Rating: 5 🌈
Hot is right. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this story since the author’s announced it was Donny’s story with a newly transferred gay fire pilot.
Donato “Donny” Cannoli is a mess of a man, something of a norm actually for the men of the enormous Italian family where the ideals of manhood run adjacent to those of toxic masculinity. Where they , actually everyone, are expected to go into careers of service, dangerous service. Firefighters, law enforcement…nothing less. Marry, produce another generation to do the exact same, and carry on the Cannoli name and reputation.
No matter the personal cost.
Hot Seat, Mike’s story was a dramatic representation of exactly how high that cost could be when the stress and denial became too great.
And it caused an emotional, heartbreaking,sea change in attitude in Donny. Prior to the shattering event towards the end of that story, Donny , like his older brother, Gabe, was a homophobic machismo sneering bully. But afterwards?
A changed man who had his brother’s back and started standing up for Mike and against those uttering homophobic slurs.
That’s where we find him now. A man who’s foundation has been shaken, the cracks appearing… when out and proud Dell Murphy arrives , to further the job of disassembling the man Donny always thought himself to be.
Lain and Easton do an absolutely superlative job here with Donny’s emotionally profound and painful journey, with himself and Dell, to his truth. He’s bisexual, he’s never going to fit within his father’s ideals, and he’s got a new better future if he’s brave enough to accept it and himself.
It’s a path you’re on with Donny that’s at times raw, sexually hot, and heartwarming, and also so deeply complicated that you just hurt for him as he unravels all those familial issues that have him trussed up so tightly in old ideals that have never fit him.
Dell Murphy has his complications. All just as well executed and emotional. And like Donny’s, they stem from family. His issues with his father has driven home certain areas of behavior and trust that Donny’s triggering. He’s also the one who’s the security for his Mam and sister , Gala. Those characters too are just amazing.
There’s so many great elements here. Dell is a realistic pilot and the research into the plane, flying, fire intensity…. It’s all here. And it makes for some incredibly high suspense action. Awesome co- pilot too.
The truth is this book is so fantastic I could babble on about all the great things the authors have put into this story that enrich the storylines and support the characters growing relationship, but why not just pick it up and read it? It’s fabulous!
I will say you should read Hot Seat first to get an indication of the events that happened previously and how far Donny’s characters has changed.
I’m highly recommending this and the series to date.
Now an interesting note on the next two stories. Due to unexpected complications (author Tara Alain’s surgery and recovery), Lain and Easton aren’t co-writing the next books. Instead each will write a single novel.
I’m wondering how that will effect the sort of edgy balance they’ve achieved here in the series to date between raw , deeply emotional issues each character has had to process and overcome and the romantic relationship element. It’s been a delicate maneuver. In Mike’s novel, it was really more about his journey towards self acceptance, and then it was his romance.
Here in Hot Wings, I thought it was equally important. Beautifully crafted.
Now to see how and who is next.
The Hot Cannolis series:
◦ Fireman’s Carry (The Hot Cannolis #0.5) by Eli Easton
✓ Hot Seat #1
✓ Hot Wings #2
◦ Hot Pursuit #3 by Eli Easton date TBD
◦ Hot Lips #4 by Tara Lain, date TBD
The alpha meets his match.
Most macho of all the super-alpha Canali brothers and proud of it, Donny’s famous for his gorgeous face, his firefighter prowess, and for going through girls his family doesn’t approve of as fast as he changes jeans.
Donny’s biggest hero is his fire captain dad, until his life gets saved from the skies by fire pilot Dell Murphy.
Dell’s certain about most things. He’s been proud to be gay since he was ten, handled a helicopter in Afghanistan like it was part of his body, and can fly a fire bomber in the worst conflagration. And he’s absolutely certain that Donny Canali belongs to him.
Dell also knows how to show a lover he’s in charge.
Donny’s shocked to discover how much he’s turned on by dominant Dell, but Donny’s not gay. He’s not. He can’t be. It would break his father’s heart.
Leaving Dell will break Donny’s.
HOT WINGS is a battle of the alphas, hot firefighters, two crazy families, dominant lover, HEA romance with a helping of laughter and even more feels.