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Friday, January 3, 2014

ARC Review: Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: January 7, 2014

When it comes to love, they already know the rules…by heart.

Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she’s not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.

That’s fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he’s devoted to the only faithful companion in his life—his police dog. Still, there’s something about Emma he can’t shake.

When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they’re giving each other something they thought they’d lost forever… hope.

* There is a minor spoiler (which is blocked out) that reveals one of the canine characters' breed.
Excuse me while I try and contain the big smile that Hope Flames left me with. Yes, this book is a keeper for me, the next book in the series is on my radar and author Jaci Burton is now on my "watch" list.

The story was sexy and sweet with a hint of suspense. Luke and Emma don't spend a lot of time dancing around their attraction to one another and while they start off with an uneasy, attraction fueled friendship, it isn't long before they slide into what they think is a no strings attached relationship. Luke was a take charge, protect the innocent kind of guy but he wasn't overbearing or controlling about it. He loved his job and he loved his four legged partner, what's not to love about this man?

As far as female characters go, Emma is one of my favorites. She didn't only work with animals but her love of them shined through her every interaction with them. She's a kind hearted but stubborn woman who wants to prove to herself more than anyone else, that she can stand on her own two feet. Despite her terrible experience in a previous relationship, she hasn't turned into an emotionless human machine, she just isn't in a hurry to get into another relationship. I admired the way she took back control of her life and made it on her own terms.

I do adore a man named Luke (Lucian, Lucas, Lucan... You get the idea), it's just such a strong and sexy name to me and he does his name justice! He's definitely sexy, I mean, he loves his dog and he's in law enforcement for crying out loud! He knows when to push Emma for answers and when to back off and he does it without coming across as a caveman know it all. Luke has just the right amount of strength and compassion to make him an excellent lead character for a reader like me.

It's no secret that I adore romances with animal lovers in them, because, duh, I'm an animal lover myself. Specifically dogs. However, sometimes it's gets a little repetitive with the same breed of dogs that get used over and over. A little variety never hurt any one right? Well Jaci Burton brought tears to my eyes when she decided that rescue dog Annie was going to be a pit bull and had Emma champion the breed. I had already liked Emma as a heroine but I really loved her after that scene and I lived for scenes with little Annie.

Emma's past acts as a source of suspense and adds danger to Hope Flames but it doesn't take away from the romance between her and Luke, nor does it make Emma seem like an incompetent fool. As much as she wants to stand on her own two feet, she's smart enough to know when she's in over her head and can accept help from those who love her.

Hope Flames for me was a great introduction to Jaci Burton's work, I loved the characters both human and canine, the chemistry between Luke and Emma was effortless and I can't wait to get my hands on Logan McCormack. I mean Logan's book, yeah, that's what I meant.

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  1. Love Jaci Burton, I'm looking forward to this series. Thanks for the review, makes me look forward to it even more!

  2. It's my first book by her and now I've just got to have her Play by Play series!


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