Incinerate by Tessa Teevan
Series: Explosive #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: February 18, 2014
Format: eARC, 356 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
When Knox Wellington opens the door to Charlie Davenport, he's not expecting the fiery brunette with whiskey colored eyes and a feisty personality. Sparks fly immediately, even though their initial meeting is nothing but hostile. Their chemistry is undeniable, but the chip on Knox's shoulder threatens to destroy any hope of him wooing the sweet, southern volunteer sent to help with his rehabilitation.
Little does he know she's no Southern Belle, as she gives as good as she can take. As unexpected circumstances push them closer together, heads butt, patience is tested, and flames ignite as they dance around their mutual attraction, both of them jaded from broken pasts.
They've both been burned before, so when their feelings of lust, desire, and wanting are inflamed in the heat of the moment, will they finally be able to get over the pain of the past or will their relationship be reduced to ashes before it can ever really begin?
*While this book is a standalone, characters from Ignite, book 1, will appear in Knox's story.
It’s been days since I finished this book and I’m still fangirling over the entire experience. Everything from the cover (holy shit that man is hot!) to the writing to the characters was so incredible, I can’t quite get over it yet. No words I can string together will do this book justice, but I’m going to try.
Rather than waste time talking about the plot, which you really just need to experience for yourself from start to finish, I’m going to talk about these phenomenal characters and all the feels they gave me.
“I can feel myself drifting off, and instead of flashes of my life and loved ones running through my mind, I see nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’m fucking alone, and I’m going to die this way in this godforsaken country. Shattered. Broken. And completely alone.”
Knox was the atypically typical alpha male soldier until he was severely injured in an IED attack overseas. Now he’s back in the US, unable to care for himself and his injuries as he heals, which is inconceivable for a man like him. He has a huge chip on his shoulder, understandably. His past is complicated, thanks to his (obviously stupid) bitch of an ex who slept with and subsequently married his brother. He has trust issues and keeps most people at a distance. He doesn’t believe in love, which his friend Jace (yes THE JACE from Ignite) loves to give him a hard time over, telling him it’s only a matter of time before he finds the one who will change the way he feels and make him realize what he’s been missing among the one-night stands. He was a complicated man.
“Well, too bad for him, because my amusement park is closed for the season. Like I said, I don’t do roller coasters, and while I think this guy could be the best ride of my life, I know I’ll end up feeling sick to my stomach with regret afterwards.”
Charlie won me from the absolute beginning of the book. She was sassy and spunky. She had a good heart. She wasn’t the stereotypical blushing virgin or whore, just a woman who wasn’t afraid of her sexuality, even if she hadn’t fully embrace it in a while. She, too, had a cheating ex and was cautious with relationships because of it. No one wants to be hurt again if they can help it. She was a smart girl and a football fan. She and her father had a very close relationship and she volunteered with an organization that helps injured soldiers. She wasn’t perfect though. She didn’t look down on others and she wasn’t afraid to call someone on their shit when it was necessary. She and I would definitely be friends in real life. I connected with her immediately because I saw a lot of myself in her.
“This isn’t a one-night thing. This isn’t roommates hooking up. This is you and me. This is us. Falling into place, the way we’re meant to. And I’m tired of fighting it. I don’t want to anymore.”
Knox’s character development over the course of this novel was incredible. You could see small changes occurring from the first time he met Charlie and they only grew more significant as the story unwound. As much as I loved Jace in Ignite, Knox made me feel something more… real. Jace was pretty much sheer perfection from the start; a good guy, in love with his friend from when he was younger. You can’t ask for much more than that. Knox was fighting his demons and growing with every chapter in the book and he won me over in a big way. He was sexy as hell from the start, even if he did come off as a bit of an asshole (understatement), but it didn’t take long to see there was more to him than met the eye. He was so swoony, and a really good guy underneath that tough exterior. His feelings for Charlie were obvious in his words and actions.
“I’m completely confused at my reaction to him. I want to gouge his eyes out in one moment and then rip his clothes off in the next. He’s sweet, he’s an ass, he’s warm, he’s cold. He flirts, he scowls, he drives me absolutely crazy, but dammit if my heart doesn’t melt when he smiles. Not that it’s often, but I love that smile – the one he gives when he doesn’t think anyone’s really paying attention, when the smile actually reaches his eyes.”
Knox and Charlie’s first interactions were fiery. Despite the fact each was attracted to the other, there was a hostility and passion to their conversations and disagreements that made me realize that once they finally collided it was going to be hot… and change both of them. They grew from hostility to an understanding to a friendship and eventually to something absolutely magical. They were perfection together. They kept each other on their toes. They were good for each other, even if they had a few stumbles along the way. Their connection was realistic, their chemistry intense, their feelings real. Knox and Charlie’s relationship was something extraordinary.
I can’t write this review without talking about the secondary characters. First, I was thrilled that Jace and Lexi from Ignite were in this book as often as they were. I absolutely adored them and was so excited to find out what was going on in their lives. Fans of the couple are in for a huge, sweet treat in this book. There were some pages that left me with a giant smile and tears streaming down my face at the same time. Also, I kinda fell a bit in love with Knox’s non-skeezy brother Cohen. I can’t wait to get his story. Charlie’s dad and Dr. Branch were wonderful and played a big part in the story.
Incinerate was an incredible follow up to Ignite. From the writing to the characters to the storyline, everything about it was absolute perfection. I felt all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had to fan myself. I was so wrapped up in these characters and their story that I actually dreamt about the book the first night I was reading it. Even more than a week after reading it, I find myself thinking about these two. I can only hope they have a cameo or two in the next book in this series, which is high on the list of my all-time favorites.
If you’re a fan of sweet and sexy romances with complex characters and no unnecessary drama and you haven’t read this series yet, I have to ask WHY?! You must rectify this situation immediately. While you don’t need to read Ignite to enjoy Incinerate, I would recommend reading both anyhow. You won’t be sorry you did.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.