wilder thrives on adrenaline. He’s never met a parachute he can’t repair or a dangerous situation he couldn’t wrangle his way out of. He’s popular and fun-loving and not at all looking to settle down or form lasting relationships. It’s a lifestyle that’s served him well…right up until the day he finds a baby on his doorstep.
Shane Travis is used to putting his country music career—and his own happiness—on hold after his sister rolls through his life. Like last spring when she convinced him to try skydiving for his birthday—and she walked away with the hot parachute instructor.
Now he gets to deliver the piece of news that will upend Brandt’s carefree life: he very well might be a dad.
Shane’s niece is safe in Brandt’s strong, capable hands, but too many questions remain unanswered. Co-parenting while they sort it out leads to late-night talks, and soul-bearing confessions lead to a most inconvenient attraction. Still, Shane can’t leave this makeshift family behind—even if it means playing house with the one man he can’t resist.

This was another great installment to Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series. It had an interesting twist with surprisingly low drama and angst – given the situation that both characters found themselves in.

The story opened with Brandt and Shane’s first meeting. There was a strong attraction then, or at least Shane thought so. Turns out that he may not have been as far off as he first thought.

These two guys both had to give up part of their lives to take care of Jewel, but there was no doubt in either of their minds or hearts. Even though Jewel was an central part of the story, another real focus was how she brought these two men together. Shane’s sister was always in the background, sometimes even when she was there. I wasn’t a fan of Shelby, so I understood Shane’s animosity toward her. What I did like was how Brandt interacted with her in comparison.

It didn’t take long for this unlikely trio to become a real family, but the progression was perfect. I love books that include kids, especially when they’re an integral part of the story in a believable way. Up In Smoke definitely accomplished that and more.

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