HOT SHOT Blog Tour #review


Hot Shot by Karina Halle
Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Hang Le


Delilah Gordon has a secret.

She’s been in love with her best friend and the boy next door, Fox Nelson, since she was six years old.

And while most of her friends and family know about her unrequited crush, the one person who remains oblivious is Fox himself. To Delilah, it’s better this way. She’d rather pretend that they’re just friends, even though her feelings for the moody rugged mountain man are anything but tame.

Fox Nelson has a secret too.

As a wildland firefighter or “hot shot,” Fox parachutes into danger every day he’s on the job, risking all to fight wildfires that threaten ranches, forests and thousands of lives. But while Fox’s job is only for the brave, inside he feels anything but. The more he grapples with his raging demons, the more he realizes Delilah is the only one who can put out the flames.

As the two friends grow closer – and more intimate – than ever before, the more complicated their relationship becomes.

And Delilah has one more secret to reveal.

A secret that will change both their lives…forever.


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blog tour



It’s dark now and quiet except for the crickets. In the distance, the town of North Ridge glows, the lights giving way to the dark mountain ranges behind it and beyond that, a clear, starry sky.

I immediately feel better but it’s not enough. I need to walk, to get my head on straight, to get my heart to stop caving in.

I head down the slope to the barn. It’s second nature to want to come here during hard times. Growing up, if anyone in the house was fighting—and it was usually Shane and Fox—this was where you’d find them afterwards, licking their wounds.

Right now the barn is empty, all the horses are either in their paddocks or the pastures. I glance up at the hayloft and contemplate going up there when I hear footsteps behind me.

I immediately stiffen. It’s funny how you can feel someone’s specific presence without seeing them.

“What’s wrong with you?” Fox asks gruffly from behind me. Typical. Even if he’s concerned, sometimes he comes across like it annoys him to be concerned.

I take in a deep breath and turn around. “I don’t know,” I say, my voice measured. “Just felt a bit nauseous.”

He studies my face intently, so intently that I look away, my eyes drifting over the empty stalls. “I thought maybe I’d pissed you off somehow,” he says.

Is he baiting me?

I meet his eyes. “Why would you think that?”

“You could barely look at me during dinner,” he says, taking a step toward me until he’s a foot away. “Was it something I did? Is this about Conan?”

He’s so damn earnest in that last question that I have to laugh. I fold my arms across my chest. “No, Fox. This isn’t about your squirrel. It’s not about anything. I’m just…tired.”

I can tell he doesn’t believe me and the intensity has changed in his eyes. They’ve become more focused on me, like he’s seeing me for the first time and nothing else around us matters.

“I like this,” he says, his voice sounding thick. He takes a strand of my hair between his fingers and runs them down. “Your hair is so long. You should wear it down more often.”

I roll my eyes and hope I’m not blushing. “You guys are all the same. A girl wears her hair down and puts on some makeup and suddenly you realize that she’s actually hot. It’s like She’s All That come to life.”

Oh shit. I probably shouldn’t have said that last bit out loud since it’s a whole bunch of assumptions and I’m not one to flatter myself like that.

But he just grins. One of those cheeky, warm smiles that makes his eyes crinkle at the corners, the dimples appear in his scruff. He doesn’t smile like that very often and every time he does for me, it makes me feel…invincible.

“Del, I’ve always thought you were hot,” he says, still smiling. No awkwardness or hesitation. He just comes out and says it.

And now I am blushing. “Yeah right.”

“What?” he asks, tucking my hair behind my ear and—hell—his touch causes warm shivers to wash down my back. “It’s true. I mean, look at you.”

Don’t read into it. Don’t read into it.

“Do you remember that birthday party where we played spin the bottle?” I ask him, my voice sounding broken.

He nods. “Kind of.” But he doesn’t remove his hand, keeps playing with my hair.

I don’t know why I’m feeling brave all of a sudden but I am. “Well you spun the bottle and it stopped right at me. No mistake about it. And you got up and said it was stupid and left. Fox, we were good friends and you acted like kissing me was the worst thing on earth.”

His dark brows knit together but his eyes stay warm. “You remember that?”

“Fox. I’m a woman. I’m always going to remember when a boy rejects me, especially my best friend and especially at a young age.”

“But we were young. And I was pretty stupid back then.”

“You thought I was gross.”

He lets out a soft laugh. “I can promise you I did not think you were gross.” His hand then leaves my hair and trails down my arm to my hand. Sometimes Fox holds it and I know I shouldn’t think anything of it but every time he does I wonder if he realizes what it does to me. Then again, I’m starting to think he’s oblivious to absolutely everything.

“I didn’t kiss you,” he goes on, “not because I didn’t want to. I did.” He swallows, shrugs. “I just didn’t want our first kiss to be from spin the bottle.”

Hold up…what?

“What do you mean? Our first kiss?” I repeat, my pulse quickening.

“I don’t know, Del. Back then, I kind of assumed that we would end up together at some point. You know all through high school I had just been waiting to make my move and ask you out. At least figure out if you liked me or not. But then you started going out with that guy with the big ears, what was his name, Ryan McGee? And that’s when I realized that it was probably all in my head. You were just a friend. A sister, even. And I was just a brother to you.”

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

This is way too much to process.

Fox thought we’d end up together.

He actually liked me back in high school!

“You look shocked,” he says, raising a brow. “I thought it was pretty obvious.”

“Obvious?” I blurt out. “No. No it wasn’t.”

He lets go of my hand and shrugs with one shoulder. “It’s funny how life goes, isn’t it? It was probably for the best anyway. Could you have imagined us dating? Being a couple.”

Yes, fucking yes.


In my book , love is a devastating force of nature, a raw, primal element that threatens all who dare to indulge in its flames. It’s a wildfire that spreads and consumes until all that’s left is a charred heart surrounded by ash and bone. There’s no taming it, no fighting it back. No matter what you do, love will burn you to the ground. – Delilah

Hot Shot is the most emotional and angsty of the series as the author pulls out all the stops for the final North Ridge book.

The death of their mother affected each of the Nelson boys differently and shaped them into the men they are today. Fox is one messed up man, no doubt about it! He has lived his life driven by a guilt he should not bear, and he tries to compensate for it in everything he does. He has a dangerous job that allows him to protect people, but it could end his life at any given moment when he is out on the fire line. He is always angry, at times he is not sure life is worth living, and he pushes the envelope right to the very edge.

Delilah has been his constant companion, best friend, rock and support since they were 6 yrs old. Over the years, she fell in love with him but knows he doesn’t feel the same, so he is about the only one who doesn’t know it. Now his new girlfriend Julie is the first woman Fox seems to be contemplating something long term with, and it rocks Del’s world. Her friends and her mom try to encourage her to speak up before it is too late but she is afraid to destroy their friendship with an admission of unrequited feelings.

Julie sees what they don’t and forces Fox to face his feelings for Del head on. He loves her in his own way, but is he in love with her? He isn’t sure he knows what that means, but he knows how she affects him.

She was always something separate, the girl next door, a light that would always lead me out of the black. She was my saving grace and the one constant thing I had in my life, the one person who could turn things around.

After one alcohol-fueled but very hot encounter, they both have to face reality and decide how to move on. Fox is willing to admit he has some strong feelings for Del but he isn’t willing to call it love just yet. Friends with amazing benefits? Hell yes. Love? Well, he will have to get back to everyone on that. The question is if Del can live with that.

Remember that assessment of him being one messed up man? Those demons haunt him constantly, and his method of dealing with them is more like trying to cram them into a corner to be suppressed by any means necessary- and his coping mechanisms are going to start catching up to him soon.

“It’s like …in my head and my heart, there’s fire that I can’t control. It’s like nothing in this world, nothing that I’ve seen. The flames are black, sticky, and they rage and it’s just this twisting, churning mess inside and I can’t see straight , I can’t think straight and then, then… I’m with you Del and all of that goes away. The pain fades . You bring me peace. It doesn’t last but when I get it… it makes this life manageable. You just make me fucking happy, whatever being happy is.”

Del is happy that he is opening up to her a little, but she is still worried about so much. She can’t always be his shelter from the storm of emotions he hides, and she worries that it will catch up to him when he is on the job. She worries about what the future holds and whether she will ever have his heart in addition to his body. And when one more revelation rocks her world, she worries whether he will abandon her completely before the storm passes.

While one part of this story was expected, there was so much that wasn’t! I suspected what Del’s secret was going to be and seriously debated if I wanted to read another story in that trope. I love Ms. Halle’s books though and was pleasantly surprised by the way it was handled along with how Fox’s issues are resolved. Hot Shot is one heckuva emotional roller coaster, and it is a great wrap to the series. We get a wonderful epilogue that gives us a peek into the future of Del, Fox and the whole Nelson family too.

Meet Karina:
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

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