RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Combust by K. Bromberg

Title: Combust
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: January 29, 2018

Songwriter Dylan McCoy has been burned.

By her boyfriend she found in her bed . . . with someone else.

By the contract she signed that obligates her to work with him until the songs for his new album are complete.

By her agent when she asked Dylan to keep their breakup on the down-low.

When she finds herself in Sunnyville, she refuses to let her new roommate burn her too. Still . . . a rebound has never looked so good.

That’s her first thought when she sees firefighter Grady Malone.

Sexy. Charismatic. Unapologetic. He’s a man who carries his own scars—the ones on his back, the survivor’s guilt on his soul, and the fear in his heart.

When an unexpected visitor puts their roommate status to the test, will their undeniable attraction burn out, or will they both take a chance and play with fire?

Just when I think K. Bromberg can’t make me fall any harder, Grady and Dylan come along to prove me wrong. The perfect addition to the Everyday Heroes series, Combust was everything I’d hoped it would be and so much more. Grady and Dylan shared an utterly electric chemistry that made itself known from their very first encounter and continued to grow with each passing page. However, as their journey unfolded, it was the couple’s undeniable emotional connection that held me captive. These two shared something real and raw and absolutely one-of-a-kind that had me rooting for an epic happily ever after.

“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. For you, it just means that you’re stronger than the fire.”

Dylan had my heart immediately. She was strong and feisty despite having been broken and I adored how easily she held her own with Grady. As K. Bromberg further unraveled this character, she exposed Dylan’s flaws and insecurities. I loved seeing all of that pain and vulnerability poured into the heroine’s music, something beautiful being born from the hurt. Grady’s transformation was even more unexpected and the man behind the cocky, playboy persona blew me away. His scars were unfathomable and I couldn’t help but feel deeply for the haunted hero who needed to learn how to forgive himself. Together these two characters broke each other apart, soothed one another’s scars, and found their way to acceptance and love.

“Fear has two meanings, son. Forget everything and run. Or face everything and rise.”

Once again, I have to say that the cover did not do this book any favors. It seriously undervalues the poignant story found within the pages of Combust and I wish it better captured the impact of Grady and Dylan’s journey. K. Bromberg expertly explores several serious topics with this novel and I appreciated the sensitivity and authenticity with which she took on this tale. The author’s writing is enchanting and full of feeling, ensuring that I completely devoured this novel. The perfect balance of sexy, funny, sweet, and emotional, Combust takes readers on an unforgettable journey. Grady and Dylan’s romance is one of heartache, loss, redemption, acceptance, and forgiveness – a powerful love story that absolutely leaves its mark.

Bromberg continues to grow and get better and better, I swear! I’ve read a lot of books from this author, but the interconnected standalones in her Everyday Heroes series have to be the best that she has produced. Based on the cover, I expected Combust to be another romance filled with some tension, a dash of sweetness, and some naughty times thrown in. What I was not prepared for was the meaningful relationship that would form between the hero and heroine, or the profoundness of the message that came with it.

“Because love is rarely pretty. It’s messy. It’s complicated. It’s often ugly, but that’s how you know when it’s right. Pretty doesn’t always last. It’s the things you have to work at that make the reward that much sweeter.”

Dylan and Grady’s slow-building relationship was one that I am sure to not forget anytime soon. Everything from the way that it began as fake, to the way that they built each other up, was absolute perfection. I loved that both Dylan and Grady were strong on their own and they endured their own hardships. However, in the moments that they held a mirror to the other, forcing the acknowledgement of insecurities, something blossomed both of those characters, and in my own heart. I saw myself in their scars and their thoughts, and could do nothing but root for their triumphs. I really think that readers will see pieces of themselves in these characters and find them incredibly relatable. Not to mention, the attraction that simmered between Dylan and Grady left butterflies in my stomach throughout the entire novel. When they denied it, things were great, but when they recognized it, there were fireworks. My only complaint is that I want more, more, more!!

“The heart’s blind. It’s the head that causes all the trouble.”

I swore that I wasn’t going to read anymore books with abs on the cover, but after reading the blurb, and with it being one of my favorite authors, I decided to give it a chance. Goodness gracious, great balls of fire – I’m SO glad that I did! Combust was such a pleasant surprise with its deep meaningful message and characters that I could relate to. I’m glad to see that even after years of writing, Bromberg continues to grow and finesse her talents. This book is by far the best novel she has written, and definitely sets the bar high for the last Malone brother!

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