Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 30, 2015
Challenges: Finishing the Series
Buying Links: Amazon* | ARe* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Cuddle up by the fire with the irresistible prequel to Kate Meader’s smokin’ Hot in Chicago series—originally published in the sizzling holiday anthology Baby, It’s Cold Outside—a superhot e-novella that will warm you from your head to your heart and all the way to your toes!
Chicago firefighter Beck Rivera always knew his destiny would be defined by two things: his dream to follow in the footsteps of his legendary foster father Sean Dempsey and his teenage passion for heiress Darcy Cochrane, the one girl who could both stoke and cool his fire. Loving her meant setting her free and breaking her heart—and his. But when a chance reunion at his family’s bar, sparked by a drunk Santa, places her in his path again, destiny can no longer be denied.
The last thing heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane needs is the rollercoaster of emotion stirred up by her first love: sexy, gorgeous man-on-fire Beck Rivera. But he always had such talented hands. And more talented lips. And...maybe one time can’t hurt. Then she’ll send him packing like he did to her all those years ago. But Darcy and Beck soon discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love.
I read this as part of the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" anthology but it has since been released as a single story in ebook format. This is the first in Meader's firefighter series, Hot In Chicago. "Rekindle the Flame" is a second chance romance; Beck and Darcy were involved in high school but then Beck dumped Darcy without telling her why. Seven years later, they cross paths again and the heat between them is still there.
I liked both Beck and Darcy, especially how Darcy managed to step out of her family's shadow and create her own life on her terms. Beck is proud of her work and appreciates what she's done with her life. He's also turned his life around, with help from his foster family the Dempseys.
However, I had several problems with the romance: 1) Although they were involved in the past, they came together again awfully quickly, bing bang boom. I felt like I'd missed a chapter. 2) Darcy was awfully quick to forgive Beck for dumping her all those years ago especially once she found out why. Plus Beck wasn't sorry for what he did and even tries to claim that she wouldn't be the success she was if he hadn't dumped her. Egotistical much? 3) Most importantly, I never really felt the lust or the love between Beck and Darcy. The sex scenes were hot but I just didn't feel the attraction so I didn't care if they worked things out or stayed together.
I loved this first glimpse of Brady, since I read this after reading the latter books first, and Beck's interactions with his family were delightful, full of love, teasing, and the frustration that only siblings can cause. I just wish the romance had been stronger.