MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching elementary music, and diving into her own writing--traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.
She's a four-time Golden Heart Award finalist, and she won the 2009 Eppie Award with Hot Shot and the 2010 Eppie with Breaking Daylight.
Where There's Smoke is MJ Fredrick's first published title and is of the friends-to-lovers trope that I adore. Combining together the complications that arise when two people who have always been friends find themselves in unchartered territory together with the added complications of two families who have been friends and much more through the years finds betrayal of the worst kind lurking right amongst them, Where There's Smoke is a contemporary romance that delivers a lot of emotional angst which I absolutely reveled in.
26 year old Lauren Stokes is an only child whose parents have never been overly demonstrative with each other or with their daughter. Lauren had always got her fix of coddling from her best friend Seth Escamilla's mother with the two families going a long way back with both their fathers being best friends and working at the same fire house.
Seth who is a fireman himself works under Lauren's father and has always followed his own father's footsteps all his life. The one secret that he knows about his father puts a severe strain on their relationship and it definitely does a number on his confidence about his ability to remain faithful to one woman for a long period of time.
When Seth starts noticing the little details about his best friend Lauren like how wonderful her hair smells and how much of a bliss it would be to have her long legs wrapped around him in a lover's embrace, Seth knows that he should keep his distance and forget that he ever thinks of getting hot and heavy with the last person in the world he would want to hurt.Read more ›
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The Stokes and Escamilla families have always been close. Their kids have grown up together and the males of the household are all members of the same firehouse. But is there more history here than the kids know? And what will happen when thing finally blow up?
Lauren Stokes and Seth Escamilla have been close friends for years. They tell each other about their loves and their lives. But one thing that Seth has never figured out is that Lauren has been in love with him for years. But, what will happen when during a fateful family get- together, Seth accidentally injures Lauren? Especially when he takes her home to care for her, and sees her in a bit of a different light. Now he is confused by his emotions. But just as Lauren and Seth start to explore their feelings, things with their parents go "super nova" and nothing will ever be the same. Will their new and old relationships be the fallout of their parent's deeds?
Wow pull up the tissues for this one. I made the mistake of reading Where there's Smoke on my e-reader while at work and then I had to explain why I was crying. I don't recommend this awkwardness to anyone, so make sure you are reading it at home. I loved how the main characters both were forced to "grow up" during this story. I was encouraged that the author didn't take the short route and gloss over the hurt that these characters felt. I also hope there will be more stories about the hot Firefighters in Seth's house. I found Where there's Smoke was a very well written story with not only hot love scenes but also hot emotions. That is what compelled me to make Where there's Smoke a Joyfully Reviewed title for April.
Tanya reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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She'd spent years suppressing he feelings for her best friend, when BAM! He suddenly sees her as a desirable woman. Too bad some old family secrets are going to ruin more than a longstanding friendship.
For years, advertising rep Lauren Stokes had watched her best friend Seth Escamilla serial date his way through the female population of San Antonio as she tamped down her longings for the hunky firefighter and settled for his friendship.
Their families thought they'd make the perfect couple. Their mothers were the best of friends. With Lauren's dad the fire captain at the local station and Seth's dad a career firefighter at the same station, their fathers were more than work colleagues; they were buddies for life. Having a son and daughter marry would cement a bond between the families that was more than three decades long.
But with an ever-changing array of woman to choose from, Lauren had pretty much given up on Seth ever looking her way until a Thanksgiving game of football got a little too touchy-feely.
Suddenly, Seth is looking at Lauren in a whole new way that's teetering on the edge of friends with benefits. But Seth has kept a family secret for years that makes him doubt love lasts forever and, if that secret is ever revealed, it will sever lifelong trust and friendships between his and Lauren's families. Yet, as Lauren becomes a consuming fire in Seth's blood, he still insists they hide their relationship from their families.
And when Lauren's parents' marriage suddenly implodes, Seth knows he won't be able to continue protecting Lauren from a heartbreak he's silently lived with for years. What they have together has to end, but losing a best friend is more heartbreaking than Seth ever imagined.