by Kate Meader
Series: Hot in Chicago #1.5
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M
Firefighter Gage Simpson has it all: the job of his dreams, the family of his heart, and no shortage of hot guys lining up to share his bed. “Fun and easy” is his motto—and it’s kept him sunny through a painful upbringing and steered him away from trouble. But when trouble comes knocking in the form of a sexy, scarred, tattooed chef with a harrowing past and zero communication skills, Gage can’t help but be drawn to the flame. Brady Smith isn’t fun. And easy isn’t in his vocabulary. When cocky Gage swaggers into his restaurant kitchen, the former Marine-turned-five-star-chef is blindsided by the firefighter’s beauty. Then confused that this golden guy with the sparkling blue eyes and the body of a god might be interested in him. As desire flares and temperatures rise, Gage and Brady will have to figure out if the heat between them is just a temporary flash—or the beginning of something real.
After reading Flirting with Fire by Kate Meader, the first novel in the Hot in Chicago series I was hoping we would get more of Firefighter Gage Simpson and Brady Smith the guarded, tattooed chef. The heat and humor from their first introduction had me craving more. Melting Point delivered their complicated, emotional and heated romance.
I typically do not read M/M romances, but many of the series I read from mainstream publishers have begun weaving them in. This is my second; I popped my cherry with Laura Kaye’s Hard to Be Good, a novella in the Hard Ink series and loved it. This time I grabbed Melted Point without hesitation.
Gage is flirty, drop dead gorgeous and often the life of the party. He is also a decent, well-adjusted guy whose adopted family means everything. Gage made me laugh aloud with his vivacious personality but I also felt for him as Meader shared his childhood, and the noble man he is today.
Brady is the total opposite of Gage. While he works magic in the kitchen, his social skills are minimal at best. As a former Marine who has endured the unthinkable, he carries those memories along with guilt and the fear he will one day crumble.
These two are all heat and I worried that they would burn before opening up and sharing. The romance was sweet but not without obstacles. Gage would engage, Brady would run, and then Brady would reach out. Their struggle felt genuine, as did their emotions. The tale is heated and they spend a lot of time between the sheets before finally opening up and adding depth to the relationship.
Melting Point is a novella, as was the other M/M I enjoyed. (I guess maybe the publishers/authors are not quite ready for a full-length novel.) This hurt Melting Point on two fronts. First, the romance was heavier on heat. I really enjoyed other aspects of their relationship and wanted more. It would have given the story more balance. The second aspect was that we did not get much face time with the others characters. We did see Eli, the mayor and his part in this story was strong. The more I learn about him the more I like him. I cannot wait for his story.
Melting Point delivered in giving fans Gage and Brady’s story, but I wanted more. The heat was seriously hot and genuine but the lack of pages did not give the story the depth I crave.
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