Sparking the Fire
Kate Meader     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hot in Chicago
Book: 3

Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back to the big time and restore her self-respect.

Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Co. 6, needs a low-key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. Especially when in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…

The first thing I noticed about Sparking the Fire was the writing. It’s very good. Must be the writer in me. As for the story…well it sucked. Just kidding. Of course it didn’t suck. I gave it 4 stars didn’t I? That’s a very solid recommend from moi.

I loved the opening scene. Totally had me going there. I wasn’t expecting things to unfold the way they did. Very nice touch, that. You’ll know what I mean when you read it. I don’t want to spoil it for you. I’ll just give you the first three sentences of the book.

Once upon a sultry summer night…

Her nipples sensed his presence before every other part of her.

The drop-dead gorgeous Marine.

And they’re off. Caution: sexy times directly ahead where Molly Cade and Wyatt Fox share a six-day passionate, steamy fling before parting ways. Molly off to become an Oscar winning actor and Wyatt, a life-saving firefighter. Five years later with Molly fresh off a humiliating divorce from her movie star husband, the former lovers are reunited on the set of her latest movie. And the attraction between them is still as strong as ever.

Molly’s deal is that she’d like to use Wyatt’s sister (a firefighter) Alexandra’s romance with Eli Cooper, the then mayor of Chicago, in the movie she’s starring in and producing. Wyatt and Eli are against the idea but Molly is undeterred. After starting her own production company, she wants/needs a hit to regain her footing after naked pictures her husband took of her are leaked and posted all over the internet.

A word of warning ladies. Do NOT let anyone take naked pictures of you if you don’t want the world to see them.

Okay, back to the book. As you can imagine, Molly is completely shaken by the experience. Her life is now paparazzi and bodyguards. But then there’s Wyatt…and his beard. She wants him, and she knows the feeling is mutual. And honestly, thank God for that. I love it when the heroine isn’t missish about it. None of that feigning who feels what about who. Their problem is more the how to make it work—even if it’s just another fling.

Wyatt gave me a whole new perspective on beards. I love a neat goatee but I was never keen on beards. Now though, maybe... Sure seems to work really well for Molly, and Ms. Meader definitely make them sound sexy. Almost as sexy as the guy who sports one almost the entire book.

Alpha male? Check. Thong-meltingly hot? Check. Lover extraordinaire? Check. Loves his large boisterous family? Check. Total hero material? Check. Wyatt Foxx is all that and more. But what endeared him to me was his that little bit of insecurity he feels about Molly. That this incredible woman would want him. That’s real no matter how drop-dead gorgeous he is. She’s this beautiful movie star with a net worth in the millions and I think most guys in his position would feel the same way.

On the comic relief side, I loved Gage. He’s Wyatt’s ridiculously hot gay brother who’s intent on getting a part in the movie. Gage doesn’t lack for modesty or humility. He knows exactly how good-looking he is and isn’t the least bit shy about letting others know. Staying in the family vein, my interest in Eli and Alexander’s romance was so peaked, I bought their book, Playing With Fire, halfway through this book. Lucky for me it was on sale. :)

All in all, the obstacles to Molly and Wyatt’s road to happily-ever-after are not insignificant. One is in the form of a teenager (you’ll have to read to find out who Roni is), another, an ex-husband. Then there’s their lifestyles, which couldn’t be more opposite. How they eventually make it all work—and those hot love scenes—is what worked for me.

~ Beverley