Cover Image: The Firefighter's Dilemma

The Firefighter's Dilemma

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My first firefighter romance coupled with the first time I have read anything by Mariah Ankenman, I can honestly say she has a new fan! Even though this is a standalone, it throws back to the previous two books and hints that whatever is between Diaz and Ward has been brewing for awhile. For that reason, I can't wait to go back and start from the beginning!

Determined to always be the best, the brightest, and the fastest, Stephanie Diaz is a force amongst men! As one of the only two female firefighters at Station 42, she holds her own and is fixated on making a name for herself. Despite an almost career-destroying setback at her prior station, Diaz has the respect of the fellow members of her team, including Ward who can take her insults, teasing, and laughs as well gives them. Competitive to a fault, Diaz isn’t surprised when she finds out the Chief has selected her and Ward to participate in a reality competition for first responders. She is; however, shocked to find out there is a Lieutenant position open with a clear track to becoming a Chief. Knowing Ward wants to become Chief just as bad as she does, she is dead-set to win the competition and prove she is the best person for the job. So what if her mind has been misfiring lately when Ward is around. As long as she can keep her distance and her head in the game she’s safe - until she finds out she will be sharing a cabin with Ward for two solid weeks. Still, she is sure she can stay focused as long as Ward never discovers her growing attraction towards him. Trouble is, Ward has had a crush on Diaz for four years. The idea of being in close quarters and not letting his desire for her slip through is going to be impossible. He is convinced he can handle the situation until he notices the heat in her eyes when she looks at him. The question is, who will break first?

What I like about it: I always love good banter in a book and this one is no exception. The ribbing between Ward and Diaz is hilarious. The moments Ward turns up the charm are sizzling hot and Diaz constantly putting out those little fires (pun intended) is what made the interactions absolutely delightful. They just played off each other so well but to learn how much deeper the feelings go, especially for Ward, just makes those scenes that much stronger. 

Peeking at the sweltering moments of the story - I would love to say something cheesy like “With a firefighter story, of course they brought the heat” but even I have to roll my eyes at that. I will just say Mariah knew what she was doing when she built up (as in escalated) each moment with Diaz and Ward. It was sweet, it was passionate, it was hot!

Back to Diaz, I am so glad Mariah doubled down on how difficult it is, especially for women - let along a woman of color, to make it in a male dominated field. The double standards Diaz was subjected to, how much harder and better she had to be at everything, and how alone she felt with that plight because her male counterparts would never understand that struggle. 

For that reason alone, I absolutely loved how Diaz was written. Her strengths were not her weaknesses. She owned who she was and thrived on the criticism of others. She didn’t allow her determination and grit to be overshadowed. She knew her worth, her capabilities, and anyone who couldn't see it was of no use to her. 

For Ward, there were so many emotions behind him that you just wanted to coddle his character. This is why I applaud Mariah. I love it when an author writes a heartbreak so earth shattering that it yanks at your empathy strings, pulling up memories of your own past (or the emotional connection of friends who you have nurtured through a heartbreak) and makes you want to reach through the pages and console the character.

Without hesitation, I have already added the first two stories to my TBR stack! I can't wait to go back to the beginning and enjoy the world that Mariah has created. If she had this much heart in her third book, I can only imagine what is waiting for me in her first two!
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The Firefighter's Dilemma is the third book in the Mile High Firefighters series by Mariah Ankenman and is currently scheduled for release on February 27 2023. Each book in the series can be read on its own.

Firefighter Stephanie Díaz won’t let anyone stop her from becoming the youngest female fire chief in Denver. Not the jerks who’d like to see an ambitious Latine woman admit defeat. Not the ultra-bro firefighters she has to work with. And definitely not her ridiculously hot and often infuriating, fellow firefighter Eli Ward. Now Stephanie has the chance to prove to everyone that she’s got what it takes…but there’s one helluva catch. The Battle of the First Responders is a live, balls-out competition in the secluded Rockies and Stephanie has been selected—along with Ward as her partner. On the line are their reputations, a whole lot of cash…and the promotion they’ve been fighting for. Teaming up is the perfect chance to finally settle their never ending one-upmanship, but it also exposes the smoldering attraction they’ve held at bay. Now their days are fueled by a high-stakes, adrenaline-fueled competition. Their nights are filled with sizzling deep kisses that steal her breath away. But this sexy little fling is about to set off a five-alarm blaze she can’t control.

The Firefighter's Dilemma is a great friends/coworker to more romance. I love that neither ever expected to come together, and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters (well getting to know them better since I have read some related books) and see them figure things out. Diaz is a favorite of mine- I love her strength and her vulnerable, caring side. Ward is fun and alot more self aware than most, and a generally great guy. I loved the banter and comradery between them- even when thing were not going according to plan. I thought the fact that the author can make me interested in the stories of even the secondary, troublemaking characters is a great skill and they use it in the very best way. I enjoyed the read and loved the balance of fun, humor, suspense and some serious introspective moments for both the main characters was spot on. 

The Firefighter's Dilemma is yet another fun and engaging read from Ankenman.
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Thank you Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  This is a cute Rom-Com. with a very predictable outcome.  The novel I found to be boring for the first half and then it picked up. It is always enjoyable to read about hunky firefighters, what could be bad. The plot was a realty show with stunts to be won and how all the contestants handled it.
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The Firefighters Dilemma is an amusing, flirtatious and cute love story featuring two firefighters, Stephanie and Eli. Who are friends who constantly bicker with each other. 

But Eli has a secret, he's been in love with Stephanie for years. Yet, Stephanie has been burnt in the past and as a woman in a male dominated world. She has to work twice has hard to get any where and doesn't feel dating a co-worker is a good move.

However, when the pair are selected to take part in a reality show for charity the sparks fly, especially as they end up sharing a cabin together.

And with a delicious combination of sweetness, heat and fun. The Firefighters Dilemma was an enjoyable and engaging read. That I'd happily recommend to others.
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Fun and witty, The Firefighter’s Dilemma was a great read! A unique premise sets the stage for a really interesting and fresh story which I devoured in one sitting. I adored the complexity of Stephanie and Eli’s relationship and I enjoyed the authenticity of their character development. Don’t miss this one!
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Steli for the win!

Stephanie and Eli are selected to represent firefighters in a First Responders reality show and contest.  As co-workers, they've always worked well together, though always-in-control Stephanie never let Eli's crush take root.  Until they're competing as a team in the wilderness, where they're always on camera except when they're tucked away in their shared cabin.  

At times I thought Stephanie was unbearably arrogant, but it's probably more that a dominant, controlling woman paired with a soft, squishy cinnamon roll just isn't my cup of tea.  The reality show and competition part was a lot of fun to read, and I enjoyed getting to know Eli's family, especially his brothers.  

The writing is sparkling and the characters are well-developed.  All the fun and games lead to a solid HEA, courtesy of Chief Jeffords.  There's plenty of steam on the page, and lots of respect for first responders of all kinds.  It's a delightful read, especially for those who like alpha females.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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A great read, the story of Diaz and Ward. Will having to spend two.seems in close proximity force them to admit their designs for each other. I liked how it was told from both points of view and was rooting for them to end up together.
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3.5 stars
Stephanie Diaz and Eli Ward work together as firefighters at the same fire station.  Both are ambitious and want to become Fire Chief.  When their boss volunteers them for a first responder reality web show, he lets them know that their performance on this show might determine who will get the promotion.  Overall, this was enjoyable read.  I really loved Eli, he was a sweet character who forced himself to ignore his four year crush on Stephanie, since she made it clear that she doesn’t date coworkers.  The show is being filmed on a ranch and they, of course, have to share a cabin, which is a nice forced proximity trope (they do have separate bedrooms) and it is really difficult for Eli to ignore his feelings.  I think what kept this from being a five star read for me was the fact that they kept bring up that whoever did better on the show would get the promotion (Seriously, it was like every other page).  Do you really want your fire department, or other first responders deciding promotions based on winning a contest on a web show, or on actual merit?  That aspect of the book drove me nuts, and every time they brought it up, I rolled my eyes.  Other than that aspect of the book, I really enjoyed this installment of this series.  I received an arc of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
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This story had a great premise, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m not a big fan of third person 

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I read and absolutely loved the two previous books in this series. And this one is even better.

Ward and Diaz work together at the fire station. When they are forced together by a work related outing the spark between them ignites into the one fire they can’t extinguish. 

I’d say the one thing I liked less about the book was that some information is repeated often. Yes, I know Diaz had it rough as a woman of color in a man dominated world, the book isn’t long enough for me to forget. I don’t need to be told half a dozen times.

It is the perfect length for a romance novel. The plot is fun and original. I love their cute banter. This is my go to author for contemporary romance. 

Read it, you won’t regret it.
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This was a sweet and quick read. I loved the characters and, as always, Mariah Ankenman writes great tension and spice.
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Funny, witty and sweet. Diaz and Ward had been working together as a firefighters, are great friends and banter a lot. Now they are thrown together into a reality show for two weeks. Can they fight their attraction or will they surrender to it even if they can’t be together?
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The Firefighter’s Dilemma was a totally fun book to read and relax with.  The story entertained me so well that I read it in one day.
Main characters, Stephanie and Eli, have been coworkers as firefighters for 4 years.  They know they can’t have feelings for each other and continue working at the same Fire Station.  Then their chief decides to send them on a reality show together with the warning that he will decide who gets the promotion they both are vying for.
This the first book I have read written by author Mariah Ankenman.  I enjoyed her writing style…..the story flow was solid, characters were awesome, humorous moments were great and the steamy parts were certainly hot.  I am so looking forward to reading more books written by her.  In fact, I am going to read the previous books in this series as soon as I can!
I really liked this book!
If you are in the mood for a sweet, hot romance read… need to read The Firefighter’s Dilemman.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing and author, Mariah Ankenman, for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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I love game shows or any type of reality show with challenges. My all time favorite tv show is MTV’s the Challenge so I was excited to read this book given the description. Stephanie and Eli are firefighters in Colorado and we’re chosen by their chief to compete in a two week long first responders competition. The winning team would get money donated to a charity of their choice. 

Stephanie and Eli have worked together for years and are good friends. Eli has had a crush on Stephanie for the 4 years they’ve worked together but knows she doesn’t date coworkers so they are just friends. However once the two are stuck together in a cabin and need to rely on each other in more ways feelings start to change. 

I loved these two together. They are both dedicated to their jobs and helping others while caring about each other more deeply than they recognized. 

Thank you @netgalley and @mariahankenman for the ARC! 
Release Date: February 27, 2023
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
🔥 Scene: cave
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Stephanie is a firefighter and she wants promotion, to bad there is one more person who wants promotion.
She and Eli are going to participate in Battle of First responders, and then decision will be made. Being together brings the attraction both of them always hiding. What will happen when competition ends and only one can be a winner.
Great storyline, enjoyed a lot.
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I finally started to read Mariah Ankenman’s books (I’ve followed her in Instagram forever), and I devoured the Mile High Firefighters series in just a couple days - all of these books are incredible (necessary to read together)! While I wish now that I started reading her sooner, I’m glad I waited until I had this particular book in my hands, because it is just absolutely perfect!! The Firefighter’s Dilemma is one of those super special books that doesn’t come around very often.

We meet Stephanie Diaz, kick butt female firefighter, and Eli Ward, in the two previous books in the series, and see their bickering and great banter. We can see the lead-up and the sort of friendly enemies to lovers, workplace romance getting set up for this book. What we don’t see coming is how the relationship could get the nudge in the right direction. Enter book three - and the chief dangling the carrot of a promotion they both desperately want and deserve, but that they have to compete for by entering a reality TV show, “Battle of the First Responders,” and whoever of the pair does best, gets all the glory.

This book gets deeper than the others in the series, and it’s just so darn good! They go through not just the physical challenges of the show, but they dig deep in their emotions and get even closer and figure out a whole lot. I highly recommend this author, this book, and this whole series. So excellent! Perfection!

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC (Entangled: Amara), and this is my honest feedback.
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Female firefighters are uncommon and Stephanie Diaz is determined to be the youngest female chief one day. In order to get there she has to work harder than her male colleagues, she has already been burnt because of her gender at her last station and the last thing she needs is an inconvenient attraction to her colleague and friend Eli Ward. I enjoyed the First Responders Competition and the growing feelings between Diaz and Ward.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Thank you @entangled_publishing for a copy of this book. I have enjoyed this series so far and this one has such a great premise. I love the banter between Eli and Stephanie and how well they worked together. Their chemistry was great and I liked the forced proximity in a remote cabin. I enjoyed seeing the other characters from the previous books making an appearance too.
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A very short and cute rom com about two firefighters finally admitting they are in love and getting it on in a reality competition between first responders. Loved it. 
3 stars.
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This was cute and quick read that feature all my favourite things a romance novel could have! The characters were sweet, the plot was easy to follow, and overall I loved the dynamic of the book with the characters. This can easily be read as a standalone which is a big bonus and the opposites attract trope made this book much more fun to read! Definitely a no brainer type read and for anyone who's looking for a little bit of fluff/flirty fun this is a great book for it!

Thank you NetGalley for an eArc of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
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