I was browsing the upcoming releases and the blurb for Kate Meader’s Playing with Fire, the second book in her Hot in Chicago series, caught my eye. Because I’m one of those sick people who have to read a series in order, I had to read Flirting with Fire, the first book in the series. (Also, I didn’t realize until just now that there were two novellas. I have to read those too. LOL)
Savvy PR guru Kinsey Taylor has always defined herself by her career, not her gender. That is, until she moved from San Francisco to Chicago to be with her fiancé who thought she wasn’t taking her “job” of supporting him in his high-powered career seriously enough—and promptly dumped her for a more supportive and “feminine” nurse. Now, as the new assistant press secretary to Chicago’s dynamic mayor, she’s determined to keep her eye on the prize: no time to feel inferior because she’s a strong, kick-ass woman, and certainly no time for men.
But that all changes when she meets Luke Almeida, a firefighter as searingly sexy as he is quick-tempered. He’s also the second oldest of the Firefightin’ Dempseys, a family of foster siblings who have committed their lives to the service—if Luke’s antics don’t get him fired first. When Luke goes one step too far and gets into a bar brawl with the Chicago Police Department, Kinsey marches into Luke’s firehouse and lays down the law on orders from the mayor. But at Engine Co. 6, Luke Almeida is the law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules. (Goodreads)
Luke Almeida is in deep shit. He got into a fight in a bar with a policeman. This wouldn’t be an issue except he’s a firefighter and the fight ended up on Youtube, earning the ire of Chicago’s mayor. And thus becoming an issue for Kinsey Taylor, the mayor’s PR consultant. Kinsey has to work with Luke to rehabilitate the image of Engine 6 so the mayor doesn’t lose endorsements for the next election. Luke is less than pleased with this turn of events but he realizes he needs to work with Kinsey to keep his job.
There were a few interesting things in both Kinsey and Luke’s background that made them both hesitant to work with each other. Luke had been married to a professional woman who was a ball buster and who left him with a few insecurities. Kinsey had been engaged to a cheating rat who made her question her femininity. So both begin working together with some preconceived notions about the other. But through each interaction, they realize they’re not what the other expected and they’re both forced to look at each other in a new light. It also doesn’t hurt that they have chemistry.
Luke is a family man. He comes from a large foster family that are all about supporting each other. I really loved this about his character. He works with foster children and cares about his job and siblings. His siblings happen to work at Engine 6 as well. There’s Wyatt, Gage, Alexandra and Beck. Kinsey is a smart, competitive woman. Her ex really did a number on her, but Kinsey knows what she wants and she’s not going to apologize for it. She’s career oriented and even though she moved to Chicago for her ex, she’s got feelers out to go back home to San Francisco and work on a political campaign.
Once Luke’s job is confirmed safe and the scandal dies down, Luke and Kinsey finally give into their chemistry. For both, it begins as something casual. Luke knows Kinsey wants to return to San Francisco and Kinsey isn’t the type of woman he wants to settle down with anyway. Even though she’s nothing like his ex, he wants someone to start a family with. However, as their something casual starts to mean more, they both realize they’re falling quick. For Kinsey, she refuses to let her hormones make another career decision. But Luke has a change of heart about the kind of woman he wants. And he wants Kinsey.
I loved the tension that built up between these two while they were working together. And without being able to give into their lust, they’re forced to get to know each other. That made them coming together have more impact and I was really rooting for these two to stay together. And Luke’s grand gesture made me sigh. It was really good stuff. The secondary characters, Luke’s siblings and the mayor, were great too. I can’t wait to read Alex’ book! And I loved the secondary romance going on in this book, between Gage and a hot chef. Honestly, this book had it all. My only complaint was the beginning. It was a bit slow to start but once I got into the story, it was smooth sailing. B+