Here's what the reviewers
are saying about
Where There's Smoke
Book #1 of Holiday Hearts

Silhouette Special Edition
November 2005


The Romance Reader's Connection (4 ½)
RT Bookclub (4 ½ stars)
Romance Junkies
Romance Reviews Today

The Romance Reader’s Connection (4 ½ stars)

“Ms. Hardy brings her flair for creating red-hot romance between fiercely independent (yet realistically flawed) heroines and truly tantalizing heroes.”

Firefighter Captain Nick Trask left the family farm in Vermont to make a difference in people’s lives. A hero though he is too humble to think of himself in those terms; Nick also uses his work to dull the pain of losing his father and avoids facing his family (and their grief). When a smart and sexy woman enters his life, Nick will find that all his limits will be tested and his mission to make a difference may not produce the results he expects.

Sloane Hillyard is a woman possessed, turning a devastating personal loss into a crusade for the development of a brilliant innovation in firefighting technology. For Sloane, work is the only thing keeping the pain at bay. Her life is solitary by design. However, testing her invention in the field brings Sloane into the world of Nick Trask and his men. Despite her efforts to keep people from getting to close, Nick seems determined to wear down her defenses. What a lovely way to burn!

Where There’s Smoke is author Kristin Hardy’s seductive debut for the Silhouette Special Edition imprint. A veteran of Harlequin’s Blaze line, Ms. Hardy brings her flair for creating red-hot romance between fiercely independent (yet realistically flawed) heroines and truly tantalizing heroes. Nick, as a firefighter, was immediately a favorite with this reviewer. He’s sexy, driven, and yet possesses a vulnerability which echoes the pain threatening to consume Sloane. Issues of risk, loss and obligation to family give teeth to the story, which also features plenty of heat and edge-of-your-seat action. Another hallmark of the author’s style is her seemingly effortless ability to bring the story settings to life, in this case, Boston and Vermont. This attention to detail is also sure to bring the readers into the lives of these firefighters in a manner not often explored in category romance.

As befitting a trilogy, readers will also be introduced to Nick’s two brothers: suave hotelier Gabriel and oldest brother Jacob, who has been entrusted to maintain the family farm business. I simply can not wait to know all of the Trask men a little better! Book two of the Holiday Hearts Trilogy, Under The Mistletoe, will be in bookstores this December. The trilogy will conclude with Jacob’s story, entitled Vermont Valentine, in February 2006. Don’t miss it!

-- Melissa Fowler


RT Bookclub (4 ½ stars, Top Pick!)

"…a powerful, poignant story highlighted by subtly-shaded characterizations, flashes of wry wit and intense sexual tension."

-- Catherine Witmer


Romance Junkies

“...this first book of her Holiday Hearts trilogy will not only delight all who read it, but ensure that we are eagerly awaiting the next in the trilogy Under The Mistletoe.”

Sloane Hillyard can’t forget the nightmare of losing her beloved brother who was a firefighter, in a hideous blaze. The one thing she knows for sure is that she will do her best to make sure this can’t happen to another family, and that she will never be involved in any way with another firefighter again. Will she be able to keep that vow?

Sloane Hillyard lost her only brother five years ago in a burning fire that was a maze of dead ends and impenetrable smoke. She has never fully recovered from her loss. To make sure no one has to endure this type of loss, she has vowed to do whatever it takes to make sure no other family has to lose another firefighter. So she created the Orienteer, a system that is designed to locate firefighters inside burning buildings and show them the way out. She is committed to her project, and with the backing of city councilman Ayre, she is ready to test her system in a real life fire situation.

Boston fire captain Nick Garrett loves his job. He could never imagine doing anything else, not even the lure and family pressure of staying on the farm in Vermont, where his family has been making maple sugar for generations, can draw him from what he loves. Fighting fires is what makes him feel worthwhile and alive, lord knows he doesn’t do it for the money! Being told to work with the alluring and incredible looking Sloane Hillyard wouldn’t be a hardship for most men. But Nick is not most men, and when it comes to protecting his men from what he thinks is nothing more than a political scheme, he uses an iron hand. Can Sloane change his mind about the project that is so dear to her heart? Is she in danger of losing her own in the process?

As tension mounts in Ladder 67, Sloane realizes that she is fighting more than a stubborn captain. She is fighting her own growing feelings for a man whose profession she has sworn to never be involved with again. How can she protect her feelings and at the same time witness the birth of the project that she has been working on all these years? One that she knows will save lives.

Where There's Smoke by the multi-talented Kristin Hardy is a wonderful example of her ability to weave an interesting tale, and ignite our imagination with irresistible characters. The fabulous background and story she has created with this first book of her Holiday Hearts trilogy will not only delight all who read it, but ensure that we are eagerly awaiting the next in the trilogy Under the Mistletoe.


Romance Reviews Today

“An emotional read that will have you alternately cheering and sitting on the edge of your seat.”

Fire Captain Nick Trask has dedicated his life to firefighting. It’s hard and dangerous work, but he’s proud of what he does. Yes, the fear of losing a fellow firefighter during a call hangs over them, but the satisfaction of saving lives overcomes that fear. Nick prefers there be no distractions at work, but when a councilman up for election pushes to have a new device tried out at his station, he balks. Especially when he meets the lady he will be working with.

Sloane Hillyard’s company is promoting a device to help firefighters find their way out of a burning building. Very few know that she has a personal reason for wanting to get her invention tested and eventually made a standard for firefighting. Sloane’s first meeting with Nick at the station brings back memories of the brother she lost in a fire and reminds her why she can’t get involved with a firefighter. But the sparks between them fly hotter than a four alarm blaze. Forced to work together, will they be able to fight their heated attraction before it brings out emotions they want to dampen?

Set in and around Boston, Where There’s Smoke takes us into the inner lives of a fire station. We meet interesting characters, like the seasoned veterans and the eager rookie. The fire station is a background to the emotional romance of Nick and Sloane. Both are passionate about what they do, but are at loggerheads trying to convince the other to go along with their beliefs. Nick’s life has revolved around firefighting, and he is not about to let pretty red haired Sloane get in the way of his job.

Sloane’s life has been shaped by the loss of her loved ones, and as a result, she feels the need to shut out other people. Meeting Nick and the other firefighters forces her to recall her brother’s tragic death. But she believes the device she has spent years developing will save lives and needs to be out there. But first she has to get it tested with the help of an uncooperative Nick. Working closely with Nick has its disadvantages; Sloane soon finds herself falling for the handsome firefighter. A dangerous situation when you swore never to fall for anyone in that profession.

Where There’s Smoke is an emotional read that will have you alternately cheering and sitting on the edge of your seat. A firefighter’s life is richly detailed without becoming boring. Kristin Hardy gives us the flavor of Boston along with the mountains of New Hampshire when Where There’s Smoke briefly shifts there. Nick and Sloane will tug at your heart and make you care what happens to them. With action that is heart stopping, you feel as though you are right there when Nick and his fellow firefighters are battling a blaze. Where There’s Smoke is the first book of the Holiday Hearts trilogy. The next two are coming out in December and February, and they will feature Nick’s brothers, Jacob and Gabe.

Likeable characters, descriptive storytelling, and a hot romance between Sloane and Nick highlight Where There’s Smoke. It’s a heartwarming story that will make you proud of the men at Station 67 who save lives on a daily basis. Don’t miss Where There’s Smoke for a thrilling tale of two people overcoming emotional obstacles to find love.

-- Patti Fischer

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