Title: Lights and Sirens (Emergency Services #2)
Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 13, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 231 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Paramedic Hayden Kinsella is single and the life of the party. He likes driving fast and saving lives, and he doesn’t do relationships—he does hookups. Except he wouldn’t hook up with copper Matt Deakin if he were the last guy on the planet. Hayden thinks the feeling is mutual . . . until clearing the air leads to a drunken one-night stand, which leads to something neither of them was expecting: a genuine connection.
Police officer Matt Deakin moved to Townsville to take care of his elderly grandfather. In between keeping an eye on Grandad, renovating his house, and the demands of his job, he somehow finds himself in a tentative relationship with Hayden and very slowly gets to know the damaged guy beneath the happy-go-lucky persona.
But the stressors of shift work, fatigue, and constant exposure to trauma threaten to tear Hayden and Matt apart before they’ve even found their footing together. In the high-pressure lives of emergency services workers, it turns out it’s not the getting together part that’s hard, it’s the staying together.
The first book in Lisa Henry’s “Emergency Services” series is set in a remote town in Australia where the police and emergency services work together, knowing that the nearest hospital is hours away and they are often the only help within hundreds of miles. In “Lights and Sirens” the setting moves to a larger city, but the life and death experiences of the coppers and ambos are no less gut wrenching and traumatic.
Matt Deakins is a copper in Townsville, recently moved into the area to live with, and take care of, his granddad. Hayden is an ambo with a reputation as a hard worker and a party-hearty guy who has an easy smile for just about everyone, except for Matt, who he calls Constable Dickhead because of an incidence with a traffic ticket where Matt thought Hayden was trying to flirt his way out of the ticket, while Hayden was just flirting. But, one drunken night at the bar and a steamy drunken blowjob and Matt and Hayden quickly move beyond their initial misunderstanding.
I love the way Matt and Hayden’s relationship starts, without any angst or miscommunication, but with the realization they actually like one another and enjoy spending time together and they quickly move into boyfriend status without too much overthinking. These two have chemistry in spades, but what really works here is how the focus is not on the process of the romance, but how difficult it can be for two people who are in “strong like” with one another to stay together given the nature of their jobs.
Neither man knows what they will encounter during a call-out and when Hayden has to deal with four deaths in a matter of days, his easy facade comes apart. The character development of each MC is so well done (as is every character in the entire story) as the two men grow closer together dealing with this trauma. Every page of this story just seems to flow naturally from one thing to another, and the ending just fits so well. Lisa Henry can write and I loved this latest book in the “Emergency Services Series.” 4.5 stars and a Recommended Read.