Book one in Buchman’s new Firehawks series earns a Top Pick slot for one reason: It’s incredibly good. Buchman’s adept use of source material will blow the readers’ minds and leave them awestruck that a wonderful love story can be so seamlessly woven in among technical details. At the core of Pure Heat is a tender tale of two damaged souls finding their way to each other — and what a poignant and touching story it is. It would be easy to overlook the depth of research that probably went into this story, but it’s that labor of love that gives Pure Heat such layered richness.
Former smoke-jumper Steve “Merks” Mercer has had his passion sidelined by a devastating injury. Carly Thomas, a forest fire specialist, knows all too well about losses. When Steve goes to work as a spotter and drone specialist, he gets to know the reserved beauty as they work together to combat wildfires by air. But what about the fire that rages between them? As the newest wildfire burns out of control, will these two find love in the most unlikely of places? (SOURCEBOOKS, May, 340 pp., 7.99)