Meader's FLIRTING WITH FIRE sucked me in from the first page to the last. The Dempsey's were a fun group to be around even when they were snarling due to an incident of one kind or another going on in their lives. Their love and support of family and each other given their starts in life is heartwarming. Luke and Wyatt as the eldest sons are protective and always there for younger siblings, Gage and Alex. Kinsey meets them all when the mayor, whom she works for in public relations, sends her to the firehouse to get Luke in line after he had been in a bar brawl with a police officer. Of course there's more to the story (isn't there always!) and Luke isn't a fan of Kinsey or her boss once he finds out the things she has in mind to clean up his reputation. That's when the fun really begins and the heat goes up a notch or two. Watching them dance around each other and their smoldering attraction, especially when they were working together, was fun to watch. They got each other even when others didn't and when they knew what the other was thinking they were really sunk.
Eli, the mayor, is woven in and out of the story, along with the other firefighters, Luke's ex-wife, Kinsey's ex-fiancé and Gage's gay lifestyle which for me was the only downside since I'm not a fan of these type of romances. There are family, friends, lots of exes, hurt, anger, tears, loss, competitions, the calendar photo shoot, food, out of the box loving, laughter, happiness, running scared and love. There are many burn up the sheets moments too. There was nice closure with an unexpected happily ever after in the offing. There are hints of what is to come in future stories along with an excerpt from book two, PLAYING WITH FIRE, that left me wanting more.
Meader is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her steamy, character driven books. I need to read the novella that started the HOT IN CHICAGO SERIES, REKINDLE THE FIRE, as well as the other books in the series, FLIRTING WITH FIRE, MELTING POINT (another novella), PLAYING WITH FIRE and SPARKING THE FIRE.