Meader's PLAYING WITH FIRE is hot, hot, hot especially with all the dirty words and sexual innuendo that sometimes got a little out of control. Good thing that the Dempsey's including Alex are firefighters! There was such chemistry between Alex and Eli but neither knew what to do about it and Eli wasn't always trustworthy in his actions. They would take two steps forward and at least one back over and over again but couldn't stay apart. There were a lot of outside influences giving their feedback and two cents about what they were doing and how they were acting and most were not on board at all. Kinsey and Darcy, her future sister in laws, kept trying to give her advice but they also wanted all the scoops too. Luke and the other siblings were overprotective once again but most of the time Alex could hold her own with them even though she did have self esteem issues especially given her dating history. However, she was one of the strongest heroines I've met in awhile and stood her ground when necessary.
There were secrets, scandals, politics, firefighters and police as well as family and friends, sadness, hurt, anger, lies, tears, romance, lots of lingerie, happiness, laughter, smiles and lots of loving and love. Shadow, Eli's dog, was a great addition to the story. There was nice closure with an unexpected happily ever after in the offing that I didn't see coming and an ending that blew me away. There was an excerpt from book three, SPARKING THE FIRE, that left me wanting more but unfortunately I'll have to wait until sometime next year for it.
Meader is a fairly new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her steamy, character driven books especially those involving the Dempseys. I need to read the novella that started the HOT IN CHICAGO SERIES, REKINDLE THE FIRE, as well as the next book in the series, SPARKING THE FIRE. I, for one, hope there will be many more to come.