Review: Playing with Fire

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Playing with Fire
Playing with Fire by Kate Meader
Dali’s review and rating: 5 of 5 stars


A blazing hot and deliciously swoony page-turner romance about a fierce and untamable woman firefighter and the hot, bossy, alpha male who sought to possess her heart.

“I wanted you. Just you. In a selfish, ruinous, soul-destroying way. From the minute I saw you… I’ve wanted you with a ferocity I can’t even fathom.”

Alexandra Dempsey is part of a firefighting legacy, her adoptive father and foster brothers are all part of the Dempsey clan of Engine Co. 6. Even though she wears pink underneath her bunker gear and dreams of finding love, she’s a tough as nails woman who knows how to take care of herself. Convincing every male around her of this is a different story altogether. From her overbearing foster brothers to even the incredibly attractive Eli Cooper, city Mayor, proving that she can do her job well is like going up a river. That is until she save’s Eli’s life… and then he saves hers right back.

“You’re obsessed with her.”
“She’s difficult, foul-mouthed, a pain in my ass. I can’t put her in a dress or give her a compliment without her squawking about it. Her family hates me and I don’t think so highly of them. She’s also funny, gorgeous, and the sexiest woman I’ve ever met.”


Chicago’s Mayor is up for reelection and his numbers aren’t good. But after coming out of a burning hotel with sexy Lexi in tow, the media and citizenry doesn’t just take notice of the heroics, but also the undeniable chemistry between them. Wanting to take advantage of the situation, he lies and coerces her into not so fake dating him in the hopes to get this infuriatingly vivacious woman that’s captured his attention since the moment he first laid eyes on out of his system and if she helps him win the reelection, that wouldn’t be bad either.

“F*ck fair. I’m a no-good, dirty, rotten bastard who knows what he wants and will fight like hell to get it. I’ll destroy anyone who says a words against you, who lays a hand upon you, who gets in my f*cking way.”

But besides not supporting woman in male professions, Eli has a secret that could destroy everything. How many principles is Eli willing to bend to win the mayoralty? And how can the man that doesn’t believe in fairy tales get along with the woman who’s looking for her very own prince charming?

Kate Meader knows how to write a humorous, smoldering hot and swoony romance that kept me turning page after blazing hot page until the absolutely sweet and romantic end. I didn’t just love the plot, characters and sexy-hate banter, the writing was phenomenal, I have highlights in every other page. And then Meader delivers my ultimate deathblow, she combines humor with Star Trek and Star Wars. That alone merits an extra star in my rating!

“Star Wars or Star Trek?”
“There’s the Millennium Falcon, still in its original packaging, in the attic.”
“Impressive.”
Said in her most awesome Darth Vader voice. “But it’s a trick question. The answer is ‘Can’t these two great universes just get along?’”

But back to the characters and their story. Lexi is the kind of heroine I would like to be friends with. Who wouldn’t want a tough, loyal and fearless girlfriend who could make you laugh and save your life, even if she was a bit rash and quick tempered? I liked that she isn’t afraid to put herself out there and date until she finds a man who’s capable of accepting and respecting her?

“Boobs out, smile wide, voice low. Being sexy was exhausting.”

I completely swooned over the ex-marine, lawyer and mayor of Chicago with caveman tendencies. “The woo was strong with this one.” Eli is captivatingly charming with an answer for everything and a single minded determination to get what he wants. He just needed to decide what he wanted more, the woman who brought vibrancy to his life or the job that was slowing corroding his soul.

“I’ve lied and cheated to make you mine, but I never promised you to play fair. How I feel about you isn’t noble or pure, it just is. In this crazy, f*cked-up life I lead, you are my one constant. And I need you, Alexandra.”

Even with their animosity, Alex and Eli cause breathtaking fireworks and their heated push and pull grabbed me right from the start. I loved how their arguing was fun and flirty…

“Pigtail pulling, honey. Inside every man struck clueless by a woman is a snotty little schoolboy on the playground.”
She battled a smile. Lost the fight. “You liked me.”
“To my horror.”

And sometimes downright panty-melting, blazingly sexy

“I will fuck the ever-loving smart-assery out of you, Alexandra.”

And then their hate-lust relationship morphed into a sweet romance I thoroughly enjoyed after they opened up to each other.

“You think you can save me, Alexandra?”
She rubbed her nose against his. “I know I already did.”

Playing with Fire is the second book in the Hot in Chicago series by Kate Meader. It is an erotic contemporary romance, filled with excitement, laughs, seductive wit and scorching attraction. It incorporates characters from past books in the series but can be read as a standalone (I did). Told from both points of view with a happy ending.

Amazon US -> http://amzn.to/1GtDsL7
* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley, Pocket Books and by Kate Meader. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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