Member Reviews

[arc review]
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Wildfire releases October 3, 2023

<i>“I have a habit of leaving a path of destruction in my wake, both literally and metaphorically.”
“Like a wildfire.”</I>

Russ and Aurora are both spending the summer working as camp councellors at Honey Acres to escape their home lives, but are quickly shocked to find each other there after sharing a one-night stand together the previous night at the farewell party hosted by the UCMH hockey team.

Lemme tell ya, as someone with daddy issues very similar to Russ’, reading a book with two main characters who are also dealing with daddy issues was rough. Thank god for the cute golden retriever puppies who carried the entire book.

I quickly realized I had only read the indie version of Icebreaker and had to reassess Lola being the new Sabrina…
I was super confused why this had to start out with Aurora and Ryan being together, who’ve apparently been in a friends with benefit situation for months… deja vu anyone?! It’s smelling like a Stassie 2.0
Why does it feel icky to me that Aurora had a one-night stand with Russ when she was in the arms of Ryan just hours earlier? I wish she was just introduced as a new single character instead of having ties to anyone else. Like, I’ve already established Ryan as being someone with Stassie, and then Olivia. I can’t make these new character attachments with people who’ve already been coupled up.

Anyways, moving on.

I’ll unashamedly say it: I don’t think pairing together two young adults with daddy issues to be romantic was a smart move.
Sorry, but it’s gonna take more than one honest conversation with your dad while he’s vulnerable in a hospital bed and coming back to your childhood camp to feel wanted and valued in order to “break the cycle.”
You need THERAPY. These happened so early on in the story too, like the first third if I remember correctly. Where’s the conflict??

This summer was supposed to be a self-discovery/self-development period for Aurora, but all I got was her same old habits and desperately seeking attention and validation.
The audacity for her to be disappointed that Russ “disappeared” and left camp overnight for a family emergency was outrageous. She was acting like he personally wronged her. An individual is allowed to have personal things to which you are not automatically entitled to know.
Aurora: <I>“It’s not about me, you’re the one who clearly has stuff going on.”</I> yet, you sure are making it about you though!! How many times during that dialogue did she have to correct herself by saying Russ didn’t tell <I>her</I>—oh sorry—<b>them</b>.
Aurora: <I>“You’re allowed to have boundaries and things you keep for yourself.”</I> okay, again, why are you so pressed that he left camp then? She kept saying one thing but acted in a way that would contradict it. Throughout the whole book I got these feelings from Aurora where she’d keep forcing Russ to tell her things about his family when he clearly wasn’t ready, which wasn’t fair.
Aurora: <I>“I thought about flirting with Clay last night just to feel wanted, how weird is that?”</I> + <I>“I woke up this morning and told myself to forget Russ Callaghan.”</I> ARE YOU OKAY? IT’S BEEN LESS THAN 24 HOURS.

<i>“You ever feel like you’ve made something your entire personality?”</I> hmmm you don’t say?? Aurora literally made having daddy issues her entire personality. It was so painful. Who is she as a person outside of Russ or Emilia or anyone else? I wouldn’t know!!

I’m also so tired of seeing other readers describe Russ as shy when this quote exists:
<i>“People mistake me being quiet for being shy, but I’m not shy. I don’t even think I’m that quiet, it just looks that way because of how loud everyone else is. I prefer to sit and listen than be at the center of everything.”</I>

The writing in Wildfire was super clunky at times like I had a mouth full of marbles. I’m hoping that a lot of the typos and sentence structures are ironed out in the final copy.

After <u>loving</u> Icebreaker, I’m surprised that there wasn’t the same spark here.
Maybe it was the setting, or maybe it was the characters. Perhaps it was a combination of the two.
I briefly got the found family feeling I adored during the opening chapters with the rest of the team, but other than that, I really struggled to form a deep attachment.
There was less of the steamy romance due to the no fraternization rule, but I don’t even think that was the issue.
This lacked that emotional depth combined with the charm, witty banter, and everything else under the sun we got to experience in Icebreaker that made the page length feel worthwhile.

The character resolutions with their respective families felt too easily earned with an epilogue that tied on an extra shiny bow. I’m just not convinced.

It also kinda sucks that the epilogue took away some of the anticipation for Henry’s book by giving away information set so far into the future.

Was this review helpful?

I liked this more than Icebreaker. Aurora was a way more flawed, believable character, she had insecurities but also stood her ground. Loved her snarkiness too. Their relationship was instant attraction but not instant love and I liked that she was the more experienced one in most ways. The summer camp setting was so fun and cute!

Was this review helpful?

I honestly enjoyed this more than Ice Breaker. The forced proximity and "forbidden romance" with just the right amount of angst was *chefs kiss* Russ is such a gentleman <3 We love a shy MMC. I loved the found family and the summer cabin vibes. Hannah Grace does it again!

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely adored this book. The author has created to very real, relatable and loveable characters.
Once again, even the side characters stole the show. I missed the hockey friends. But the camp friends slapped.
Getting to experience camp life through this book was so fun. I loved it as a setting and got serious fomo lol.
I love the way the relationship develops, there’s no chance of a third act breakup because they’re a real couple, working together and I love that.
And the spice. And the “forbidden” aspect. It created for a fun, tension filled read.
Russ is just so freaken adorable. We love a soft boy faking confidence ya know
The epilogue was such a good little wrap up too. So cute.

Was this review helpful?

I was so surprised with how much I enjoyed Icebreaker, that I had to read this book too. I’m so happy I did!

Forbidden romance, some miss communication, some self deprivation. Many issues for our MMC and FMC to work through.

While I did fins this dragged a bit, it was worth it. A bit part of that is that I am just impatient and get annoyed at people who don’t communicate. 😅

I don’t want to go into to much detail because I don’t want to spoil it.

I did like the change of scenery. Having this take place mostly at a camp was fun and different which made the story feel less repetitive.

Over all a decent read

Was this review helpful?

💭 𝕄𝕪 𝕋𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕤:

🏒 I think this book is better read as a series but sometimes I like to try these as a standalones. If you are thinking of reading this and haven't read Icebreaker yet, I'd recommend starting with that one. It's fine as a standalone but I think I would have appreciated it more with Icebreaker as a pre-req.

🥾 The family dynamics in this book were deep and complicated. It added a lot of layers to the book and made Russ and Aurora more relatable. The Summer Camp setting was so fun and made me want to go to one myself.

🌶️ It was spicy but nothing about the spice stood out to me as too much.

Was this review helpful?

I have to give it to this author, I've never been uno reversed by a book before, but here we are.

Wildfire was a sweet romance. There definitely were spicy moments (more than I thought there would be given that it's being traditionally published, but I was happy to see it), but I liked the wholesomeness of their love. Like, bless this couple who chose to communicate properly with each other and actually followed through.

Both Russ and Aurora have it rough for different reasons, but daddy issues don't fully capture the nuances. I appreciated how their issues were introduced - it wasn't heavy-handed and it didn't feel repetitive. Instead, it felt like I was truly getting to know the characters and delving deeper into how they think and how they react to things, as well as how these key relationships in their life have left them with a deficit in some areas.

The camp setting was cute - I didn't expect to enjoy that as much as I did, but it was genuinely a good time. It provided a really relaxed setting for Russ and Aurora to get to know each other, and I adored their strong friendships with the other camp counsellors and how they built their own little crew. Everything felt so natural, and the dogs were also a fantastic addition.

The end almost had me raging, but the author proved me wrong, and I'd never been so relieved to be proven wrong before. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and while certain things are keeping me from reading book one, I might come back to this author one day because of this book.

Rep: Secondary sapphic character

TW: sexual content, gambling addiction, toxic relationship, emotional abuse, alcohol; mentions car accident

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Pacing: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

eARC gifted via NetGalley by Atria Books via Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

First of all, I was grinning the entire book. I loved both Russ and Aurora and their character development. It was so cute, swoon-worthy & spicy. Overall, a fun read! I actually started listening to the audio for the first book, Icebreaker, while I was reading it because I didn’t want to miss out on any of the backstory.

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Canada for this Advance Reader Copy. All opinions are my own.

The review will be posted on October 3, 2023 (Date of publication).

Was this review helpful?

Russ and Aurora are both students at Maple Hill where they cross paths at an end of the academic year party where a drinking game leads to a passionate one-night stand. Aurora is never one to overstay her welcome and slips away before Russ can ask her her full name. The first day of summer camp is a shock when they both learn they are counsellors. The camp has strict 'no fraternizing' rules, but Aurora has never been one to follow the rules and Russ knows breaking the rules will have him sent back to Maple Hills before the summer is over.

The author states that the series should be read in order and are not stand-alones due to information revealed about certain characters in ICEBREAKER; however, I had very vague recollections of what happened in ICEBREAKER and had no issue reading WILDFIRE. There are several vague mentions of what happened in ICEBREAKER but I did not find it detracted from the overall story to have not remembered.

That being said, I really enjoyed WILDFIRE a lot more than I enjoyed ICEBREAKER despite having given them the same rating of 4 stars. ICEBREAKER had too many characters being introduced to fully grasp who each character was, nor for me to care or even remember what happened to them. This is what set WILDFIRE apart for me. There are way fewer characters that are central to this story and any new characters are introduced in an organic way with relevance to their presence immediately known and carried throughout.

I absolutely loved the summer camp setting, making the romance out to be fun and tense with a bit of a 'high stakes' aspect. The three dogs were adorable and a great addition to the summer camp vibe with their golden retriever energy.

Aurora and Russ were two wholly adorable characters. Each has a backstory that is complicated with difficult family dynamics that they work through over the course of the novel, learning to navigate their issues in a healthy way. I thought it to be artfully done to have Aurora and Russ deal with their family issues in contrasting ways. It was nice to see them open up to the other, forming a deeper connection. I really enjoyed the open communication shared between the two characters and how supportive they were of one another.

Let it be said that Hannah Grace is talented at writing a spicy romance with several spicy scenes scattered throughout. I adore how the importance and value of seeking consent is emphasized within Hannah's character's relationships. I also loved that Hannah ensures that safe sex practices are known and performed as well. It's so important for a younger audience and is very well done. Aurora and Russ share a slow burn progression as their friendship develops over the course of the summer. The chemistry, mutual attraction, and passion between the two is palpable and expertly done.

I really enjoyed the epilogue, sealing off Russ and Aurora's story with a bow. Hannah did a great job with WILDFIRE, creating characters who feel authentic and relatable with a tangible connection, whilst simultaneously navigating through difficult family dynamics and managing to keep it lighthearted all the same.

<i>I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Atria Books, of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review! All opinions shared are my own.</i>

Was this review helpful?

I came across the teaser for this book on TikTok and wanted to see if I could get my hands on it.

The spice level was good for what it intended to be (read tropes), I loved the supporting characters as well.

Hannah Grace wrote a wonderful story and I really loved the characters and all the baggage they carried, it may them seem more real. The book went through ups and downs as any regular relationship will which again added to the realness of it.

I enjoyed the theme of this book, the summer camp setting had me hooked. I haven't come across many books with this type of story and really enjoyed it.

I think if you give this book a good chance and remove the hype from the Icebreaker you will really like this book. I opened it with no expectations and I thought it was very cute and fluffy. Perfect easy read if you need one.

Was this review helpful?


Russ Callaghan is a dream, Aurora is so strong-willed and the camp setting was incredible! Hannah Grace has done it again with the found family trope and I’m living for it!

I absolutely loved reading Aurora and Russ’s forbidden relationship evolve while being camp counsellors during summer break especially knowing that they were both going back to Maple Hills in the end. Aurora really brought out a side of Russ that he needed to be shown. They both had some heavy insecurities and I think them finding common ground through those really helped form their bond. There were some hard topics that were well communicated and covered which was refreshing and the built trust that was formed was so heartwarming. Also welcoming back previous beloved characters from Icebreaker was really just the cherry on top of Wildfire.

This book seemed a bit slower paced and I found only had a fraction of the spice as Icebreaker which is okay considering I was obsessing over how perfect Russ Callaghan is. I do wish the epilogue wasn’t such a jump in the future and I hope in the final released edition that there will be a date given as to how far in advance the epilogue was as I was a bit confused while reading it.

Overall I’d highly suggest reading Wildfire as it was a lighthearted forbidden summer romance turned soulmates. Hannah Grace really has a way with words and she creates some of the most incredible characters I’ve read about! Can’t wait for Henry’s book! Thank you so much to Netgalley & Hannah Grace to giving me the opportunity to read this ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Following her smash debut, Icebreaker, Hannah Grace has once again delivered a hit. Wildfire was such a entertaining read and Russ & Aurora surpassed my expectations. I really enjoyed that Russ and Aurora had deep issues that they navigated throughout the entirety of the book. It made them more complex characters than surface level and it makes you really connect with them. All I have to say is, if you got daddy issues this book may hit too close to home.

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for this ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Was this a whole cringe fest? Oh, 100%. Did I spend the whole time wondering why everyone had Daddy Issues? Yup. Did I really enjoy this read? Also, yes.

Was this review helpful?

I requested access to this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this! As a person who spent a lot of time at (a very budget friendly version of) summer camp, both as a camper and a camp counsellor, the setting of this book made me super nostalgic. We follow Russ and Aurora, Maples Hills students who have hooked up prior to camp and are now feeling tension of having to work together while being wildly attracted to one another, but unable to act on those feelings because they are co-workers caring for children.

The spice in these is great! I love how sex positive Grace's characters are. We have sexually experienced women protagonists, no shame put on hook up culture, and generous man protagonists.

What a perfect summer read! I'm so excited to get another installment in this Maple Hills world.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada + Netgalley for this ARC!

This is my first ever ARC DNF (@60%) and I would like to blame it on me being a voracious mood and seasonal reader. This is a GOOD book, but with fall coming, I just can’t be in a summer camp mood anymore. I tried to push through. That being said…

I absolutely adored the characters. It’s very refreshing to have two very REAL characters with complex issues. Having Russ and Aurora living with and navigating their issues together really helped bring them to life for me. Let’s face is, real people aren’t *ever* how they’re portrayed in romance books.

Next: a summer camp setting, I LOVED. Forced proximity is one of my favorites. As a former summer camp kid, this gave me tons and tons of nostalgia and as an adult looking back, I’m thinking about my counselors much differently now (in a good, hilarious way. Oh, all the things I didn’t notice as a naive child…)

Overall, an amazing book with beautifully written characters and realistic plot line. I just wish I had been in the mood to finish it before fall rolled around.

Was this review helpful?

Wildfire by Hannah Grace was such a fun and cute read!
The story follows Russ and Aurora who end up working at a summer camp together the night after their one night stand. Not only was the relationship authentic and wholesome, but the characters were incredibly fleshed out. Each had very real familial issues that they dealt with in their own ways and it brought a whole other level and dynamic to your typical romance book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the setting, characters, and themes that this book focussed on and believe it was an exceptional follow to a great debut novel.

Was this review helpful?

Wildfire is a dual POV story that follows our two main characters, Aurora Roberts and Russ Callaghan. After their one-night stand at a college party, they find out that they are both working as counselors at the same overnight summer camp and will spend the next 2 months together. We get to follow along as their relationship grows over those 2 months in this fun summer camp romance.

This is a slight continuation of Icebreaker by Hannah Grace, it is centred around different characters. There are some things and side characters you won't know the full story about but it will either get explained or some context will be provided. If you don't mind being a little confused and if you were struggling with Icebreaker I would give this one a try. I did not read Icebreaker first but now that I know Hannah Grace's writing style, it is making me want to read Icebreaker whereas before I was a little hesitant because I don't usually read romances.

That being said, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I do think if they could have, they should have released this earlier, it would have been a perfect summer romance read. However, it was still a fun and cute romance novel that wasn't 80% smut and 20% character development; that was not the case with this book. The main focus of the book was the characters dealing with their own family problems and the impact that had on their own self-image and self-worth. It was about them treating each other the way they never thought they deserved to be treated and helping each other heal.

The author did a good job of writing well-developed characters and showing their growth. Giving them good and open communication with each other and setting the example of healthy relationships. As time goes on, I've noticed media switching over from the sort of toxic and slightly territorial relationships to them being more equal and fair with each other.

I did not give this five stars though because I felt as though it was a bit long and could have been cut shorter. Also, some of the conflicts that arose in the book felt like they were just there to have that slight tension in the moment but then got forgiven or blown over in a page or two. Not saying that all relationships are conflict-free, I feel like it would have been better to either make it not so easily forgiven by the person and if you are to make it be a longer conversation; or just don't have it in there at all.

The next section contains slight spoilers, nothing is explicitly said or quoted but if you want to go in completely blind, skip this next part

One more thing I want to add to this very long review is that I really liked the epilogue she added. It adds a lot of closure to the character's story and doesn't just leave it up and open in the air for assumptions. It provides an ending that doesn't need to be dragged out across multiple books, just simple and quick that tells you not everything but enough to know that they are living a good life.

Was this review helpful?

Based on the epilogue, Henry’s book may be next.

This was a disappointment. The only reason it’s 3 stars and not 2 is because of the animals. I didn’t like Aurora, she was bratty, entitled, definition-of-a-rich-kid and she annoyed me. I liked Russ maybe 60% of the time and the other, eh. I skimmed a lot from 45-75% because, boredom. Like Icebreaker, this one was full of tropes that didn’t fit but are tending on social media.

Was this review helpful?

"If we get caught in the rain, we'll just enjoy the rainbow."

Russ and Aurora met at a party and spend the night together. BUT they never expect to spend their vacation together at a summer camp being counselor. They became friend than lover. But what will they be after the camp?
I liked the setting of the story in the summer camp and the fact that the characters take the time to talk and confide in each other.
I expected more drama or twist, but Aurora and Russ take the time to SPEAK to each other, even if they’re different. Communication is the key :)
A cute story with summer vibes for fall.

Was this review helpful?

this review looks better on my blog with proper formating :(

I hope this gets edited a few more times before the release in October.

Spoilers ahead?

Wildfire is the second book in the Maple Hills series, which takes place the summer following book one, Icebreaker. This is a hockey romance series, which will most likely feature all the men on the Maple Hills Titan hockey team. Although, I wouldn't categorize this one as a Sports Romance, since the entire book takes place at summer camp.

Russ, our male main character, just recently moved to the house after Nathan left. The book practically starts off with one of their parties (there's a really fun Jenga game they play; I thought that was such a cool way to play it), and yes of course our FMC, Aurora, is there. I'll be honest, the beginning closely mirrors Icebreaker's, where the FMC introduces us to her physical relationship with Ryan Rothwell. Assuming Hannah Grace is going to write a book on every guy on the Hockey Team, I'm hoping they won't all start like this!

The first 20% wasn't bad, our main characters instantly connected but Aurora (Rory) left him without saying a word because of a miscommunication of sorts, neither of them expected to see each other again but destiny had other plans for them when they both end up being camp counselors at Honey Acres. It was great until their first hookup, then it kind of fell off from there, 23% - 52% of the book was agony, it was slow and boring... not much was happening, and I just could not get through it; a lot of it was about the camp life, and back-to-back miscommunications until they really had that talk. I contemplated DNFing, but it was quickly saved when Russ asked her on a 'not date' to 'their spot'- because of course there's no fraternizing at camp (which is the only real 'problem' in the book' thus far, there's barely any friction from outside like the whole Aaron situation in Icebreaker, nothing tense or OMG! Moments… it's just bland.) Around 56% is where they 'get together' - they start seeing each other more often, their relationship really only starts from this point on.

Russ is super sweet, reserved, and super shy, he's adorable, but he's no Nathan Hawkins (I felt more heartwrenching things with Nathy poo, Russ' character falls a bit short). Russ has financial hardships resulting from his father's gambling addiction. The pressure intensifies as his father repeatedly solicits money, subjecting Russ to verbal abuse when he declines. He grapples with frustration over his mother's constant excuses for his father's behavior. Adding to his concerns is his brother's insistence that he prioritize family time, even though his brother is the one touring with his band. There was one part where he wasn't sure he wanted to be with Aurora, because of how famous her family is, and 'being in the spotlight' is scary; he wants to live a 'lowkey' life. I didn't really like Aurora, she is boisterous and outgoing, and her constant 'daddy issues' talk got annoying to the point where it's her entire personality… It was almost too much. Rory bears the heavy burden of her mother's unending complaints and manipulative guilt trips that emerged after her parent's divorce. Simultaneously, her father has chosen to distance himself from her existence, adding to her struggles. He's so rude, and selfish and seems to not care about her; only his newfound family's appearance for his/their 'online persona'. She's also entangled in a strained relationship with her older sister, who lives abroad. She kind of redeems herself when she stands up to her dad, near the end.

But don't get me wrong, Russ and Rory's chemistry is really great, and their personalities kind of complement each other; they're both very similar and awkward at times. It's cute. But I didn't really connect with them like I did with Anastasia and Nathan in Icebreaker. I'll be honest, the characters in this book felt so 2D with slight progression/development throughout the entire 400 pages. I mean it wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I hoped for. At least Russ' dad had good progression? I'd say Icebreaker was way better with main character development than this one. The story is basically all about their daddy issues and them trying to deal with their conflicting feelings for their fathers and families. To me, the story….is barely there, it was bland and boring, and nothing exceptionally exciting. We have our two main characters with daddy issues who fall in love at summer camp- that's the entire story.

And God. I need to rant about some of the super annoying little things.

For example, the FMC calling our MMC 'pretty;' we heard Anastasia call Nathan PRETTY at least 1000 times in Icebreaker. Not me wanting to tell the author to 'please expand your vocabulary a little', since pretty is the only descriptive word used. Perhaps; handsome, attractive, easy on the eyes, fine-looking, good-looking, gorgeous, majestic, hot, alluring, or charming, literally anything other than the word 'pretty' PLEASE.

pics for the quotes on my blog

"God, he's pretty"

"Cool and calm. Don’t get distracted by how pretty he is."

or even when describing HIS PENIS.

"You have a really pretty dick, y'know," she says, pushing herself onto her forearms. "It's kind of visually perfect."
I just rubbed against this women until she came and I can feel myself blushing because she called my penis attractive.”"

And with this quote I just realized the spelling mistake; "I just rubbed against this women..."- it should be woman. Anyways, obviously, this is an ARC and quotes are subject to change; which I'm hoping will change, like I'm really desperately hoping this gets edited more. Or condensed (prob won't tho), it was way too long for no reason, with a lot of filler camp interactions.

And why? WHY is the only tension in their newfound relationship at the 90% mark? Rory absentmindedly answers his phone while he's in the shower, and it's about his dad's rehab/story progression. He gets mad at her because he wasn't ready to tell her/didn't get the choice to even tell her, so he shuts down and says, "Just go Aurora, please." But it's quickly resolved when tells him she will force herself into his truck ensuring they have a four-hour drive to address their issues on the way back to Maple Hills-of course, that doesn't happen as the conversation quickly takes a turn-they manage to communicate everything that needs to be said within a brief span of time, right there in his cabin.

Also, OMG the scene when someone flooded the toilet, WHY WAS THIS A THING??... it lasted far too long for my liking.

Okay, ranting over!

Overall, it wasn't bad, there were so many great moments between all the characters, but that wasn't enough for me. If you're looking for a smutty book, you'll be disappointed. To give you an idea of this (yes I marked it down as it was happening because someone on Goodreads asked me 'How's the smut' in one of my reading updates so I thought hmm, maybe I should keep this in mind?); their first hookup was near the beginning, then once again around 56%, and barely a few times after that. Their 'naughty escapades' while at camp were often cut short, to the point that it was just annoying. And once at 85%, but that's it. This isn't Icebraker level of smut. But if you liked Icebreaker or college/sports romances you might like this, but also, go into this with possible disappointment.

Edit: The author blocked me on Instagram for tagging her in my review. AND a couple of my friends who commented/liked my post. Sorry for being honest?

Was this review helpful?