cover image Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

Kate Meader. Pocket, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8592-9

Meader packs the flawless second Hot in Chicago romance (after Flirting with Fire) with superb relationship development and profane but note-perfect dialogue. Firefighter Alexandra Dempsey and Mayor Eli Cooper were enemies even before she destroyed his biggest donor’s Lamborghini, and the two have no problem expressing their disdain for each other. He’s arrogant, demanding, and underhanded. She has the filthiest mouth of any woman he’s ever known—and he’d like nothing more than to feel it all over him. Eli strong-arms Alexandra into pretending to date him, claiming that the voters would love to see them together and her popularity will work wonders for his dwindling poll numbers. Powered by chemistry hotter than the fires she puts out, they brush away past indiscretions and bulldoze perceived insecurities before forging ahead with the kinkiest relationship ever to rock the Chicago civil service. The secondary characters play their parts beautifully, and Eli and Alexandra are a captivating couple. Without leaving readers cheated, an unanswered question paves the way for the next installment. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Oct.)