Title: Flirting with Fire
Author: Kate Hardy
Series: Men of Marietta #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Meet Mr. July…
When meticulous rule-follower Emily Foster meets adrenaline junkie Lyle Tate, the last thing she wants to do is get involved with him–especially as her twin sister has fallen in love with his older brother.
But under his charming, reckless, sexy exterior, Tate’s the kind of man who rescues people. Can Emily break her rules enough to learn that she can trust Tate with her heart? And will Tate let Emily close enough to learn his deepest, darkest secrets and let her prove to him that he’s worthy of love?
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
Unusually for these multi-authored Marietta series, this book picks up right where the last one ended. The author might be different, but many of the characters are the same, as younger brother Lyle from the first book becomes the hero of this one, while Emily (twin to the previous heroine) emerges from the shadows to check up on her sister. You don’t need to have read Taming the Deputy to enjoy this one, but it will help.
Because Lyle is a real charmer. Or he is usually, except Emily seems to bring out the worst in him. It was great to finally get inside Lyle’s head and find out how much of his terrible childhood impacted on him and whether he really is as carefree as he shows the world. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot more to Lyle than that, and it has a big impact on the decisions he makes in this book.
Except for the Lady Gaga moment, which was a great hark back to the Bachelor Bake Off series and a certain bet made in A Spoonful of Sugar. (Speaking of fun things, I really hope that Lyle Tate and his habit of calling women sugar is a deliberate pun on Tate & Lyle, the sugar company. If not, it should be.)
I really liked Emily. She has her own parental issues to deal with, and though they’re not as bad as what Lyle and Logan went through, she’s also handled them a lot better. She’s smart and competent and excellent at picking up the pieces – of her own disastrous relationships, of her sister’s mistakes and even Lyle’s emotional fall out.
I like them together, they have great chemistry, but I do feel a little doubtful that anything could really last between them. They’re very different and don’t have much in common, and the ending felt so rushed that I’m not convinced a long term relationship would work out. I also wasn’t happy that the big emotional issues were left until the very last chapter to be resolved. With everything else going on, that felt far too late for me.
So on the whole this was a good read, continuing the fun of this new Marietta series, with likeable characters and lots of glimpses of a happy Charlie. I just would have liked a longer resolution and more concrete plans of their future to take this from a tentative HFN into a real HEA. Regardless, I still enjoyed it and can’t wait to see where this series heads next.
Flirting with Fire is Out Now.
Visit Kate Hardy for more details.