Publisher: Pocket Books

June 16, 2017

Review | Sparking the Fire by Kate Meador

Review | Sparking the Fire by Kate MeadorSparking the Fire by Kate Meader
Series: Hot in Chicago #3
Publisher: Pocket Books, September 2016
Format: Paperback
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Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back to the big time and restore her self-respect. Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Co. 6, needs a low-key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. Especially when in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…

Sparking the Fire is the kind of book I pack for a beach weekend, long lazy afternoons in the park, or when I need a brain break. It’s got romance, wit, a coming-of-age story, and female empowerment. Plus a hot firefighter. What’s not to love?

America’s sweetheart Molly Cade is trying to pull her life back together after her very personal photos were leaked on the internet and this acting role looks like just the place to relaunch her career, and her life. But when Wyatt Fox, the man she had an intense, short-lived affair strides onto the set, her dreams for an easy comeback professionally shatter…that is, if she can keep her personal life out of the equation.

Molly could have been easily overwhelmed by Wyatt’s dominant, he-man (I say that in the best way possible) personality. He’s quiet, intense, guarded, and a little sarcastic. He’s used to getting his way and not arguing about it. Lucky for him (and the Sparking the Fire plot), Molly isn’t used to yielding just because someone else said so. This fire creates the chemistry that makes Meador’s third book in the series so much fun to read.

I loved all the side plots weaved into the story. Wyatt’s niece plays a significant role in his life: aside from helping to soften the he-man (again, best intentions) characteristic, she provides the foil to Molly’s own major life decisions. It’s a coming-of-age/rebuilding life story that brings the novel together.

Frankly, it’s weird to write this with my love of hot romance scenes, but the ones in Sparking the Fire were a little too much for me. Or unexpected? Maybe there were more unexpected. I didn’t expect the frequency of the hot-and-heavy scenes. Sometimes, it felt like they were supporting the plot, not all of the other fantastic elements Meador built into the story.

Either way, Sparking the Fire was a fun, quick read that I’d definitely grab again…that is, after I finish the rest of the Hot in Chicago series.

 

3 Stars

Posted June 16, 2017 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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July 4, 2016

Review | Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue

Review | Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa MayhueThirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue
Series: Daughters of the Glen, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books, June 2007
Pages: 356
Format: Paperback
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SCOTLAND, 1272. Connor MacKiernan, a descendant of the Fae Prince, is a warrior who lives only for honor and duty. Though he's vowed never to marry, that's exactly what he must do to save his sister. Enter a little Faerie magic, and the search for a bride is on. DENVER, 2007. Caitlyn Coryell is having a really bad day -- she just discovered her fiance with another woman! Imagine her surprise when she puts on some sexy lingerie and an antique pendant and Connor appears in her bedroom, begging for her help. He offers a simple yet outrageous adventure: travel to his time, marry him, and return home.
But nothing's simple when Cate is trapped in the thirteenth century. The wedding's delayed, someone's trying to kill her, and in the middle of all this, she realizes she's falling in love with a man who can only be her husband for thirty nights.

A 13th century Highlander who’s sworn off women. A 21st century woman who just realized her engagement is a sham. In a tale of time travel, Faerie magic, and family ties, Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband is one couple’s journey to discover true love.

The premise was a little odd. I loved how the opening set up the root of Faerie magic in the coming romance, but the magic that brought Cait into the past with Connor was just a bit strange. If you’re willing to suspend a little disbelief and roll with it, however, it’s a good story.

I liked Cait. Her 21st century sensibilities didn’t always mix well with the 13th century society, forcing her character to develop even further. Connor didn’t really come alive until their romance really started to bloom. I wish he had more qualities other than his devotion to his family. Don’t get me wrong; it fit him well. But he needed more.

While I didn’t quite buy the premise of the story, I liked Cait and Connor’s relationship. They each had a piece the other needed, something that could heal the gaping wound in the other.

I wasn’t too sure about the timeline. In many of the time-traveling Scottish romances I’ve read, time is measured the same, but Mayhue’s Thirty Nights doesn’t follow along those lines. Once I got used to it though, I loved it. It gave Cait room to grow and develop in the 13th century, learning how to handle her problems in the 21st.

Thirty Nights has some misses, but some hits as well, bright moments that shine through. I didn’t quite buy into the premise – it felt too contrived – but the resulting romance made a good read. Best of all, Mayhue’s ending seals the deal. It’s one of the best happily ever afters I’ve come across in a long time.

3 Stars

Posted July 4, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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