I loved reading Playing with Fire! It’s a solid, entertaining read that is just SO good. It’s also seriously hot and sexy – I was totally not expecting the hero, the mayor of Chicago, to be as smokin’ as he was! Kate Meader has written a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance that I was seriously invested in.
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the fact that the heroine is a female firefighter. I don’t think I’ve ever read about one before, so I was super excited to read about Alex Dempsey. And I loved what I found in her – Alex is a tough, independent, strong woman who doesn’t take shit from anyone, least of all Mayor Eli Cooper. She does what she wants, but that’s not always a good thing… since she doesn’t always think about the consequences of her actions. So one anger-fueled incident lands her right in the lap of the man she loves to hate.
Oh, God, this sexy-hate thing between them was crazy. She felt an overwhelming urge to both punch him and hug him.
Eli Cooper is running for the second term of his mayorship (is that a word?) and he needs the backing of the firefighters, especially the Dempseys, to win the election. Eli is kind of a dick in the beginning of the book – he’s made sexist comments towards female firefighters (which is the first reason why Alex loves to hate him), and he blackmails Alex into pretending to date him for the media. But as I read more, I saw another, better side to Eli, one that’s not as cold and callous as he first seemed. And this change and redemption is all thanks to one fiery, passionate woman.
Eli has wanted Alex since he first saw her, but it seems that with every encounter, they only bring out the worst in each other. The banter, the sharp remarks, the glares – they all serve to light up the crazy-hot chemistry that’s been there from the start. I loved that Eli and Alex are such a perfect match for one another and that they’re able to go head-to-head with neither of them backing down. And oh. my. god. The sex between them is panty-melting H.O.T! Eli’s mouth is the dirtiest thing ever, and I loved it. I loved how alpha he is, how sensual and sexy and dominant he is in bed. You will seriously need a FAN when you read this book!
“I will fuck the ever-loving smart-assery out of you, Alexandra.” He got started on that, pumping in and out, in and out. Deeper, harder. “I’m going to fuck you so good the only word on your lips will be my name. The only answer to every question will be my name. Now say it.”
Eli also has to do some wooing to win the heart of the woman he’s fallen for, and I just about died at the way he goes about it. First he’s a dirty-talking alpha-male, and now he’s sweet and loving? My heart couldn’t handle it. I ended up falling so hard for his character. I loved Alex, but Eli was definitely my favorite character in this book.
“You’re a goddess and I’m not worthy to worship at your feet, but I’m happy to spend the rest of my life trying to be good enough for you.”
This review is littered with firefighter puns, but there’s no better way to describe Playing with Fire than a scorching hot romance you don’t want to miss. It’s a great, satisfying read with fantastic writing and a cast of characters I adore. I can’t wait for more from this series!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: Hot in Chicago series
#1 ~ Flirting with Fire: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Melting Point: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Playing with Fire: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Sparking the Fire: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Sept. 27, 2016)