Audiobook Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens

Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but he’s finally accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.

Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian "Tash" Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.

Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along.

This is a re-release of the original book published in 2015. It has been completely revised and re-edited with over 10,000 words of additional content added.

Listening Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes
Narrator: Kale Williams

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Embrace This Series

I have really enjoyed this entire series. I can't say this was my favorite book of the three so far, but it was still really good. There are some triggers present in this title, as there have been pretty much from the start of this series, so just be aware. They're not as dire as some other things I've read, but I understand that's relative to the individual. Someone with a history of abuse may find this difficult to read, not that it really dwells there much.

So, I found that there was a little too much unnecessary angst for me in this book. It's fine when you have one wallower when it comes to MCs, but these guys were both Dougie Downers for one reason or another. That's probably why I couldn't, in good conscience, call it my favey. Tash pissed me off pretty much the entire time with the aloofness and vacillation.

I liked him, and I was rooting for him, but my gods was he driving me crazy! I channeled the Borg whenever his inner monologue turned to whining and puling. I channeled it so much, I almost assimilated myself. I kept thinking, "Stop crying about how curmudgeonly you are and get with the young, hot, program!"

borg-resistance is futile

And pointless ... and why the hell would you want to resist?! Because let's face it, Brandon was everything Tash needed and then some. I never get MCs who want to live in a past that wasn't all that great in the first place, especially when many years have passed. Seriously. Tash really needed to get over himself. Mourn your guy, absolutely, for as long as you need to. But FFS, you're still alive. Act like it.

Brandon's character, on the other hand, had some legit reasons to wallow. Maybe that's why I was more forgiving of his Eeyore routine. Frankly, his reasons for being wishy-washy put Tash's in the shade. Maybe that's why Tash hacked me off so bad.

chin flick~~forearm jerk

Needless to say, I could go on and on and on. This was a really good story. The previous MCs from the series played a role in this one as well, which I absolutely refuse to spoil. Uh-uh. Not happening. It was worth reading just for Asher and Luke and the resolution you get in the overarching plotline(s) that run through the series so far.

If you liked the first two, read this one. I don't recommend it as a standalone. I would absolutely start from the beginning. You could read this one by itself, but you'd lose out on what's come before and getting to feel just how far all these characters have come by the time they get to this point in the series. Read them/it. All of them.

P. S. The audio version was good, too.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

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