Series: DreamMakers #1
Format Read: Kindle ARC
Source: from the author (Arend) in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 22, 2014
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Blurb from goodreads:
He’s ready to lead the way
Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.
She’s more than willing to follow
Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.
I like the premise of this book and I admit, I was amused it by it. Big, strong tough Rangers arranging dates and being all soft and romantic? I had to see how that played out. Pretty darn well is the answer. They approach each job as if they are doing recon and in fact, they do do recon. They gather info about the "target" and are careful not to overstep the bounds of ethics or laws.
Parker (and I wish he had another name as I kept picturing a three year old with that name who was in my class a few years back) is cocky, smart, funny, observant, honorable, sweet, and too sexy for his own good (as are his partners, oh my). He doesn't make a move on Lynn until she dumps her boyfriend, Phil (apparently she likes names starting with P). Now Phil, he's not honorable, funny, sweet or sexy. He's a lying cheating dirtbag and Lynn's friend Suz (I like her, she's a riot!) knows just how to deal with him:
"Egotistical, double-crossing, lying son of a bitch needs to have his balls peeled with a rusty spoon."
And, by the way, she's right. Phil deserves that at the very least. :D Suz is ferocious and more than willing to defend herself and Lynn. Lynn is young, a bit naive, and tends to be a doormat. I didn't completely buy the explanation we're given for why she had been willing to settle for Phil but I could overlook it. When she realizes that not only is there no spark between Phil and herself but she's bored and he's also cheating on her, she dumps him. She's ready for change in her life and boy, does she jump in head first! She and Parker hook up, plus Parker's buddy and co-worker Dean, and they had a hot, steamy night. Then she and Parker start dating. Yes, they got it backwards but hey, it worked for them and it worked for the story. There's a minor bit of deception on Parker's part that causes some minor drama and sets up the ending. I was happy that the authors didn't draw it out and make it a big, stupid mountain of idiocy but the resolution left me shaking my head. More on that coming up.
"All Fired Up" is sweet, steamy, humorous fun. Arend and Kennedy had a wonderful mix of romance, sex, sweet vignettes and funny moments. I was really enjoying it right up until about the 80% mark and then I went "WTF?" Phil does something that I feel doesn't fit his character and was also completely unnecessary. The book had been mostly drama free until then, which was fine, and then out of left field, we got ridiculous drama. It was quickly resolved, which made me happy, but the remainder of the book was full of cliches and sticky sweetness as threads were tied up and the groundwork was laid for the next book. So, the first 80% was a solid four stars, the last 20% a definite two stars. I'd give it three-and-a-half stars overall. I'll definitely be back for book two.
About the Authors:
Vivian Arend in one word: Adventurous. In a sentence: Willing to try just about anything once. That wide-eyed attitude has taken her around North America, through parts of Europe, and into Central and South America, often with no running water.
Her optimistic outlook also meant that when challenged to write a book, she gave it a shot, and discovered creating worlds to play in was nearly as addictive as traveling the real one. Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of both contemporary and paranormal stories, Vivian continues to explore, write and otherwise keep herself well entertained.
A RITA-award nominated author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.
Elle currently publishes with Signet Eclipse, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and Samhain Publishing. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!