Flirting with Fire Hot in Chicago #1 By: Kate Meader Published: March 24, 2015 Publisher: Pocket Books Source: ARC from publisher for a honest review Add to Goodreads GR's Summary: The first installment in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series from Kate Meader that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests! 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.
I read Kate Meader's short story, Rekindle the Flame, in the Baby It's Cold Outside Anthology, as well as Hot and Bothered. I enjoyed both stories immensely, and have been excited to read more of Ms. Meader's writing. Flirting with Fire was a stunning new beginning to the Hot in Chicago Series that is going to focus on the Dempsey's, who are foster siblings that are all part of the fire department in Chicago.
In Flirting with Fire, we get Luke Almeida and Kinsey Taylor's story. Luke got into a bar brawl and it was caught on YouTube resulting in bad P.R. The mayor, Eli Cooper, is up for re-election, and brings in Kinsey Taylor, P.R. Specialist to revamp his image. While at first Luke and Kinsey bump heads, there is no denying the sexual chemistry that sizzles between them. As Kinsey begins to spend more time with Luke and the rest of the Dempsey's, they begin to bond, and feelings grow. Unfortunately, Kinsey is put into a difficult position in which she will have to choose between her boss, and the Dempsey's, and each choice has a different set of repercussions.
Someone is going to need a fire extinguisher to put out the soaring and all encompassing flames between Luke and Kinsey! The flirtatious banter, intense chemistry, and passion between these two made for a great dynamic. I loved Ms. Meader's character's humorous dialogue, her witty writing style, and the imagery that she created with her words. I could easily imagine the Hunky Firefighting Dempsey Foster Brothers, Luke, Beck, Gage, and Wyatt, and the Gorgeous Firefighting Foster Sister, Alex. They all made for an extremely entertaining cast of characters.
We also get two side plots shared in this story. One is between Gage, and his love interest, Brady, as well as Alex and the mayor locking horns but also sharing a sizzling attraction. I am looking forward to getting both of these Dempsey's stories.
I give, Flirting with Fire, 4 Ravishing, Witty, Hot Fireman Filled Stars! If you are looking for a fun, witty, humorous, and romantic story, this one is an excellent pick!
Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
The Cavanaugh Brothers, #3 by Laura Wright Release Date: March 3rd, 2015 Publisher: Signet Source: Publisher via NetGalley eARC received in exchange of honest review Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling author of the Cavanaugh Brothers novels returns to the Cavanaugh’s Texas Triple C ranch as the brothers confront the painful memories of their childhood and the truth about their sister’s murder… No matter how many fights UFC champion Cole Cavanaugh wins, he can’t rid himself of the guilt of not having saved his twin sister’s life. Now, not only is he facing his arch enemy in the ring, he’s fighting to uncover the truth about Cass’s death. But will winning both fights truly give him the retribution and absolution he seeks? Or does he need the healing power of love to finally move on with his life? The mystery surrounding Cass’s murder also haunts veterinarian Grace Hunter. Many believe that her father might hold the key to the truth. Unfortunately the ex-Sheriff’s deteriorating mental state makes it impossible to separate fact from fiction. As Cole persuades Grace to help him unlock the elusive clues, her defenses weaken. She finds the Stetson-wearing fighter irresistible. But while the truth could free Cole’s heart, it could very well end up shattering hers.
I am a big fan of Laura Wright's Cavanaugh Brothers series. I have read this series from the beginning and I can't get enough! The mystery surrounding the murder of the youngest sibling of the Cavanaugh clan has left me with no nails!!!! Since the very beginning I have been taking notes and trying to figure out who could be behind it all. I was anxiously waiting for this third installment to come along so I could continue to investigate and try to put every single piece of this mysterious puzzle together.
We meet Grace and Cole in the previous books of this series. Their chemistry has been slowly burning up the pages and the way that the author wrote their story totally kept me glued to my seat from beginning to end! From the moment that Grace and Cole meet, tensions run high. Grace's father might have the answers that could solve the murder of Cole's sister. Cole has done the impossible to find out who is responsible for his sister's murder, but every new lead ends up leaving him with more questions about what happened on that tragic day.
Grace wants to protect the only family she has left, which is her dad. Her dad is a retired sheriff and he knows what happened to Cass Cavanaugh, but he won't talk about it. Grace takes the intiative to help Cole with his search to find his sister's killer. The more time they spend together, the more the attraction that they have towards each other is undeniable. As the last pieces of this mysterious puzzle start falling into place, Grace and Cole grow closer together.
I really liked Brash. It was different from the two previous books. It was more focused around the murder of Cass Cavanaugh. The story really took a step forward with this third installment. The author did a fantastic job at writing Grace and Cole's love story. All of the Cavanaugh brothers have their own scars from what happened to their sister. They are all fighting their own battle. With the support of strong and determined women these brothers have found a place where they belong.
Grace and Cole had a great chemistry and I connected with them from the moment they were introduced in the story. Their journey if filled with emotional, intense, passionate and healing moments. My heart broke for Cole. He has so much guilt about what happened to his sister. I wanted him to find closure and begin a new journey. Grace gives him that beginning even if the mystery of his sister's murder is still not resolved. It was lovely to reconnect with all the characters that have made this series a memorable one.
That ending?!?!?!?! Holy moly!!! I was not expecting that!!! I can't wait to read the final installment of this series, which is Blue Cavanaugh's story. Bonded will be out later this year and I can't wait to grab the last piece of the puzzle that will make everything clear. I kind of have of an idea where this is going, but the blurb of Blue's book has left me confused and intrigued.
I give, Brash, by Laura Wright, 4.5 passionate, page-turning, tension-filled stars!
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of Mark of the Vampire, Bayou Heat, Cavanaugh Brothers series, and Wicked Ink Chronicles.
The Daughter of La Lune, #1 by M.J. Rose Release Date: March 17th, 2015 Publisher: Atria Books Genres: Adult Historical Fiction Fantasy Add to Goodreads Synopsis: Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris. Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires. Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse. This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
Belle Epoch Paris was a mélange of many different styles of art and poetry and philosophies. The old guard still ran the salons. Impressionism battled for wall space with symbolism. Cults sprang up around occultism, spiritism and inspired artists and writers. All that diversity fascinated me. I spent a long time at the Gustav Moreau museum, looking not just at his masterpieces, but examining the hundreds of sketches hidden away. I searched out art nouveau buildings and visited museums to look at the work of the Nabis whose name itself which came from the Hebrew word for “prophet,” evoked both their mysticism and determination to develop a new artistic language.
2. What inspired this book?
I was in Paris and visited an exhibition of a late sixteenth century female painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. She was a rarity and anomaly: A woman artist who succeeded despite enduring so much. While there was no suggestion she dabbled in the occult, her resilience and determination inspired me to create a woman named La Lune, a sixteenth century courtesan, the muse of a great artist who becomes a great artist herself.
While she isn’t the main character in the book, she is at its heart. It’s her descendant, Sandrine, who three hundred years later, comes to Paris and has to overcome society’s rules and mores in order to live out her passions — as a woman and an artist.
3. Art plays an important part in The Witch of Painted Sorrows— did you ever study painting?
Yes. I was six when I took my first art class. It was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. And I’ve never stopped studying or wanting to be painter. When I visit a city the first place I go to is the museum. I am more at home looking at paintings and sculpture than doing anything including reading. Of every subject I am always drawn first to art and artists.
4. Why are you interested in the occult?
Being interested in and writing about the mystical and magical is in my blood. My great grandmother, who was French, hailed from a long line of Jewish gypsies. Grandma Berger read cards and used a crystal ball for decades to tell fortunes. She was the one who gave me a Ouija board when I was ten. As I grew up my great grandmother’s card and crystal ball readings continued as did my interest in the paranormal and spiritual. Shortly before she died, and left me her own magical crystal ball, my great grandmother tried to save my life. I was nineteen, and studying painting at Syracuse University. One morning Grandma Berger called my mother. In an urgent voice, she told my mother that I was going to be in a fire that afternoon and she needed to warn me. My mother called, told me what Grandma Berger had said and asked me please, wherever I went that day, to stay near an exit. I did. But nothing happened. Or so I thought. At nine that night my boyfriend, who went to Cornell, called. He sounded terribly shook up. His apartment had burned down that afternoon. He was all right, but all his clothes, books and records were destroyed. And along with them fifteen canvases I had painted. Through my paintings, I had indeed been in a fire.
5. Name one place in Paris that Sandrine visits that readers can visit still. Café de Flores
Café de Flore opened its doors at 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain in 1885 and has been one of the best people-watching cafes in Paris ever since. It’s not only one of the oldest but one of the most prestigious coffeehouses in Paris. Even though it’s next door neighbor is Les Deux Magots, frequented by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and others, Flore is the more prestigious and less touristy of the cafés. It’s worth waiting for a table on the terrace but the art deco interior with its red seating, mahogany and mirrors transports you back in time to pre-World War II. They also serve one of the best fromage and jambon omelets that can be had in Paris.
About the Author
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
Rose is a the Co-President and founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz. She runs the blog, Museum of Mysteries. In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house. Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine. She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L'Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly. Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the '80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Stage Dive, #4 by Kylie Scott Release Day: March 31st, 2015 Publisher: St-Martin's Griffin Blog Tour Hosted by: TRSOR Promotions Synopsis: Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently. Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible...but will it lead to a connection of the heart?
His laughter, it didn’t really sound the smallest bit amused. “Christ. You’re done here.” “Ah, no. I’m actually not. Now see, this is where we have a problem.” I folded my arms. Then unfolded them because like f*ck I’d look defensive. He was the one in the wrong, not me. “You’re not prepared to take me, or my feelings, seriously. What you want is to hide away in Mr. Too Cool for Commitment land and just play with my affections when it suits you. Okay, I’ve accepted that. But none of that means it’s okay for you to come in here and act like you’re the boss of me. None of it.” “That so?” he asked, leaning down so that we were almost nose to nose. “That’s so, baby.” I play-punched him in the shoulder, which it should be noted, I barely came up to. Okay, so maybe the alcohol on a mostly empty stomach had made me slightly/lots braver/sillier. “So why don’t you take your little caveman jealous tantrum bullsh*t somewhere else. See, I do this funny thing I like to refer to as whatever the f*ck I want. Understand?” He just stared. “And as pretty as you are with your beard and your muscles, you are too damn tricky and . . . complicated and sh*t for me.” “I am?” “Yes, you are. Are you finally seeing my point here?” “You bet.”
“Excellent. So take your hotness elsewhere, kind sir. I want no part of it!” Huh. I had so told him. Drunken bravado was the best.
About the Author:
Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.
Fall With Me Wait for You #4 By: Jennifer L. Armentrout Release Date: March 31, 2015 Publisher: Avon Books Source: Finished Copy from Publisher for a honest review Add to Goodreads GR's Summary:
Jennifer L. Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of the Wait for You series, delivers a new novel of first love, second chances, and scorching chemistry between an artistic bartender and the tough, sexy cop who's determined to win her. Roxy's loved Reece Anders since she was fifteen, so when the straitlaced cop finally surrendered to a steamy encounter years later, Roxy hoped he'd fall for her, too. He didn't. Or that's what she's always believed. But then Reece storms back into her life when the man who injured her childhood friend is out of prison and wanting to make amends—something Roxy cannot do. The last thing she wants is to go there with Reece again, but he's determined to prove to her that he's exactly what she needs. Especially when a sick creep starts messing with her. But what's more dangerous to Roxy—a psycho after her or the past that refuses to let go and allow her to open up her heart again?
I love all of the books in the Wait for You Series. Each of these stories has touched my heart completely, and the characters mean a lot to me. I have empathized with them, related to them, and grown to love them. They feel so real to me, and in between each book in the series, I find myself missing them!
In Fall With Me, we get Roxy and Reese's story. Roxy is a talented artist, who attends college part time for graphic design, and works as a bartender at Mona's bar. She shoulders a lot of guilt from an accident that left her best friend, Charlie, in a long-term care facility. She visits Charlie every Friday, brings him paintings, talks to him about her life, and reads to him.
Reese is a dedicated police officer that is part of the swat team. Growing up, Roxy and Reese were neighbors. Roxy has had a crush on Reese since she was fifteen and he was seventeen. About a year ago, Roxy and Reese finally hooked up. However, due to a misunderstanding, and Roxy avoiding Reese, they haven't talked.
Then, when Henry, the man that was responsible for Charlie's current state, is released out on parole, Reese approaches and warns Roxy. He also lets her know that he has feelings for her, which changes things between them. As Reese and Roxy embark on a relationship, Roxy fears getting her heart broken. Will Roxy take a chance on love, or let it slip through her fingers? To top it off, Roxy's life is put in danger by a creepy stalker....
Fall With Me was an excellent story. It made me feel so many emotions. My heart broke for Roxy and having to see her best friend Charlie, as a shell of the person that he used to be. I admired Roxy's strength, love, and loyalty. I felt horrible for the guilt she harbored, and wanted to reach through the pages and make her feel better. Reese was an excellent male lead. He was very strong, protective, and heroic. Yet, he was also very sweet, nurturing, and compassionate. He was self-confident, but not cocky, and was very sexy. The moments Reese and Roxy shared were sweet, meaningful, romantic, and red hot!
The suspense of a serial rapist, as well as Roxy's stalker, added a lot of suspense to the story. The storyline kept my attention as I was trying to figure out who could possibly be staking Roxy. It was such a treat having Cam, Avery, Jase, Teresa, Jax, and Calla grace some of the scenes in Fall With Me. I love these characters so much, and couldn't get enough of them!
I give, Fall With Me, by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 4.5 Sexy Swat Officer, Scary Stalker Suspense, Swoon-Worthy, and Sensual Stars! Read the Wait For You Series for an amazing set of addictive stories, phenomenal characters, and sultry sexy times!!!
My Favorite Quote:
"I'm scared, too. And there are times I question what I deserve, but we're in this together. So fall with me, he said, smoothing his thumbs along my cheekbones. 'Let yourself go and fall with me, and baby, I will catch you.' " (pg. 321)
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.