Playing with Fire by Kate Meader

September 28th, 2015 Kimberly Review 64 Comments

28th Sep
Playing with Fire by Kate Meader
Playing with Fire
by Kate Meader
Series: Hot in Chicago #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

As the only female firefighter at Engine Co. 6, Alexandra Dempsey gets it from all sides: the male coworkers who think she can’t do the job, the wives and girlfriends who see her as a threat to their firefighter men, and her overprotective foster brothers who want to shelter their baby sister at all costs. So when she single-handedly saves the life of Eli Cooper, Chicago’s devastatingly handsome mayor, she assumes the respect she’s longed for will finally come her way. But it seems Mr. Mayor has other ideas…Eli Cooper’s mayoral ratings are plummeting, his chances at reelection dead in the water. When a sexy, curvaceous firefighter gives him the kiss of life, she does more than bring him back to the land of the living—she also breathes vitality into his campaign. Riding the wave of their feel-good story might prop up Eli’s flagging political fortunes, but the sizzling attraction between them can go nowhere; he’s her boss, and there are rules that must be obeyed. But you know what they say about rules: they’re made to be broken…

Playing with Fire by Kate Meader is the second book in the Hot in Chicago series that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings in Chicago. Playing with Fire belongs to the feisty, outspoken female firefighter Alexandra Dempsey. Meader shares a haters to lovers romance with sizzle. I loved spending time with Eli and Alexandra.

While each of the books in this series feature one couple and can be read as a standalone, I totally recommend reading them in order, as you will miss the beginning buds of this fiery hot, banter-filled relationship.

Coffee Dates with Playing with Fire

  • First date: Alex and Eli Cooper the town Mayor clashed in book one with wicked banter and one-line zingers. I was anxious to see their relationship unfold. To be honest I was also a little nervous as I was not a complete fan of Eli. However, the novella Melting Point showed another side of Eli that made my heart soften. Our first date has Alex saving the mayor’s life and oh, how the sparks fly. Zing. Crackle, Bam! I slipped right into this date and loved how realistic Meader made Alex. She is outspoken, passionate and acts like a tomboy but underneath that exterior lies a passionate woman looking for a man her equal.
  • Second date: Alex’s hair is uncontrollable, she has a body like Marilyn Monroe and I want to be her bestie. I loved her attitude and she needs it working at the firehouse and dealing with the boys. She and Eli enter an arrangement to help his campaign. I love the arrangement trope, as it never really goes like they expected. The rest of the Dempsey clan is outraged when they see Alex and Eli stepping out on the town and I loved all the tension. Meader begins to peel back Eli’s layers and exposes his dominate side. She did a wonderful job of providing the back story to the man he is today. As things begin to heat up between them neither is willing to admit this is anything but physical attraction. There is a subtle dominate/submissive theme in Playing with Fire and I loved the realistic, heated approach Meader took. Fans of Jennifer Dawson will enjoy Meader’s style.
  • Third date: Secrets, political maneuvers and character growth provided a few bumps on our last date.  Eli opens his mouth and inserts his foot a lot but we witness tremendous growth from him. I found myself rooting for Eli and Alex.  At this point I could not set the story down. Meader weaves in the other Dempsey siblings, some town politics and plenty of humor to keep the reader engaged. Plenty of swoons and heartwarming deets curled my toes and made this late date positively delightful.

Playing with Fire was a fully developed,  swoon worthy read with characters that further endeared me to the Dempsey siblings and the Hot in Chicago series. Meader is an author to add to your wish list if you like a small-town feel with heat, fleshed out characters and plenty of snark.

About Kate Meader

Kate writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip. Her latest series, Hot in Chicago, features firefighting foster siblings. With tattoos.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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64 Responses to “Playing with Fire by Kate Meader”

  1. Teddyree

    *fans self* … haven’t read a really HOT series in a while, this could be it. Snark and siblings do it for me too 🙂

  2. Trish

    I love that it deals with foster siblings as that is a theme that really appeals to me. I also love snark so this sounds great! And hot too 🙂

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    This series is so going on my list of Kimba Recs. 😉 I love the tropes used here – haters to lovers and an arrangement. And I just love the sound of Alex. I’m sure it’s tough being a female in a male dominated profession but she seems to hold her own. We’ll see if I can get to this series in October. 🙂

  4. Lorna

    I haven’t read this series or author yet. Do you have to read the first book and the novella you mention or can you enjoy without? Just wondering. You have a way with getting me to read books I would never look at twice 🙂 Great review!

  5. Melliane

    It’s great to find a good fire series and I really like the fact that it’s a woman there! It’s a nice change!

  6. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh I love it when the woman is someone you want to be besties. Usually then you know the woman could hold her own with the guys she is surrounded. Oh this looks like something I would enjoy. Plus, hot firemen? Who could resist??? 😀

  7. Sarah

    I think I might have book one on my bookshelf somewhere. I love firefighter romances! Hahaha love that Alex’s hair is uncontrollable, I can TOTALLY relate! Gonna have to read the first book ASAP! Thanks for sharing, Kimberly 🙂

  8. Christy

    I like when characters carryover so much and the story line sort of start in previous books. It give history and more substance. I’ll have to add these for sure. Because we all know I love a feisty female MC.

  9. Debbie Haupt

    I love it when a character worms his/her way into a readers heart especially after not liking them at first. Thanks Kim great review. I haven’t read this author

  10. Heidi

    I always love books with heat and snark, plus a small town setting. Sounds like a great book to curl up with when you need an escape.

  11. kindlemom1

    I love that the heroine isn’t perfect and her hair is crazy! Even with a smocking body, it is nice to see some flaws and hey, if you want to be besties with her, then I know I will love her too. 😉

  12. Grace MyBookSnack

    I’ve been hearing so much about this series! I love a good firefighter read, and I love that it’s a female firefighter in this one. Great review, Kim!

  13. Blessie (Mischievous Reads)

    This sounds so good, omg! The last firefighter series I read was Jennifer Bernard’s The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series. I need more of these in my life, because, seriously, firemen/women are just sexy as heck! I’d want to be bestie’s with someone who’s kickass as Alex too! Awesome review, Kimba!

  14. Jenny

    This definitely sounds like a fun read Kim! And I’m with Nick? A heroine who single handedly saves the hero? YES AND PLEASE!!!!

  15. Nick

    OK I LOOOVE the fact that she’s the one who saves him! I’m already in love with this girl. I need to get on this series because it sounds so perfect for me with the snark, the banter and of course, the 4 flames (haha!).
    Lovely review, Kim!

  16. Katherine

    I love an arrangement trope too! Things definitely don’t go as arranged and it’s so fun to watch! I love the firefighter angle and Alex sounds like a fun character. Plus I love a book that’s fun and has some growth in there. Going on the TBR!

  17. Maureen Beatrice

    Wow.. This series sounds amazing. I’m definitely putting it on my TBR. I like strong female characters and a woman as a fire fighter sounds almost too good to be true.

  18. Bea

    I’m about halfway through right now. I’m glad to hear that Eli grows because right now he’s a serious a***le and I’m having trouble seeing redeeming value in him. I’ll probably finish this on the airplane later today.