Good start to the new series. I was already familiar with some of the story as I read the second book in the series, Ignite on Contact, earlier this year. That did not diminish my enjoyment of this book in any way. I liked having the backstory filled in. The book opened with a flashback to the night a homeless Jackson and his two brothers were rescued from a fire. That was the beginning of a new life for Jackson, Rafe, and Kal, as they were first fostered then adopted by the firefighter who rescued them and his wife. They grew up in a loving home and followed in their adoptive father's footsteps by becoming firefighters.
Fast forward to the present day when the response to a fire turns into an unexpected reunion. A tattoo business has gone up in flames, and Jackson must forcibly remove the owner from the premises as she tries to save her equipment. It isn't until the fire is over that Becks and Rafe realize why they are familiar to each. Rafe and Kal are pleased to reconnect. Jackson doesn't remember her and avoids thinking back to those days. When Rafe and Kal discover that Becks has nowhere to live now, they offer up a room in their house. Jackson reluctantly agrees, already sensing that Becks is going to upend his life.
I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Becks and Jackson. I felt a little sorry for Becks when Jackson didn't remember her. She had a massive crush on him when they were kids, and it hurt that he didn't recognize her. However, in the present day, the sparks between the two of them were hot. I wanted to shake Jackson at the beginning because the feelings that those sparks stirred up turned him into a jerk. He took out his frustration about those feelings on Becks with snide comments and unfounded accusations. I loved how Rafe and Kal called him out on his attitude, giving him the butt-kicking that he needed. Becks didn't cut him much slack, but she was also more understanding than she could have been.
The attraction between Becks and Jackson continued to build the more time they spent together. Though both intended to keep their relationship casual, it was evident that Becks's feelings were far from it. Jackson's feelings were stronger than he wanted to admit. The biggest obstacle between them was the way each of them handled the past. Becks embraced hers, accepting the ways that it had influenced who she is now. Part of that is giving back to the community by helping the homeless kids where she used to live. Jackson has buried his past deep, insisting that the past is just that, and there's no need to relive it. The harder that Becks tries to get him to open up, the more Jackson digs in his heels. I ached for Becks. She loved Jackson so much but felt like he was holding back. I ached for Jackson when he realized what he had done. I absolutely adored how Rafe and Kal both hounded him and supported him in facing his fears. I loved Jackson's big moment at the end, especially the depth of emotion revealed in his confession.
Having already read Rafe's story, now I can't wait for Kal's.