Rating: 4.5 🌈
Hot Pursuit is the third in The Hot Cannolis series being written by Eli Easton and Tara Lain about a large Italian family made up primarily of firefighters, with a few law enforcement officers scattered throughout.
It’s been about their sexual awakening and how that’s been handled within a highly machismo, heteronormative (and Catholic) family structure. What struggles the family has had to adapt to their son’s newly acknowledged sexuality and their new partners.
It’s had to include the fire department, which ever one the characters works for, as well as that close knit group our characters work within, into the main character’s struggles to define himself and come to terms with their identity as queer men. It’s not always been a easy journey as the Fire Departments are a bastion of straight, white, male hierarchy and to be anything other is often a tough lonely path.
Both authors have included the continuing bigotry and exclusion the out Canalis face in their jobs despite the fact that they were highly regarded for their “firefighter lineage “ and superb abilities before coming out. It makes for a believable story.
Due to illnesses, the authors split the last two stories.
Easton takes up Det. Rick Canali’s story. He’s the uncle to the characters we’ve meet so far and only recently admitted (in Hot Wings), to the two members of the family that he’s gay. It’s not anything new. Almost forty, he’s always known he was gay, but his family’s well known (at that time) bigotry, kept him silent.
A confirmed “batchelor” to the family, Rick’s recent partner has retired. His new one, John Rivera, is out and threatening his determination to stay in the closet.
Rick has always been such a quiet, strong character in the previous books. A bit of a mystery. So it’s a real pleasure to see this character get to show all the depths of his personality. From the love of his family to all aspects of his professional persona.
John Rivera is the troubled new person. So happy to finally get his Detective’s badge but he’s also got a very brutal history following him.
For those people for which domestic violence and/or gaslighting is trigger, just be warned as this is a major element here.
John is a wonderful, engaging character. His story and background just further pulls you into a connection with him, and helps understand his situation more fully.
While Rick and John try to determine the boundaries of their relationship, and learn to trust one another, they are also in the middle of a investigation.
Easton does a terrific job with unfolding the investigation while maintaining the tension between Rick and John. Everything and everyone is so tightly strung you don’t know what is going to pop first.
There’s plenty of charming , heartwarming scenes with the huge Canali family as well as frightening moments that occur within the investigation.
I hugely enjoyed myself and this novel. Rick and Tony rank right up there among my favorite Canali couples.
I believe there’s just one more left to go. Hot Lips from Tara Lain. No release date as yet.
I’m highly recommending Hot Pursuit and The Hot Cannolis series.
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
◦ Hot Lips #4 by Tara Lain, date TBD
Solving the case will be tricky. But keeping their hands off each other will be impossible.
Detective Rick Canali’s life is perfect the way it is. He loves his job with the Chico, CA police. He can get casual sex whenever he wants it, and for family vibes, he has his brother Angelo’s large family of hotheaded firefighters. He’s happy being a “perpetual bachelor.” But when he’s partnered up with a too-attractive newbie detective, all the neat boxes in his life threaten to collapse. Because the one thing this detective never saw coming—falling in love.
John Rivera always wanted to be a detective. He’s determined to succeed despite his ex trying to make his life hell and his new partner—the gorgeous Rick Canali—making it clear he’s not wanted. As a former foster care kid, he’s used to fighting his own battles and depending on no one.
When a firefighter dies under suspicious circumstances, Rick and John’s new partnership is tested. It turns out, they’re a pretty good team. But can they crack the case while dancing around their mutual attraction, dodging John’s ex, and trying to keep the Canali firefighters safe from a potential killer in the Cal Fire ranks?
HOT PURSUIT is a murder mystery wrapped in a romance with a big scoop of suspense, hurt-comfort, evil ex, and more Canali family feels.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.