Combust by K. Bromberg
Narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt
Adult Contemporary. Easily Stands Alone.
I started listening to Combust right before the shootings here in Parkland, and I have to give K. Bromberg credit. That book was one of the only things that that helped me escape during one of the darkest times ever. Just like in Cuffed, Combust was SO MUCH MORE than the cover leads you to believe. As much as I loved Cuffed, it didn’t even occur to me that Combust and Cuffed were related until I was almost done with the book, these stories both easily stand alone.
Dylan is a songwriter. After catching her partner and lover, a famous rock star, in bed with another, she just needs to get away, so her brother hooks her up with a friend who has had a bit of a rough go of it lately, but has an extra room. It’s perfect for Dylan, because she unfortunately still needs to fulfill her contract and write songs for her ex-asshole, but she doesn’t need to be in the same city to do it.
“His everyday service uniform is hot. His Class A’s are sexy. But this, his yellow turnouts with reflective tape, red suspenders, and no shirt on underneath are everything and then some. Perfection with a little bit of grit thrown in.”
Grady Malone is such a good guy. So good that when a friend calls the firefighter to ask if his sister can stay in his empty room, he wouldn’t even consider saying no. Because he is selfless, a giver. He has been through hell and back and beats himself up for it daily, but all the good is still there in Grady.
The initial chemistry and attraction between Grady and Dylan is immediate and leapt of the pages. They both had baggage, especially Grady, and he really really needed someone like Dylan in his life, even though she was only there, away from her LA home, for a short time.
“It’s my name on his lips now. It’s my hands he crushes as the haze engulfs him. It’s my body he uses until he’s spent and lying on top of me, breath labored and lips pressed against the underside of my jaw as our heartbeats struggle to calm.”
Combust was longish, and it really gave the relationship time to develop and grow. It gave us time to uncover their backgrounds. It was paced perfectly and never dragged at any point.
“We all have scars. Some are visible, some aren’t. In the end, they represent the fact that you’re stronger now than whatever tried to hurt you.”
Grady was so damaged, watching the love of a good woman heal him was satisfying and emotional and just the kind of thing we all love reading about.
“When I’m with you, I forget the bad. I’m kissing you because when I’m with you, my mind stops and the world starts turning again”
- I love that it stood alone and you don’t need to remember details of the previous book.
- So much more than the cover lets on!
- Long enough to flesh out the story without being too long.
- So much emotion, but never overwhelmingly sad (I couldn’t have handled too much sad).
- The chemistry was amazing.
- The light-hearted, sweet and sexy moments balance out the emotion perfectly.
- This wasn’t quite as funny or as deeply emotional as the first. It didn’t have the extreme highs and lows, but it still balanced perfectly.
- The cover makes the book seem way lighter than it is.
Sebastian York and Andi Arndt are two of my favorite narrators, but I really appreciate when other narrators are used. I think I would have preferred if she stuck with the narrators from the first book.