Water and Fire by Rowan McAllister

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Aiden Flanagan has spent his entire life fighting who and what he is. After losing control of the power within him one time too many, Aiden flees to his parents’ vacation home on Nantucket to lock himself away as punishment and to protect the people he cares about. Getting nowhere on his own, Aiden fears he’ll never have enough control to join the world again—and perhaps he doesn’t deserve to—until an act of kindness brings Murphy Mizuuchi into his life.

Though still grieving the loss of his partner, Murphy’s own gifts won’t allow him to ignore the strongest projector he’s ever encountered or deny the beautiful soul behind Aiden’s drama. Drawing on his own recovery, his empathy, and years of practicing meditation, he shows Aiden not only how to find a safe outlet for who he is, but to value his abilities.

But Murphy isn’t the only one drawn to Aiden’s fire. Someone from his past followed Aiden to the island, and it will take both Murphy’s and Aidan’s powers to protect him from a man who won’t stop until he takes all Aiden has.


This book is the second in a series but can absolutely be a stand-alone novel.

If you read book one, you remember that Aiden was the firey ex of Adam’s that caused so much strife between him and Jay. (If you were like me – you didn’t like him much at all! Which is why it took me forever to get around to reading this!)

We find Aiden right after he’s run away from something tragic – something to do with Adam and Jay. He’s in his head a lot and it’s a mess in there. He keeps fighting and fighting the fire that lives within him and he also wants and needs someone to help keep him grounded but he’s determined not to be all clingy like he was with Adam and scare the next potential lover away.

Aiden goes to a party on the beach near his parents house, severely depressed, and meets some guys at a bonfire. A few hours/beers later and there is an older man, clearly distressed out on the beach with them – upset about the fire. Aiden sees some initials carved in old wood and rescues the wood from the fire to bring to the upset man – Murphy – and is initially rebuffed.

Murphy has his own story to tell. He’s a widower – we never did find out how he became one – and is an empath (and something to do with water). He literally feels all of Aiden’s emotions like he’s yelling them and it psychically hurts. Normally Murphy can shield from such a thing, but with Aiden he can’t.

What follows next is the two men learning about one another and helping Aiden with his “gift”. They don’t deny their instant attraction for long and it turns out that Murphy really helps ground Aiden.

Everything looks to be moving in the right direction when suddenly there is a mysterious “bad” guy in town making Murphy jealous and Aiden uncomfortable. Then there’s a storm, a kidnapping, a rescue and some closure.


Phew! This book was a roller coaster. Reading Aiden’s thought process is a bit like living in his brain and is energetically exhausting. Poor guy! But that is where Rowan McAllister did such an excellent job, giving us this manic, frightened character and having it bleed out on the pages in such an amazing way.

Murphy is far more solid and serene and that comes through so well. But… he’s got that side of him that feels too much and has to be hidden. Aiden shows him the benefit of letting that side out now and again.

I was captivated by this story and read it quickly but was a bit disappointed by the end. I am hoping it’s a set up for book three because both sets of MCs really, really need to come together like the Fantastic Four and somehow vanquish the evil Richard! I can see the set up so I’m hoping I’m right!

I would also love to see both couples later in their relationship and having mastered their respective skills.

I did however find it super cute that Adam and Jay were blushing while discussing their whereabouts during the latest storm. Tee hee!

All in all it was a wonderful book and I really hope we see the next book soon!

6 of 5 hearts