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Ashes

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“It’s always been you.” Kris Novak pours his heart and soul into his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar. When an arsonist burns the place to the ground, his whole life goes up in smoke and only his long-time crush can save him. Firefighter Remi Washington never told anyone he’s bi, let alone acted on it. But when he temporarily offers his spare room to his best friend’s “It’s always been you.” Kris Novak pours his heart and soul into his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar. When an arsonist burns the place to the ground, his whole life goes up in smoke and only his long-time crush can save him. Firefighter Remi Washington never told anyone he’s bi, let alone acted on it. But when he temporarily offers his spare room to his best friend’s younger brother, he’s drawn to the twinky, beautiful Kris in a way he can’t ignore. How long before he gives in to this temptation? Soon Kris stands accused of having started the fire and he has to fight with all his strength to clear his own name. Will Remi risk outing himself to stand by Kris’s side, or will that closet door remain closed forever? Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be read on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This book contains a daring rescue, a meddling mommy matchmaker, and enough sparks to start a wildfire.


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“It’s always been you.” Kris Novak pours his heart and soul into his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar. When an arsonist burns the place to the ground, his whole life goes up in smoke and only his long-time crush can save him. Firefighter Remi Washington never told anyone he’s bi, let alone acted on it. But when he temporarily offers his spare room to his best friend’s “It’s always been you.” Kris Novak pours his heart and soul into his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar. When an arsonist burns the place to the ground, his whole life goes up in smoke and only his long-time crush can save him. Firefighter Remi Washington never told anyone he’s bi, let alone acted on it. But when he temporarily offers his spare room to his best friend’s younger brother, he’s drawn to the twinky, beautiful Kris in a way he can’t ignore. How long before he gives in to this temptation? Soon Kris stands accused of having started the fire and he has to fight with all his strength to clear his own name. Will Remi risk outing himself to stand by Kris’s side, or will that closet door remain closed forever? Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be read on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This book contains a daring rescue, a meddling mommy matchmaker, and enough sparks to start a wildfire.

30 review for Ashes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT

    51% dnf At 51% I'm not feeling the MCs as a couples. Any relationship development that might come after will feel rushed. I’m all for including a message within a story but when the message comes across as a soapbox moment, I lose interest. Add soapbox to the lack of couple time between the MCs, and it’s time for me to move on. 51% dnf At 51% I'm not feeling the MCs as a couples. Any relationship development that might come after will feel rushed. I’m all for including a message within a story but when the message comes across as a soapbox moment, I lose interest. Add soapbox to the lack of couple time between the MCs, and it’s time for me to move on.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aki | nose buried in books | ❤️ |

    This book could have had a lot of potential, the blurb really caught my attention and I was very curious about the plot but.... No. Something went terribly wrong and this book didn't work at all. The plot is a missed opportunity, the development was too weak. The only thing I liked about this story is Remi, it's a sweet and nice character, even if a bit too much naive for his age. Kris was a brat. A really annoying brat. Ok, he's 21, but he acts like he's 15. Then their relationship.. uhm, I didn't This book could have had a lot of potential, the blurb really caught my attention and I was very curious about the plot but.... No. Something went terribly wrong and this book didn't work at all. The plot is a missed opportunity, the development was too weak. The only thing I liked about this story is Remi, it's a sweet and nice character, even if a bit too much naive for his age. Kris was a brat. A really annoying brat. Ok, he's 21, but he acts like he's 15. Then their relationship.. uhm, I didn't really feel it. For the first half of the book they basically live two separate lives, then boom, they're a couple. Uhm. But the main problem of this book is that there are really really too much stereotypes and bad phrasings. I cringed a lot and I think some phrases were offensive. A big no for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is such a great story, I couldn’t put it down. The author quickly drew me in and had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. The story is filled with such diverse characters that are believable and such fun getting to know. There is a little bit of mystery, a bit of suspense, and a whole lot of love. This may be read as a stand alone with familiar faces appearing in other books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer R

    Starts with a 'sneak peek' chapter showing the couple getting together for the first time. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I stopped reading after the first few pages and returned. I find this so disrespectful to readers to take away the build-up of watching the character's relationship develop and spoil it at the start of a book. Completely unnecessary. Starts with a 'sneak peek' chapter showing the couple getting together for the first time. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I stopped reading after the first few pages and returned. I find this so disrespectful to readers to take away the build-up of watching the character's relationship develop and spoil it at the start of a book. Completely unnecessary.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dixiecowgirl

    So much to love about this story! The story-line is awesome! Finding your true self and your value is a center theme in this story. Remi has been living as only a part of himself and he has little color or passion in his world. Kris perceives that he has little to offer the world and has not had an opportunity to show how amazing he is. One of the beauties of this story is that both men really see how wonderful the other person really is. This is very much a slow burn as Remi hasn't allowed anyo So much to love about this story! The story-line is awesome! Finding your true self and your value is a center theme in this story. Remi has been living as only a part of himself and he has little color or passion in his world. Kris perceives that he has little to offer the world and has not had an opportunity to show how amazing he is. One of the beauties of this story is that both men really see how wonderful the other person really is. This is very much a slow burn as Remi hasn't allowed anyone to know he is bi and Kris has kept his feelings of attraction to himself about Remi. It takes them being in the same house for a while before they both can admit their feelings of attraction. They really get to know and care for each other in that buildup and that makes the passionate encounters all that much more explosive and fun. Remi and Kris do steam up your kindle and they will win your heart with their hearts and personality. I am loving this Hidden Creeks series! Merged review: So much to love about this story! The story-line is awesome! Finding your true self and your value is a center theme in this story. Remi has been living as only a part of himself and he has little color or passion in his world. Kris perceives that he has little to offer the world and has not had an opportunity to show how amazing he is. One of the beauties of this story is that both men really see how wonderful the other person really is. This is very much a slow burn as Remi hasn't allowed anyone to know he is bi and Kris has kept his feelings of attraction to himself about Remi. It takes them being in the same house for a while before they both can admit their feelings of attraction. They really get to know and care for each other in that buildup and that makes the passionate encounters all that much more explosive and fun. Remi and Kris do steam up your kindle and they will win your heart with their hearts and personality. I am loving this Hidden Creeks series!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eleeze

    Was not feeling it.-

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elithanathile

    True rating ... 3.25 stars :-)!! Very sweet book; definitely a recommended read :-)!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kendra T

    So glad to see another season of the Men of Hidden Creek. I'm even more glad to see that HJ Welch was part of it again. I loved her last book, and this one did not disappoint, either. I loved how she incorporated some characters from the first season, and it was nice to visit with them again. In this book, we see Kris the bartender again (who we briefly saw in season 1). He lives in the apartment above the bar, and loses his job, apartment, and almost all of his belongings when someone sets the b So glad to see another season of the Men of Hidden Creek. I'm even more glad to see that HJ Welch was part of it again. I loved her last book, and this one did not disappoint, either. I loved how she incorporated some characters from the first season, and it was nice to visit with them again. In this book, we see Kris the bartender again (who we briefly saw in season 1). He lives in the apartment above the bar, and loses his job, apartment, and almost all of his belongings when someone sets the bar on fire. His brother's best friend happens to be the firefighter that pulled him out of the building. After a couple of days couch surfing, Remi offers to let Kris stay in his guest bedroom while he waits for the repairs to be done. Remi has always considered himself bisexual but never acted on it and made sure to hide that part of himself. He really wants Kris, and they work to make a great relationship together. I really enjoyed the story. The mystery was interesting, the dialogue about homophobia in the firehouse was AWESOME, and I loved Kris and Remi. I hope to see them again in other books in the series. I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC provided by LesCourt Author Services

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarita Chapdelaine

    I love this book! It is beautifully written, has amazing characters, an engaging story and I could not put it down. Kris is fabulous and I love how much he cares for everyone, including his beloved Tay Tay. Remi is a sweetheart who needs a little excitement in his life and Kris is happy to brighten up his life and home. There is a ton of heat and yearning between these two when Kris moves in with Remi and it takes a while for them to be honest about their feelings for each other. I love how pati I love this book! It is beautifully written, has amazing characters, an engaging story and I could not put it down. Kris is fabulous and I love how much he cares for everyone, including his beloved Tay Tay. Remi is a sweetheart who needs a little excitement in his life and Kris is happy to brighten up his life and home. There is a ton of heat and yearning between these two when Kris moves in with Remi and it takes a while for them to be honest about their feelings for each other. I love how patient and supportive they both are when they have to deal with major issues in their lives. It's fun to see characters from the previous books and the ending is great. I look forward to reading more books by this author and the others in this exciting series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ulrike Apel

    A wonderful story about finding yourself and finding self-confidence. Remy spent his life hiding the fact that he is bisexual. Kris is openly gay but hides the feelings for Remi, his brother's best friend. A fire at Gaybar "Bottoms up" where Kris works brings the two together. First, they share a flat, very slowly a relationship develops from it. I love Kris flamboyance and the confidence in myself. But I also love Remis uncertainty, the doubts and the challenges he has to face. Tay Tay and Sasha are A wonderful story about finding yourself and finding self-confidence. Remy spent his life hiding the fact that he is bisexual. Kris is openly gay but hides the feelings for Remi, his brother's best friend. A fire at Gaybar "Bottoms up" where Kris works brings the two together. First, they share a flat, very slowly a relationship develops from it. I love Kris flamboyance and the confidence in myself. But I also love Remis uncertainty, the doubts and the challenges he has to face. Tay Tay and Sasha are a sweet treat, just to fall in love. Like all books in the Hidden Creek series, a must read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Scott

    Helen has penned a great addition to the meliu that is Men from Hidden Creek, the town all gay boys and girls wish they could live in. Ashes is a hot and sexy love story filled with a tantalizing array of characters and a story which will stir not just your angst for Remi and Kris to find themselves able to admit their love for each other, but the sinister reminders that there are some out there that not only can't deal with their own inability to not see people who don't fit into their small mi Helen has penned a great addition to the meliu that is Men from Hidden Creek, the town all gay boys and girls wish they could live in. Ashes is a hot and sexy love story filled with a tantalizing array of characters and a story which will stir not just your angst for Remi and Kris to find themselves able to admit their love for each other, but the sinister reminders that there are some out there that not only can't deal with their own inability to not see people who don't fit into their small minded boxes they want others to conform to. This is a a sensitive and beautifully balanced story that deals with these, sometimes difficult subjects, in a touching and sensitive way. I highly recommend this and the other books in this series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Modwena

    Yet again HJ Welch, another couple that I have fallen totally in love with. Kris is the bartender in the town's only gay bar and Remi is a firefighter, who has just begun to wonder how straight he is. Kris is also the little brother of Remi's best friend. A fire at the bar and the apartment over it throws the two men together as Remi rescues Kris. The pair begin a real friendship that soon turns into something more. I love a good best friend's brother romance. Can't wait for the rest of this seri Yet again HJ Welch, another couple that I have fallen totally in love with. Kris is the bartender in the town's only gay bar and Remi is a firefighter, who has just begun to wonder how straight he is. Kris is also the little brother of Remi's best friend. A fire at the bar and the apartment over it throws the two men together as Remi rescues Kris. The pair begin a real friendship that soon turns into something more. I love a good best friend's brother romance. Can't wait for the rest of this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Remi and Kris A little preachy, but sweet fairy tale (no pun intended) style story with Kris, a very out, out-going and colorful young adult and Remi, a big firefighter. Kris has had a long time crush on his brother’s friend since he was thirteen, and Remi has never noticed him - until now, when his apartment and job have been burned up in a fire. Kris is hilarious, very open and adventurous with a core of self-doubt. How can you dislike a guy with a goldfish called Tay Tay? Enjoyable start to th Remi and Kris A little preachy, but sweet fairy tale (no pun intended) style story with Kris, a very out, out-going and colorful young adult and Remi, a big firefighter. Kris has had a long time crush on his brother’s friend since he was thirteen, and Remi has never noticed him - until now, when his apartment and job have been burned up in a fire. Kris is hilarious, very open and adventurous with a core of self-doubt. How can you dislike a guy with a goldfish called Tay Tay? Enjoyable start to the second season of the Men of Hidden Creek books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    This is Remi and Kris' story. Remi is a firefighter and when he is called out to Bottom's Up after a fire is started at the bar, he rescues Kris who lives in the third floor apartment. Kris is his best friend's younger brother and now his apartment is destroyed he has nowhere to go. Remi surprises himself by agreeing to put him up until he can move back home but the more time they spend together, the more he finds he doesn't want Kris to leave. A beautifully written story of one man as he finds th This is Remi and Kris' story. Remi is a firefighter and when he is called out to Bottom's Up after a fire is started at the bar, he rescues Kris who lives in the third floor apartment. Kris is his best friend's younger brother and now his apartment is destroyed he has nowhere to go. Remi surprises himself by agreeing to put him up until he can move back home but the more time they spend together, the more he finds he doesn't want Kris to leave. A beautifully written story of one man as he finds that perhaps he really isn't as straight as he knew he wasn't.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Esther Alayeto

    I really loved the first set of Hidden Creek books and this second set is off to a really good start with this story. I love Kris and Remi, they are so good together, and I'm so glad Kris got to have his childhood crush! I love Kris' flamboyance, spark, and confidence in himself. Kris has always been attracted to Remi but Remi has never come out as bi. It's not smooth sailing as Remi begins to realize that he has feelings for Kris but doesn't know what to do about it. It's a great journey for th I really loved the first set of Hidden Creek books and this second set is off to a really good start with this story. I love Kris and Remi, they are so good together, and I'm so glad Kris got to have his childhood crush! I love Kris' flamboyance, spark, and confidence in himself. Kris has always been attracted to Remi but Remi has never come out as bi. It's not smooth sailing as Remi begins to realize that he has feelings for Kris but doesn't know what to do about it. It's a great journey for these two men and a hot one!! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Kris whole life is his job at Hidden Creek’s only gay bar, but when an arsonist burns the place to the ground kris whole life goes up in flames with the bar. Remi never told anyone that he is bi. When he offers his spare room to his best friend’s younger brother, he is drawn to him like no other. Then Kris gets accused of starting the fire. Will Remi be able to help Kris clear his name? Will Remi be able to come out to everyone and let his feelings for Kris be known?

  17. 5 out of 5

    SMC

    I finished it Because I have a hard time not finishing books i start, no matter how bad they are. This is one of those. I didn't like it. I didn't enjoy the story, much less the characters. I have NO issues at all with MM, or with twinks, however, I really dislike when gay men are referred to as women. Totally a personal issue though but still one that makes me cringe with the whole "yes queen" thing. I also didn't really feel the connection between the two MCs. The dialogue was kind of awful - I I finished it Because I have a hard time not finishing books i start, no matter how bad they are. This is one of those. I didn't like it. I didn't enjoy the story, much less the characters. I have NO issues at all with MM, or with twinks, however, I really dislike when gay men are referred to as women. Totally a personal issue though but still one that makes me cringe with the whole "yes queen" thing. I also didn't really feel the connection between the two MCs. The dialogue was kind of awful - I added some highlights to my GR review - I mean wow, some of it was pretty bad. Nah, I would totally skip this book and I'm sure I won't read the rest of the series, not when there are incredibly well written MM books out there.

  18. 5 out of 5

    mrs sarah frost

    When Hidden Creeks only gay bar Bottoms Up goes up in flames trapping Kris Novak in the upstairs apartment he's rescued by firefighter Remi Washington. Kris has always had a crush on Remi who is best friends with Leon, Kris's older brother. Now he saved his life he's his real life hero. With no home Kris ends up moving in with Remi where they discover their feelings for each other but one needs to own up about his sexuality to his family. Kris is great with such a kind heart making sure others e When Hidden Creeks only gay bar Bottoms Up goes up in flames trapping Kris Novak in the upstairs apartment he's rescued by firefighter Remi Washington. Kris has always had a crush on Remi who is best friends with Leon, Kris's older brother. Now he saved his life he's his real life hero. With no home Kris ends up moving in with Remi where they discover their feelings for each other but one needs to own up about his sexuality to his family. Kris is great with such a kind heart making sure others especially Harrison, a young trans he befriended at Bottoms Up always have a safe place to go. I'm hoping the rest of series two in The Men of Hidden Creek are as good as this one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.V

    Remi and Kris's story. I fell in love with Kris while reading season one of Hidden Creek, and I wasn't disappointed by all his fabulousness! Remi has known he's bi for a while, but never acted on it with a guy. Kris is Remi's best friend little brother, out and proud and extra fabulous! A fire in Kris workplace and home brings them together, and the attraction building between them is so hot that can't be denied. Loved how much of a teddy bear the big hunky firefighter Remi is, and how much Kris lo Remi and Kris's story. I fell in love with Kris while reading season one of Hidden Creek, and I wasn't disappointed by all his fabulousness! Remi has known he's bi for a while, but never acted on it with a guy. Kris is Remi's best friend little brother, out and proud and extra fabulous! A fire in Kris workplace and home brings them together, and the attraction building between them is so hot that can't be denied. Loved how much of a teddy bear the big hunky firefighter Remi is, and how much Kris loves to dirty talk! The first book of The Men of Hidden Creek S2 is a great way to come back to this lovely town and meet a bunch of old and knew friends.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    OMG another great book in this multi authors series!! I just love Kris and Remi together! It wasn't smooth sailing. I couldn't put this book down. There is definitely times I wanted to smack both characters upside the head. Just so they they can tell each other how they feel about each other. Now of course there is a little suspense going on just adds more to this story. OMG another great book in this multi authors series!! I just love Kris and Remi together! It wasn't smooth sailing. I couldn't put this book down. There is definitely times I wanted to smack both characters upside the head. Just so they they can tell each other how they feel about each other. Now of course there is a little suspense going on just adds more to this story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amra Miokovic

    I loved this book! I sat down and I didn’t stop until I finished it in the early hours this morning! I was shit at work , but it was worth it. Kris and Remi will keep you entertained, and you will fall in love. As soon as Kris was introduced I fell in love with him. His quirkiness, beauty and perkiness. Amazing read! You have got to read this book, yo will cherish every moment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    What a great start to Round Two of The Men of Hidden Creek. Kris and Remi have known each other for years as Remi is best friends with Kris’ brother. As Kris’ world is crumbling down, Remi steps in to save him from the fire and then by giving him a place to stay. There is some angst between these two as they discover their feelings for one another and acknowledging one’s true sexuality to family, friends and co-workers. They have to work through several hurdles and misunderstandings that any new What a great start to Round Two of The Men of Hidden Creek. Kris and Remi have known each other for years as Remi is best friends with Kris’ brother. As Kris’ world is crumbling down, Remi steps in to save him from the fire and then by giving him a place to stay. There is some angst between these two as they discover their feelings for one another and acknowledging one’s true sexuality to family, friends and co-workers. They have to work through several hurdles and misunderstandings that any new relationship deals with. I loved Kris’ bright and colourful personality and spirit. He may be down on his luck currently but it didn’t stop him from helping and mentoring others when they needed it the most. He has a heart of gold! There are some return characters from the first set of books as well. I cannot get enough of Lyla and Trooper (from Storm). They stole the show again in their small part of this story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meghann Walker

    Loved it I really, really liked this book. I don't know if there was a series before this but I absolutely love the characters in this book. Remi and Kris, so good together. Loved it I really, really liked this book. I don't know if there was a series before this but I absolutely love the characters in this book. Remi and Kris, so good together.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristyn Carlson

    Loved this book and can’t wait for the rest of the series :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennivie

    A great start to the new season! I loved this book. I love the characters. I didn't feel overwhelmed by completely unrealistic insta-love as sometimes happens in these books. Most of them succeed in making you believe it's possible, though, and this one did for me. I hope to see these characters pop up in other books like some of the others have. A great start to the new season! I loved this book. I love the characters. I didn't feel overwhelmed by completely unrealistic insta-love as sometimes happens in these books. Most of them succeed in making you believe it's possible, though, and this one did for me. I hope to see these characters pop up in other books like some of the others have.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joscelyn Smith

    Sometimes you have to burn away the old for new life to flourish This was a great start to the second season of the Men of Hidden Creek series. Remi and Kris were so freaking adorable. Remi was sweet and bashful while Kris was so unsure about himself but he just didn't realize how strong he really was. I can't wait to read what the other authors have to offer. Sometimes you have to burn away the old for new life to flourish This was a great start to the second season of the Men of Hidden Creek series. Remi and Kris were so freaking adorable. Remi was sweet and bashful while Kris was so unsure about himself but he just didn't realize how strong he really was. I can't wait to read what the other authors have to offer.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shauna Jackson

    What an amazing start to the Season 2 of the Men of Hidden Creek. Helen penned an absolutely wonderful dynamic relationship of the main characters of Kris and Remi. You will laugh, cry, and scream several times during the reading which by the way I love my books that I read to be.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Reilley

    What a great book to start off the second set of the Men of Hidden Creek series Remi and Kris have known each other for years. In fact Remi and Kris brother are best friends. Due to unforeseen circumstances Kris is left without a home and job. Remi allows Kris to move in. From there we see their relationship flourish. Remi is not out though. This was a great read with some suspense, Self discovery, learning to trust and falling in love. Check the book out. You won’t be disappointed

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ade

    This seemed promising, but I couldn't get into the story at any point. The characters were a bit too flat and there was no tension whatsoever. I kept hoping some sparks would eventually fly, you know, but other than the ones coming from Bottom's Up fire, none did. And then there was the dialogue which really irked me. Too many ums and ahs and uhs - and very little of it moved the plot forward (exactly like the filler brunch scenes). Just... meh. This seemed promising, but I couldn't get into the story at any point. The characters were a bit too flat and there was no tension whatsoever. I kept hoping some sparks would eventually fly, you know, but other than the ones coming from Bottom's Up fire, none did. And then there was the dialogue which really irked me. Too many ums and ahs and uhs - and very little of it moved the plot forward (exactly like the filler brunch scenes). Just... meh.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    This was a bit too cheesy for me. The ending, especially the epilogue, was a little too kumbaya. And the "dirty talk" during the sex scenes? Yeah, no. It was a lot of "oh, baby", "fuck, baby", "harder, baby" "don't stop, baby" and lines such as "Oh, honey bun, yes! Take it, gorgeous, take it up your sweet ass." As for Remi and Kris... meh. There was a lot more on-page interaction from the MCs with other characters than with each other. This was a bit too cheesy for me. The ending, especially the epilogue, was a little too kumbaya. And the "dirty talk" during the sex scenes? Yeah, no. It was a lot of "oh, baby", "fuck, baby", "harder, baby" "don't stop, baby" and lines such as "Oh, honey bun, yes! Take it, gorgeous, take it up your sweet ass." As for Remi and Kris... meh. There was a lot more on-page interaction from the MCs with other characters than with each other.

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