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Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Playing with Fire by Kate Meader


I liked almost everything in this book, except the heroine's off job behavior and that made a BIG difference in how I felt about the book at the end.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: September 29,2015

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…


Engine Co. 6’s sole female firefighter, Alexandra Dempsey has had to battle for every scrap of respect she can get her hands on and it still isn’t enough. Her co-workers think she can’t handle the pressure, their wives and girlfriends think she’s after their men and her foster brothers are so protective of her it’s suffocating. When she single handedly saves the life of Chicago’s mayor, Alex thinks she’s finally won the respect she desperately craves.



Eli Cooper’s chances for reelection are slim to none until he’s saved by the city’s most well known firefighter. The media attention from the rescue could be just what he needs to boost his popularity and chances so he plans to milk it for all it’s worth. Unfortunately that means he has to spend a lot of time with Alexandra and the serious sparks that seem to ignite whenever they’re close.

I love it when an author writes an entire series around a foster family that is closer than any blood bonded family. Especially when they do it like author Kate Meader. This is the first time I’ve read a book in the Hot in Chicago series but one thing I noticed immediately was the unconditional love and support Alexandra Dempsey had from her brothers. While it was repeated frequently throughout the book, none of the siblings ever acted like they weren’t anything but family. I loved that about them.

I loved Alex’s profession. A female firefighter in a male dominated firehouse. What a challenge for Alex to have to face every day! Not to mention the countless fires she faced. She was a very strong willed character and I loved that the author made her so tough yet still feminine. However, Alex’s personality got in the way of my admiration of her as a female firefighter. She was a little “too much” for me most of the time. Too loud, too judgmental, and definitely too temperamental. To me she sounded like a female version of Yosemite Sam from Looney Tunes. Quick to anger and wrong 90% of the time. She spoke before she thought which made her look and sound like an idiot. That would have been fine if throughout the book she started to mature, grow and change that bad habit, but nope, impulse judging and diarrhea of the mouth seemed to be her defining and least attractive traits.

With Alex being the temperamental one, it was pretty much up to Eli to be the voice of reason between the two of them. Sometimes it felt like Alex was the powder keg and Eli was the flickering flame, at any moment they could combust and take down any unfortunate soul that was standing too close. Eli has to be the first and possibly only hero who has been a politician that I could actually stand to read about. Author Kate Meader did a great job of giving him the attitude and thought process that is usually associated with politicians without all that shady, sleazy, scumbag background that we see in the news. Didn’t mean Eli was perfect, he had his moments of abusing his position and manipulating situations but those traits weren’t unique to him as a politician. He was definitely likable and I totally understand why Alex couldn’t stay away from him.

Plot wise Playing with Fire was interesting and fun if not predictable. I loved how it didn’t just focus on Alex and Eli’s romance but also on their individual lives. It kind of felt like a ride along to me, there was so much detail that the author put into the scenes without slowing the entire book down. Alex and Eli were their own separate characters who happened to have undeniable chemistry. As I’ve never been near a politician, much less a female firefighter, I liked the descriptions of their day to day activities at work.

Playing with Fire served as my introduction to this close knit firefighting family and while Alex Dempsey didn’t completely win me over, I did enjoy her story and her romance with mayor Eli Cooper.


Final Verdict: I'm willing to try the previous books in the series.


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