Title: Playing With Fire
Author: Amy Knupp
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 256 Pages
Print ISBN: 978-0373716463
eBook ISBN: 978-1426860652
Purchase : Amazon eHarlequin
Macey Locke is not backing down. That means Derek Severson—the man she's been attracted to for years—is just going to have to deal. She hasn't come all the way to this South Texas beach bar for a tan. She's here to help her best friend get back to being what he loves—a firefighter.
But Derek is more stubborn than she thought. He won't tolerate her cajoling, and he's definitely not hearing any confessions of love and affection.
Well, too bad. This time, tough guy, you've met your match.
I liked this book by Ms. Knupp, it was a perfect summer afternoon read and is the first book in her new series for Harlequin. The story moved at a fairly good pace and there was plenty of back story on the two main characters so that you could understand what they felt and why they felt the way that they did.
I really liked Macey as the heroine, she was smart, generous and persistent. She's been secretly in love with Derek "Dare" Severson since she was 5 years old. When he starts to date someone that she knows and she doesn't feel like she can take watching it on a daily basis, she volunteers for the peace corps and spends 2 years out of the country. While she is gone she does a lot of growing up and feels like she is ready to go on with her life plans. When she comes back home she discovers that tragedy struck while she was gone and that the young woman "Dare" had been dating has died in a fire. After the funeral "Dare" leaves town and Macey waits for 6 months and then decides that it is time to go help "Dare" move on with his life.
Derek "Dare" Severson is a man who is very fragile when the book begins. He's walked away from the career that he loves because he feels personally responsible for not being able to save the woman he had intended to marry. He's also walked away from his family and friends and has isolated himself in Southern Texas taking care of the bar that his uncle owns. He is in denial of the fact that he needs help, he can't sleep for long periods of time without nightmares and is slowly working himself to death.
I loved when Macey and "Dare" interacted because you could feel the real emotion behind their words. Macey is the ideal woman for "Dare" because she understands what drove him to be a fireman and in a way her peace corps work was a very similar experience. These are two people who feel a need to give back to others and to share in the human experience. When "Dare" finally realizes the real emotions that he has towards Macey, it is very rewarding.
The next book in this series A Little Consequence (Harlequin Superromance) will be released in August and I've already pre-ordered it. I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Knupp does with the additional firefighters that she introduced us to in this book.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: The reviewer purchased this book for review.