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Kathryn Shay

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Member Since: Apr, 2008

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Taking the Heat - A New Berkley Sensation Release
by Kathryn Shay   

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Publisher:  The Berkley Publishing Group Type: 


ISBN-13:  9780425222003

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Official Website of Author Kathryn Shay

Facing the future
Working as the cook at his family’s Manhattan pub, Liam O’Neil has nothing but respect for his firefighter regulars. But one stands out. With her athletic build, strawberry blond hair and easygoing charm, Sophie Tyler takes his breath away.

Facing fear
When Sophie takes a part-time job at the pub, her casual interest in Liam turns into full-blown desire. But she must tread carefully around him. A widower with two young sons, Liam can’t put his heart on the line for someone who walks into burning buildings—especially when an arsonist is on the loose.

Finding your way
But Liam is drawn to Sophie—like a moth to a flame. And danger haunts their every kiss.

Liam O'Neil is trying to take care of his troubled seven-year-old son and cocky teenager, and work full time at the family-owned Bailey's Irish Pub. 
Widowed three years ago, he's ready to date again.  But his life is in flux, his future unclear, when he meets Sophie Tyler, a female in the Fire Department of New York.  A consummate firefighter who was rescued herself by the FDNY when she was ten, she loves her job and her "firefighter family." 
Liam's as attracted to her as she to him, which is fun and flirty, until they both start to care about each other. Yet she's the last person he can get involved with. His youngest is suffering from abandonment issues and depression, and needs stability.  Even when they fall in love, both Liam and Sophie know their relationship is doomed.
Or is it?

Professional Reviews

Kay Quinlin, Fresh Fiction
Liam O'Neil, along with two of his brothers, Patrick and Dylan, are owners of Bailey's Irish Pub in New York City. The pub is named after their sister, who's married to Clay, Vice President of the U.S. Their brother Aidan is engaged to CJ, who's a secret service agent. The pub is a hangout for the firefighters of the FDNY. The O'Neil's are a funny group of guys who are very close and joke around with each other a lot, but always support each other with the truth. When firefighter Sophie Tyler walks through the door, Liam can't take his eyes off of her. All the O'Neil brothers have a thing for red-haired women. Even though Sophie's a strawberry blonde, they still think she's hot.
Liam lost his wife, Kitty, three years ago and is floundering as he tries to get his life back in control. His sons, Mike and Cleary, are also having trouble dealing with the death of their mother. Young Mikey is still having nightmares and talks to his mother's picture at night with a flashlight under the covers and wears a sad face most of the time.
Liam and Sophie quickly become involved with breathtaking sex, but they're hesitant to make a commitment because of Sophie's dangerous profession. Sophie is experiencing some close calls as she fights fires. The department knows the fires are being started by an arsonist, which makes them much more vulnerable and dangerous. The arsonist orchestrates a fire that purposely catches Sophie's entire unit in the building. She and some of the other firefighters are injured enough to be taken to the hospital. Liam decides that he cannot bring this constant fear of danger into his boys' lives or into his. Even though Liam and Sophie have declared their love for each other, they agree to step away from their involvement for the benefit of the boys. Mikey and Cleary then decide to take matters into their own hands to reunite their father and Sophie.
I liked this story very much. Kathryn Shay has a way of telling a story that is truly exciting, emotional and definitely interesting enough to hold your complete attention. She has also dealt with a very real concern of the firefighters who served our country during 9/11 and their responsibilities in juggling a normal family life with the ever-present possibility of death. I definitely look forward to more of this author's stories.

Marilyn Heyman, Romance Reviews Today
Liam O’Neil and his family own Bailey’s Irish Pub. He does the cooking -- the pub is a favorite hangout for firefighters in Manhattan. There are four O’Neil brothers, Liam, Patrick, Aidan, and Dylan, and one sister, Bailey, who is married to the vice-president of the United States. Liam lost his wife three years ago and is still grieving, but his brothers are encouraging him to begin dating again. He has two sons, Cleary and Mike. Mike is still having trouble adjusting without his mother. The O’Neils are a close-knit family.

Sophie comes into the pub with her fellow-firefighters for breakfast. She has worked hard to overcome the stigma of being a woman in an all male fire station and keeps herself strong and dependable. In order to afford an apartment on her own in New York, she takes a part-time job waiting tables at Bailey’s. She and Liam become good friends, and when he kisses her on her birthday, they are both stunned by the feelings generated by one kiss. But will this relationship develop further? Liam is in a quandary -- he cannot accept Sophie’s dangerous job after seeing her get hurt several times. He does not want his children to get attached and go through the debilitating experience of losing a loved one again, particularly Mike, who is very fragile and afraid.

An arsonist is setting fires in the neighborhood making it even more dangerous for the firefighters who risk their lives every day. Sophie is more concerned now -- she worries about what Liam and little Mike are thinking and feeling when she risks her life fighting a fire or rescuing someone. Will Liam and Sophie be able to work out their differences?

Although TAKING THE HEAT can stand alone, the O’Neils have been featured in several of Kathryn Shay’s books, so readers will be revisiting old friends who have married and started families. They are always there for each other with lots of teasing and love. Liam is the most sensitive of the brothers, a sweet, kind man and a devoted father who wants the best for his children. Sophie keeps herself very fit and does her job, even though she has to fight the battle of the sexes to remain a firefighter. The attraction sizzles between Liam and Sophie. Can they deny the magnetism between them?

TAKING THE HEAT is an exciting story and a hot romance with two strong characters and a warm family that everyone would love to have. Ms. Shay has done her homework and makes firefighting very realistic, but frightening. Readers will experience the close friends and family in the camaraderie of the pub. The story flows at an even pace with likeable characters, and an interesting storyline. The ending felt a little rushed as the arsonist is caught, and Liam and Sophie make decisions about their future. Nevertheless, TAKING THE HEAT is a wonderfully heart-felt, romantic tale, and another winner for this talented author.

RT Bookclub
Shay writes an emotion packed story that presents a realistic view of the romantic and social problems faced by female firefighters. With angst and some hot sex, this dramatic tale also has a nice touch of humor.

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