F.A.S.T. Balls (Balls to the Wall, 5)
Tara Lain
Contemporary romance
Etopia Press
ISBN: 9781940223353
September 2013

This is book five from the Balls to the Wall Series, and I have read all five of the books. They can be stand alone books, but I recommend reading them in order. You get to meet all her different Balls to the Wall characters and the stories are all good.

This story begins with Jerry receiving a text message from his boyfriend, breaking up with him. By text message! How rude. Anyway, in case you haven’t read any of the books in this series, Jerry is a firefighter. He’s also a rad, surfer dude, too. Until he became a firefighter, he had been modeling for Rod, a painter, in Fire Balls book two. Jerry is a very sweet man, everyone likes him because he’s also a good man. He’s a bit upset with being broken up with and the department homophobe decides it’s time to tease him. That homophobe is Mick Cassidy, who also plays a role in Fire Balls. Mick sees how upset Jerry is and actually tries to be nice to him, which is shocking to not only Jerry and his friends but to me too! Sigh. We also get to learn a little more about Mick here. Mick is the son of a preacher man, and yes, I now have that old sixties song in my head. His father lives in the middle of nowhere California, and is constantly preaching about how evil gays are. Daddy dearest spent much time in Mick’s youth beating him and yelling his twisted beliefs at him.

All right. So we have an idea why Mick is always spouting anti-gay things, but because of Jerry specifically, he isn’t sure that’s correct. He knows what a good person Jerry is, and he can’t quite get his father’s teaching to coincide with who Jerry is. Also, he has a huge crush on Jerry and the two of them are quietly getting to know each other. The Captain calls the firefighters together for a meeting and walks in with a very ‘military’ looking guy. He’s introduced as Ben Straight. Yes, I am smirking a little. Ben is there for special training, for F. A. S. T. (the Firefighter Assist and Search Team). Mick goes home to his father’s house and is given permission to court the daughter of one of his followers. Her name is Jezebel, and quite frankly, she is almost too awesome. The two of them quietly hate his father and the terrible preaching. She agrees to go as his date to the Firefighter’s Ball. Rod set Jerry up with a friend of his, Andres, and they go to the Ball together too. The Ball was fun. Jerry and Andres dance together to the applause of the other guests, Andres dances with Jezebel who loves it, and Mick gets full of…hmm…lust watching Jerry and his date dancing together.

You know, there aren’t that many things that enrage me. Really. But one of those things happens to be people who preach about their religious beliefs then turn around saying it’s ok with that religion if you just happen to hurt or kill someone you suspect might be gay. Then I felt I was poleaxed by something Ben tried to get Mick to do during a fire. Wow! I will not write the expletives that were coming out of my mouth when I read that. I was almost in tears when Mick stuck with his morals and didn’t do what Ben expected him to do. All I can say is Ms. Lain has done it again! She has created a story with all these different characters and we experience their hopes, fears and their growth. I actually had to put the book down for a few days as it was so intense. This is a great story! I do, as usual, recommend reading all the books in the series in order, but I am obsessive about that. Ms. Lain has written an amazing series, and I love all her characters! Ok, except for that Ben guy and Mick’s father. I almost want Jezebel to get her own book!

Overall rating: 5hearts
Sensuality rating: Very Sensual
Reviewer: Teresa T.