Great ending to the series!
This is the final book in the North Ridge series and is about the oldest bother Fox and his best friend Delilah(Del). We finally find out what happened to Fox with his mother's suicide and he came to blame Shane. This book is definitely a heavier book than Maverick and deals with real life issues, especially with someone with the type of job that Fox has. Del is also a very likable heroine.....she is the light to the darkness surrounding Fox. This book brings everyone together and finishes off the series very nicely. We get more of Rachel/Shane and Riley/Maverick. And again Riley was just as annoying here as she was in her own book. I know she is supposed to come off as this fun, goofy, say whatever kind of girl, but unfortunately, she just came off as crass and rude. On the other hand, Del came off as the patient, long-suffering "girlfriend"......who developed a bit of a spine towards the end. And Fox with his issues definitely needs someone like Del. I really enjoyed the whole Nelson clan, esp the grandfather!
Karina Halle brings on the 5+ stars
This particular book is going to hold a special space in my heart. Karina literally ripped my heart out with this one and played with it like putty. After spending my nights sobbing through the story AND trying to fight my tears while reading on public transportation I was sad to say goodbye to the North Ridge aka Nelson gang. This story hit all my favorite tropes: friends-to-lovers, stubborn damaged men (and boy was Fox Nelson extra damaged), and my all-time favorite… well I’m not going to say what it is because it’s a pretty big part of the story. But trust me, it’s soooo good, but also if you have followed my previous reviews you SHOULD KNOW what my favorite trope truly is.
Delilah Gordon is a no-nonsense bar owner and a pretty big part of Nelson family. After devastating death of Nelson brothers’ mom, Delilah’s mom becomes babysitter/platonic caregiver/surrogate mother to the boys. Essentially Delilah grows up with the Nelsons and for all intents and purposes, she is part of the family. However, as much as Shane and Maverick might be her “brothers”, the same does not apply to Fox. A huge problem is that Fox doesn’t seem to feel the same… or does he?
In no way is this book considered insta-romance, considering how long it actually takes for Fox to SEE Delilah. Where the sobbing and puffy eyes come from, well it’s from reading through their journey that takes them so long to permanently click. Fox is a broken mess that needs a lot of work in untangling his issues with his brothers, himself, and generally his attitude towards love.
Overall, Karina wrote a very knowledge book that delves into human nature when you look beyond the surface. Karina Halle really doesn’t shy away from diving deep into examining the broken psyche of a boy who took on too much guilt at a young age. Psychology books were written just for the sole purpose of examining his trauma. Another thing I found very interesting was all the research Karina did on Fox’s job as wildlife firefighter which was so relevant to everything that has happened over the summer during the fire season.
The end does provide a much-needed relief to all the angst and finally finding that HEA. What doesn’t drown you in tears, makes you a better swimmer, amiright?
Friends to Lovers
Hot Shot is the third book in the North Ridge series. All the books in this series are interconnected stand-alones. Hot Shot is about Fox, the eldest Nelson brother, and Delilah, long time family friend of the Nelsons. Fox is a fire jumper. He is gone a good part of the year fighting wildfires. Delilah is the owner of one of the local bars. Fox and Delilah have known each other since they were in the single digits. Hot Shot is a friends-to-lovers romance.
I enjoyed being back in North Ridge. I've grown to enjoy the characters that live there. We get to glance back into the lives of couples we've met before. I love the vibes of a close community. Fox is a complex character with lot of layers. He was forced to grow up quickly. His life hasn't been easy, but he is fighter. I found it was easy to root for Fox. Delilah, also known as Del, is a pretty strong heroine. I connected to her very easily. Fox and Delilah were not handed their happiness. They had to fight for it.
Hot Shot by Karina Halle is book three in her North Ridge series...
Hot Shot by Karina Halle is book three in her North Ridge series but can be read as a standalone. A friends-to-lovers contemporary romance novel featuring Delilah Gordon who has secretly been in love with her best-friend, Fox Nelson, since she was six years old. However, it's an unrequited love with Fox being oblivious to her feelings.
A hot shot or wildland firefighter, Fox parachutes into fires everyday to save lives. Heroic and brave, he appears in control. However, inside he is anything but as he continues to battle his demons from his past. No one really gets him or can get past the walls he's raised, except for Delilah. But will love be enough to overcome the obstacles to getting their happily ever after?
Filled with emotion, Hot Shot by Karina Halle will have you completely invested in these characters. Well-written, and told through dual POVs, Ms. Halle really gives us the opportunity to connect with her main characters and go along on the emotional journey of characters overcoming the past and finding their future with them. The story of Fox and Delilah is filled with pitfalls and fires that only a firefighter like Fox and the woman who loves him, Delilah, can battle through to the other side for each other.
Overall, Hot Shot by Karina Halle is a complex romance novel that will have you alternately in tears and cheering as the characters fight for each other and their future. I also enjoyed the epilogue! I recommend Ms. Halle's book and hope for more.
(I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received for free in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
Fox & Del <3
By Elizabeth Thiele
Oh my gosh, this is my FAVORITE North Ridge book!! Fox & Del's characters are so deep and emotional and their journey through friendship and love and lust is just beautifully messy!!
Del is a tough chick. She runs a bar and has been best friends with Fox since they were both kids and she has been in love with him for that long too. Her heartbreak every time Fox says the word "friend" to her, made my heart hurt. Del was such a firecracker and her personality went great with her being a bar owner. She was a hard worker and her relationship with her mom was special. I loved how close those two were, you could feel that their bond flowed true and deep. The friendship between Del, Rachel and Riley was something special and funny too. Riley is like the joker, Rachel is like the sensible one and Del is the sensitive/thinker one. Their friendship was natural and beautiful.
Fox is a complicated man. He is hiding years upon years of anger and grief and he keeps everything bottled inside. His relationship with Shane broke my heart, especially when Fox realizes that he has been in the wrong. Fox's job is dangerous and I respect ANYONE who does that for a living, but for Fox, it was another way for him to run away and punish himself. His friendship with Del was his beacon of light in his otherwise dark world, but even when she puts her foot down, his depression just spirals out of control and honestly, my heart really broke for that man, but I was proud of Del and Fox's family, because sometimes, tough love is what that person needs.
Fox & Del have so many feelings towards each other, they just don't know what to do about them; Del who is in love with Fox, but doesn't want to ruin their friendship and Fox who doesn't open himself up to love, so he doesn't understand what he is feeling for her half the time. I loved that these characters weren't perfect and everything was all rainbows and unicorns, but instead, it was sunshine, darkness, depression, anger, grief, love and hope. All of these emotions played out in this book and I felt every single one of them while reading. I felt Fox's pain, I felt Del's heartbreak, I felt both of their elation and love too. Karina Halle wrote two of the most profound characters that I have read in a while and I truly enjoyed the experience. This book is one of my favorites and I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!!
5 “MADLY, CHAOTICALLY IN LOVE WITH YOU” STARS!
By KR Nadelson
“Even on my darkest days, she’s always been the sun.”
HOLY FREAKING SMOKES!!! I just devoured the most PHENOMENAL contemporary romance by new-to-me author Karina Halle and I want to scream about it from the mountain tops!!!! HOT SHOT owned me from page one and that's saying a lot because I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately. Well guess what? No more!!!
Firefighters are HOT, HOT, HOT in romance right now so naturally my heart raced when I read the blurb for this book, an emotionally-charged best friends to lovers story featuring ruggedly sexy smoke jumper Fox Nelson who risks his life every day to fight wildfires but the one thing he could not endanger is his heart. Which is too bad for his secretly love smitten best friend Delilah Gordon who wants him more than her next breath!!!
There was something about this premise that grabbed me and I felt it in my gut that this book was going to decimate me. And DECIMATE ME IT DID! Beginning with that prologue from little Fox’s pov, which was so devastating it shattered me to pieces, setting the stage for the impossibly heavy burden this damaged lost soul would carry into manhood.
Gah!! These Characters. This Storyline. The Angst. The Passion. The Writing. The sum total of which culminated in a novel that incinerated my heart and then ever so miraculously healed it to the extent that I am still feeling the tear tracks on my cheeks!!
HOT SHOT is the third book in the North Ridge trilogy, featuring the rough and rugged Nelson brothers—Shane, Maverick and Fox--but I can fully attest it can be read as a standalone. Of course, now I will most certainly be going back and reading WILDFIRE and MAVERICK because this story was so amazing!!
This beautifully layered novel, set in the picturesque ranching town of North Ridge, BC had an intoxicating infusion of romance, adventure, aching emotion, pulse pounding peril and scorching sensuality. From start to finish, my heart was throbbing because this novel was OVERFLOWING with intense emotion, SIZZLING with pent up passion and PULSATING with excitement and palpable tension!!!
Although Fox and Del's romantic journey is fraught with difficulty, it’s worth every heartbreaking, gut-clenching moment. The feels—and the fireworks—between these two are OFF THE CHARTS! And speaking of sizzle, you might need a fire hose on hand, because the sex scenes are hot AF! And that ending? Prepare for gloriously happy waterworks!
Bottom line: I cannot recommend this book highly enough! So if you are hungering for a slow burning, highly sensual, SOUL CONSUMING love story then HOT SHOT is for you!
Finding Beauty Amidst the Flames
By Fairest Reviews
So, if you’ve read many of my reviews, by now, you’re probably fully aware of the fact that I’m a high school English teacher, which means that stories and all their glorious words are so my jam. I adore the written word, especially when it’s used in a way that consumes me…that articulates a book’s setting and characters so well that I can’t help but be immersed into the majestic descriptions of where the story takes place and submerged in the fluctuating emotions of the hero and heroine as they experience everything that the author forces them to endure.
Multifaceted, lyrical storytelling with dynamic characters whose depth continues to be learned even towards the end of the story makes my heart happy and my soul overjoyed at the privilege to read, in a genre that is perceived as nothing more than porn/smut, such amazing writing beyond the canonical works that ‘should be’ read by everyone. And time and time again, Karina Halle proves just how fantastic
I have to admit that I was a bit unprepared for Fox Nelson’s story because while his brothers, Shane and Maverick, had a variety of issues to contend with in each of their own stories, they had nowhere near the amount and kind of demons that their oldest brother has been fighting, rather unsuccessfully, since he was a child. I couldn’t help but want to heal the wounded hot shot every time Karina Halle revealed his inability to love…the blame he places on himself over something that was way beyond his control…the risks he takes as a hot shot wild land fire fighter just so that he feels like he has a life worth risking.
Fox is just like the fires he fights, meaning that one misstep from those around him or one self deprecating action of his own will light his fuse, sending him in a downward spiral and setting off a consuming fire within him - one that has the potential to burn everything in its wake, including any chance Fox and Delilah have for making it through the flames of their combined secrets, lies, and half-truths.
Delilah Gordon can’t remember a time she didn’t love Fox Nelson, and while she’s never admitted it aloud, everyone around her, except perhaps a rather oblivious or in denial Fox, knows how Delilah feels about the hot shot, and while she’s never regretted standing by his side for all these years, she wants and needs more from him but doesn’t know how to articulate it in a way that will keep their friendship safe and perhaps even lead to what she’s always wanted from Fox - his heart.
Readers can’t help but feel for Delilah and her overwhelming love for this reckless and hardened man; all she wants is to be loved in a way that sets her heart on fire and allows her to be consumed in the best possible ways, but that doesn’t seem like a likely conclusion when Fox doesn’t even love himself enough to deal with his past and his unresolved anger and pain.
These Nelson brothers and the women who love them are quite the amazing crew, and while I’m sad to leave North Ridge, I’m eager to see where Karina Halle will take her readers next because if there’s one thing I’ve come to know about Halle and her writing is that even though she’ll break our hearts into little pieces with angst and conflict, she always mends them with endings that illustrate just how powerful love can be.
4.5 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
5 huge stars!
I know I said this last time, but I can’t help it. I have a new favorite Nelson brother! I devoured this book. Glued to the pages, read in one sitting devoured. I couldn’t put it down. This is the third book in the Northridge series and can be read as a complete standalone, but if you have read the previous 2 books, you will be very familiar with Fox and Delilah. I have been rooting for them since i was first introduced to them. Fox is complicated and flawed and so interesting. And I can’t help but love Del. Finally getting an insight into their pasts and relationship was amazing. The fact that I was already familiar with the characters gave me the unique opportunity of having this book feel like a slow burn even though it was so fast paced. The angst and pacing, combined with that slow burn feeling, had me turning the page over and over, not able to stop. 5 huge stars!
**received an arc in exchange for an honest review***
This book is the book you have been waiting for in the North Ridge Series! Karina Halle has saved the best for last with Del and Fox and every moment will have you on edge. Fox will have to face the things that he has been running from while Del will have to find a way to be there for him and protect herself at the same time. This story won’t be pretty and will make them both face some difficult things but will find each other in the end.
Del has loved Fox since she was 6 and he has no idea. Every time he leaves to fight a fire he takes her heart with him. But when he comes back with a new girlfriend she can’t keep how she feels to herself any longer. The only question is will Fox feel the same.
Fox knows that Del is special, she lights up the room with her smile and always makes him feel calm. But when his new girlfriend makes him question his feelings for her, he wonders what it would be like to act on those feelings.
Once Fox and Del sleep together it seems like things have changed, but only for Del. Fox still wants to be friends and doesn’t want to chance their friendship. While Del agrees she can’t help but wonder why The can’t be more. And when Fox comes back from a nasty fire he finds comfort from Del.
But not everything will be okay, and soon they will be faced with a challenged neither one of them expected. Will they finally have a chance together? Or will Fox continue to not truly give into what he is feeling and continue to let the past haunt him?
5 Conan Stars
Hot Shot is about a girl and a boy who grew up together. The girl loved the boy so much but never told him. She thought he hung the moon and stars but he was too deep into his own thoughts to realize what was in front of him. They were best friends and she accepted this because if she couldn’t have him any other way she didn’t want to give up the one thing they had.
Fox is the boy and Delilah is the girl. Fox is stubborn, brooding, quiet. Filled with so much hurt and anger that you have to ask yourself what happens when it all comes to a head. Delilah is strong, determined, hard headed. She tries to turn a blind eye to what’s happening but she can’t when it’s her that is getting hurt.
I loved them both equally. For their weaknesses, stubbornness, strong ness. The love, passion and angst. For how they had to fall before they could climb. When it was hot it was hot and when it was cold it was cold.
Karina wrote another great masterpiece. I didn’t read the first two in the series to compare this one to but I’m definitely going to now. Hot Shot is funny, sad, angsty, hot and makes you wish for a family and friends that you can’t have. I’m so happy I read this book. It’ll take awhile to leave my heart.