I’ve got a new favorite series 🙂
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 himin 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 isthe law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules
I had so much fun reading the prequel novella to this series, “Rekindle the Flame” (in the Baby, It’s Cold Outside anthology) that I was really looking forward to its first full-length novel.
It absolutely did not disappoint. 🙂
Kinsey and Luke (soon-to-be “Mr. July”, LOL) did not get along from page one—in spite of their attraction to one another (“It was all zingers and eye f*cking and enough heat to set off the smoke alarms” is how one bystander described their meeting)—which made reading their story so entertaining. They’re both extremely competitive, and right from the very first scene each tried to one-up the other. Can you say “sexy banter”? These two have it in spades. Throw in some off-the-charts chemistry, oh-so-hot sexy scenes, some two-on-two beach volleyball, and…wait for it…a shirtless fireman holding kittens…and really, what more could you possibly want? Kate Meader’s given us all of it here, and more.
Both Luke and Kinsey have been burned in love before and aren’t looking for anything permanent. Luke had a disastrous first marriage he hasn’t yet recovered from—over a year later he’s still sleeping on the couch instead of his bed, the bed his ex slept in with his former best friend. Months earlier, Kinsey had left a fantastic PR job in San Francisco to follow her surgeon fiancé to Chicago, only to be dumped weeks before their wedding when he found (and apparently impregnated, as she discovers later) someone else. To say they both have trust issues is a slight understatement.
On the surface, Kinsey seems to have a lot in common with Luke’s ex, and some of Luke’s attitudes appear similar to those of Kinsey’s former fiancé. Ms. Meader does a great job showing how they eventually come to realize that their new relationship is the real thing, and nothing like their former ones—no magic fixes, but a bumpy and believable journey. Both of them have the opportunity to make a “grand gesture”—the one that doesn’t work is heartbreaking, but makes the success of the second one all the sweeter.
I love books with a good family dynamic, and the Hot in Chicago series has that in spades. The Dempseys (five foster siblings, all firefighters in CFD’s Engine 6) really help to make this novel what it is—the way they all care about each other and constantly show it through good-natured nagging/ragging on/being all up in each others’ business was fantastic. Beck wasn’t in here much—he already had his story told in the novella and was on an extended vacay with Darcy for much of the book, lucky them—but the beginnings of both Gage (AKA “Baby Thor”) and Alex(andra)’s stories can be found here; and oh my goodness, I cannot wait until their books are released. (Gage’s–Melting Point–is a novella, Alex’s–Playing with Fire–a full-length novel, probably because Mayor McA**hat is gonna need a whole lot of work.)
Rating: 4 ½ stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.