Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Ashley Jameson always tries to do the right thing, but that’s hard when your nephew keeps eating crayons, your niece is dressed as a pudding and your obnoxious older brothers crash the church’s Sunday brunch with the guy you’ve been crushing on for five years. Going to work to fight fires is a welcome relief from family obligations, until the Riot Squad arrives to investigate and Ashley once again finds himself dealing with his siblings. Oh … and Finn Hale.
But Finn’s dark past continues to haunt him. As work gets increasingly busy with a string of arson attacks on illegal immigrants, Finn steps in to be the shoulder Ashley needs to lean on, but Ashley struggles to do the same for the man he loves. Juggling family and work can be difficult, but Ashley soon discovers that the real challenge is when it’s not a struggle at all … because you’ll do anything for the ones you love.
I fell in love with Lindsey Black’s writing through her debut novel Fishy Riot (Saturday Barbies, #1). That story introduced us to the crazy Jameson clan (police officers, doctors, EMT, firefighters) and assorted extended family members, including partners, children (vastly entertaining little ‘monsters’) and more. It was an enthusiastic, marvelously engaging romp! I adored the clan, the adventure, the mystery and humor and wanted more immediately. But had to wait until now to see what and who in the Jameson family was going to get their story told next. Lucky us! It’s Ashley Jameson, the odd child out in names (Tay, Hay, Shay, etc) and youngest of the large pack who finds his HEA here in Finn Hale, his twin brothers partner in the Riot Squad.
One of the things I love about this author is her ability to bring me to laughter one second and tears the next. That’s totally in keeping with the characters here and the situations they find themselves in within this story and in Finn Hale’s case, deep within his backhistory. The themes of family, pain and recovery, even the self doubt that Ash carries within him about how his own family sees him. These are layered, multidimensional characters who easily get to you because they feel so real, so human. I found myself wanting to slide into their Saturday family barbeques myself if only to be a part of the craziness.
It’s not just the family appeal that comes across but the grit and pain of the business of firefighting or what they come across during this investigation. It’s heartbreaking and the descriptions here telegraph the exhaustion, the heat, the intensity the firefighters feel as they enter the buildings, flames all around, floors collapsing, to save the people within…and sometimes don’t.
Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies #2) by Lindsey Black proves that the first book and this author was indeed a glorious find and now a series to hang onto. So is this amazing author. I need more, so much more from her.
If you haven’t read Fishy Riot, grab that one up first and meet the Jameson family and then come here to Rhino Ash for the next Saturday Barbie! I’ll be going back to reread them both together as I can’t get my fill I recommend them that much!
Cover art by Angsty G is perfect in continuing to brand the series while containing elements for the story. Love it.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, first edition, 276 pages
Published October 27th 2017 by Netherwood Press
Series Saturday Barbies: