A stone cold firefighter, lifelong secrets, and the vivacious woman who won’t give up. Abi Newell is feisty, fun, beautiful, and has date offers every night of the week. She gave her heart away to Stone Ryland when they were teenagers and that was the stupidest decision of her life. Though Stone is the perfect fit for her—kind, patient, and steady—he’s also shut himself off to everyone, including her. She’s accomplished best-friend status with her dream man, but winning his heart may be a hopeless quest.
Stone has been deemed Stone Cold by his firefighting buddies for good reason—he has the remarkable ability to put his feelings on the shelf while dispassionately dealing with the situation at hand. Too bad Stone’s buddies don’t know the truth. A truth Stone will fight tooth and nail to keep hidden. Abi is his one weakness, but Stone can’t let anyone into his heart or his well-protected secrets will be discovered and destroy not only Abi, but his deceased wife’s memory as well. Can Abi break through the ice surrounding Stone Cold’s heart, or will she be forced to give up on her lifelong love?
This was a quick easy read that only took a couple hours one day. Checketts takes us back to Park City for another one of the firefighter's stories. Stone has a reputation for being cold as ice, but Abi knows better. She can see through to his pain even if she doesn't know the true source. Abi thinks Stone still hasn't gotten over the death of his wife seven years earlier. He'd only been married for six short months, but he lost his wife and their child in a car accident.
What Abi doesn't know could also ruin Stone's chance of finally being with the one woman he's always loved. No spoilers, because the reader knows fairly early that Stone married their mutual friend Virginia to save her from her father's wrath because the fourth friend in their group, Jace, abandoned her when he learned she was pregnant with his baby. All his misguided attempts at doing the right thing, at keeping promises for the dead for the sake of integrity almost drives away Abi for good.
I loved Abi's persistence, but I also felt her heartache. Every time she tried to save herself by walking away but returned because she couldn't live without Stone in her life. Stone's pain is real too, even if you want to smack him up side the head.
Checketts does a wonderful job tugging at emotions until you finally get to exhale with the happily ever after. A wonderful journey through the pain of love.
I give Stone Cold Sparks a 4 and a Clean rating.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
PG-14—somewhere between PG-13 and R. Not erotica, but at least a paragraph of on screen sex
R--swearing (F bomb, on “screen” sex, sometimes feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot, but not always