After narrowly surviving a childhood fire that killed two of his friends, ATF Special Agent Brett Tanner knows what it’s like to get too close to the flame. The trauma only spurs him and his K-9 partner to track down the arsonists targeting a Colorado town. This latest warehouse blaze looks suspicious as hell…and there’s a body. Now it’s murder.
Fiercely independent insurance investigator Gemma Scott has been burned enough times to know she doesn’t need anyone—especially a handsome agent with an agenda. Teaming up with the hardened and determined ATF agent means not just trusting her instincts…it also means trusting him.
Now they’re racing against an arsonist with a lethal agenda—one who’s willing to burn and kill to hide the evidence. But the killer is only part of a larger mystery. And the searing attraction between Gemma and Brett adds fuel to an already dangerously lethal fire. One that will smoke out a killer…along with Brett’s darkest secret.
Each book in the K-9 Special Ops series is STANDALONE:
* Tough Justice
* Burning Justice
Wow what a book!!
Wow. What a book! What an adventure I just went on. This book captivates you right from the beginning. At times, books can be a little boring with details as the opening chapters are using spent introducing the characters, setting, etc before getting into the heart of the plot and storyline. In Burning Justice, the main characters, Brett & Gemma are introduced together right in the beginning, and being directly involved on a current scene with little bits and pieces of the past trauma integrated in. All the details right in the first chapter beautifully set up introductions of Brett & Gemma and what we, the readers, were going to be in for.
Brett & Gemma are both hardworking employees in their respective fields- Brett Tanner: ATF Bureau = Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms & Gemma Scott: NICB = National Insurance Crime Bureau. Both are put together to investigate an arson case in which foul play is suspected. Brett has been fighting his own demons trying to find a serial arsonist that is responsible for killing two teenagers as well as battling trauma of a time when he was just a boy where is was the only one of his friends to escape an abandoned house fire they had snuck into before the fire erupted. Gemma has worked hard in a field primarily of men to show and prove herself worthy only to have her feet cut from underneath her by a co-worker she thought liked her but in the end stole a case from her and all her hard work.
What Brett thought was a dead end in the search for his serial arsonist becomes revived by Gemma and her thorough effort in her investigations of various suspected accidental fires of random homes and warehouses with signifcant insurance claims/payouts. Against both of their better judgments, they team up together to solve the mystery. It is during their investigations and research that sends them on a wild ride of intense moments as well as stirs & grows the attraction and admiration for each other.
I loved both of these characters. The author does a great job giving worthy dimensions of Gemma. You discover she is independent, confident, and knows limitations. She is willing to push herself harder - as evidence in her job research and the DIY work she does in her process of renovating her home. Brett is definitely swoon worthy. I like that he isn't portrayed as just a holt, popular jock back in the day but as a hardworking, knows his weaknesses, and other talents that are mentioned like he would work on/help remodel homes growing up. When he opens up about his trauma in the courtroom to help a troubled young man just pulls at your heart strings even more. And who doesn't love Blaze, his K-9 Chesapeak Bay Retriever?? He definitely adds to the story.
Tee definitely did her research when it came to writing this book. All the details going into solving arson cases, what to look for, various types of accelerants, etc all the way down to the end of the book in the acknowledgments section where you learn who she talked to, to help build her story and plot. You learn on various agencies work and protocols and so forth. When describing various scenes that Brett & Gemma encounter, she does an amazing job detailing scenes and I felt submerged in the story....that I could smells the smells, feel the heat, seeing the damages. The plot had quite a few twists and turns and just had me on the edge of my seat! Every piece of evidence had them on a goose chase, yet through it all it connected. There's a thrill of piecing together all the evidence and suspects and try to solved what was truly happening. Job well done!!
Last comments/opinions -- there is some language but fairly mild compared to some books I have read. I'd prefer not to have profanity especially the f-word. With all that to say, I do realize that in law enforcement field, you will find that kind of language so I appreciate the author giving a sense of realness - as if you are truly in side the minds of the characters and how they operate, etc. without being excessive. On a different note, the intimate scenes were not overly graphic but not closed door. I appreciate that crude words or terminology were not used here, and that the intimacy was something deeper for the characters and their connection to each other as their romance blossomed. Would have loved an epilogue but I'm anxious for Brett's friend, FBI agent, Evan's story to be the romance for her next book! Overall, well done!! Highly recommend!