Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…
Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.
Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
We all know where we were on the morning of September 11th, 2001 when the world as we know it altered beyond comprehension. I was three thousand miles away, watching the live news coverage, horrified as the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. Less than a year earlier, I sat on a bench in the plaza at WTC with my youngest daughter, eating hot dogs from a street vendor and marveling at the energy vibrating through the air.
Two months post 9/11 I was back in the city, this time with my oldest daughter. By then, much work had been done at the WTC site, but no amount of debris clearing could erase the overwhelming sense of sadness that had settled over the city. Healing had begun, but the wound was still raw, and far from being scabbed over. We visited the site to pay our respects to those who’d lost their lives there, and where once I had been moved by the energy of commerce surrounding me, I felt as if a black hole had opened up and swallowed everything good that had once occupied the space.
Hot Heads takes place ten years post 9/11, but Griff Muir, a New York City firefighter, is still dealing with the emotional trauma of that day. Through Griff’s eyes, we experience the horror of the event, and the day-to-day struggle to deal with the emotional upheaval so many brave first responders went through.
It’s human nature, following a tragic event, to reassess what’s important in our lives. Brave enough to risk his life amid collapsing skyscrapers, Griff struggles with a personal truth that threatens to bring down everything he holds dear, and he’d rather run into a burning building than admit he’s in love with Dante, his best friend and a fellow firefighter.
Griff can only stand by and watch as Dante digs himself deeper and deeper into financial trouble. When Dante finally admits he needs Griff’s help, the solution he’s come up with is Griff’s private dream and a public nightmare that might destroy them both if Griff can’t find a way out.
Extremely well written, the emotions will tug at your heart, and you’ll want to keep a fire extinguisher handy because the sex scenes are guaranteed to light your fire.
Damon Suede takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster and reminds us that bravery and heroism aren’t allocated according to sexual orientation, and that sometimes, loving might be the bravest thing of all.