Smokin’ Hot Firemen Edited by Delilah Devlin

12th Jun 2013

Oh, firemen. The combination of their career heroics, regular gym attendance and, of course, their uniforms has long since made them the emergency service of choice for a significant amount of the heterosexual female population.

While policemen can be a bit too quick to point out the potential illegality of our more outrageous endeavours, and medics are willing to join in but not before harshing our buzz by telling us exactly the sort of long-term corporeal damage we may be invoking, the firemen of our fantasies are do-ers, getting on with having the kind of good time that only alpha males can ever bring about.

All he wants is to marry the love of his life whom he works and orgasms simultaneously with, goddamnit!Arkansas-based romantic fiction writer Delilah Devlin – who fans of both straight and LGBT romantic and erotic fiction may know from her prolific output – has now turned her hand to editing, collecting together seventeen short stories by women writers whose characters would like to do some very bad things with members of this particular emergency service, and also some very pleasant-seeming ones, this collection being very much based around sex and romance, rather than just sex.

The writing itself is for the most part fairly basic, owing more to the Black Lace and Mills & Boon series than the works of Anais Nin and Henry Miller.

This is not necessarily a bad thing – sometimes we want erotica to be fast to make its point, and sometimes we want it to be so formative and engaging that we remember it for the rest of our lives – but one that readers who dislike their erotica with a side of romantic cheese should be aware of.

Tropes such as the secretly sensitive alpha male making sweet, tender love to his partner, a kitten (and its owner) stuck in a tree, and other rescue fantasies all appear.

Also present are a range of protagonists’ with frankly incredible “only in America/ porn” names. Favourites – and the ones For Books’ Sake is sure to be naming all its pets after – are Chance Muldoon, lovelorn hero of Elle James’ Chasing Fire (all he wants is to marry the love of his life whom he works and orgasms simultaneously with, goddamnit!) and Knox Bennett, who shags the owner of that kitten in Adele DuBois’ Hook Me Up.

Altogether this collection is a fun read that can be dipped in and out of as the mood takes but one that definitely puts an emphasis on the more romantic side of sex rather than the physical.

It may not be full of the kind of fiction that readers will return to time and time again, and it’s certainly not challenging, but for those of us who like a quick, trashy read, not to mention a fireman, it’s not a bad buy at all.

Smokin’ Hot Firemen will is published in August by Cleis Press.