Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Jaci Burton

REVIEW:  Hope Flames  by Jaci Burton

REVIEW: Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

 

Dear Ms. Burton:

Generally speaking, small town romances work for me only in small doses, but given that I’m a big fan of your writing, I was immediately intrigued when I read the excerpt of Hope Flames. Emma Burnett has returned to the town she grew up in equipped with her veterinary license, a ton of college debt and a new veterinary practice. When Officer Luke McCormack comes into her office one evening, just as she’s closing up with his police dog, Boomer, Emma is immediately attracted. Boomer sprained his leg in pursuit of a suspect, and Luke wants him looked at right away. Emma and Luke engage in some very light flirtation, but neither are looking for any sort of relationship, so they leave it at that.

jaci burton hope flames.Luke is four years out from a disastrous marriage to a woman who seemed to be everything he wanted, right up until they got married, and she decided she didn’t want a cop for a husband, didn’t want to live on Luke’s family’s ranch, and certainly didn’t ever want children. To say he’s gun-shy would be an understatement. He’s all about finding a nice girl, showing her a good time, and ending things on friendly terms. For her part, Emma is back in town after fleeing an emotionally abusive relationship where she completely lost her sense of self for a man. She’s determined to never fall in love again, and certainly never allow any man to have any sort of hold on her.

But the light flirtation has made Luke wonder about Emma. She’s certainly gorgeous, and smart and funny. When she calls one night as a break-in is in progress in her clinic, Luke is the first on the scene. The suspect got away, but Luke likes the feel of Emma in his arms, so he asks her out as friends:

“Let me take you out.”

Her head jerked up and her gaze met his. “What?”

Yeah, what exactly. He couldn’t believe he’d said that. But now that he had . . .

“You heard me. Let me take you out. We’ll go out somewhere and eat. Use forks and knives. Have a nice conversation and a drink. Then I’ll take you home, walk you to your front door, and call it a night.”

She had this wary look on her face that would have made him laugh if he wasn’t sure she was taking this so seriously.

“That’s it?”

He grinned at her. “Well, that’s not how I usually do it, but for you, sure. That’s it.”

She frowned. “How do you . . . usually do it?”

“Look, Emma. I’m not the dating type. But I like you. And I can see you want to ease into this. I want to help. I want to be your friend.”

Her gaze narrowed. “My friend.”

“Yeah.”

“But I’m not your type.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You implied I wasn’t the type of woman you typically did . . . whatever it is you do with women, since you just said you’re not the dating type.”

He resisted rolling his eyes. This is why he didn’t like having extended conversations with women. It usually led to him getting in trouble for something he said that he didn’t really say, but the woman thought he meant what he didn’t say in the first place.

Women drove him crazy.

“I didn’t imply anything. I just asked you out on a date.”

She crossed her arms, only this time it was in irritation, not defensiveness. “I don’t need a pity date, Luke.”

Shit. Foot-in-mouth struck again. “I don’t pity you. I like you.”

“You already said that. As a friend, of course.”

He clenched his jaw. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“No. I love being your BFF. It’s exactly how I want you thinking of me. Thanks for the offer, Luke, but I’ll pass. If you have any more problems with Boomer, don’t hesitate to call me.”

Needless to say, Luke leaves. But he can’t stop thinking about how much he genuinely likes Emma. Despite her frustration with him, Emma likes him too. They have a lot in common, and they finally agree to go to a minor league baseball game with their dogs on a non-date date. They have a blast, and at the end of the date, Emma invites him in for dinner. Next thing you know, they’re all over each other. Of course, Luke isn’t looking for a commitment, nor is Emma. But they so enjoy each other’s company, and next thing you know, Luke is having dinner with Emma’s parents, and going to her vet clinic’s adoption day, and inviting her to his family’s ranch. Being that they’re both adults, they recognize quickly that the attraction might be more than “just” dating. They don’t run from it, they step cautiously into building a relationship.

I really liked this book. As I stated above, I like small town romances in small doses, but this one works while also not being saccharine sweet. It’s at turns funny and always entertaining. The leads have serious chemistry and both are eminently likable. I also appreciate that they both act like grown-ups. No one acts like a jerk, and no one throws a fit. If they have an issue, they talk about it. It’s refreshing, considering how many romances are predicated on a big misunderstanding. I also enjoyed the relationships each lead had with their friends and family, and thought that there were some possibilities for sequels without it being overt. I just recently re-read this book for this review and found that my enjoyment of it hadn’t diminished a bit. I’m looking forward to the next entry in the series. If you’re looking for a sweet, hot, small town romance, Hope Flames fits the bill perfectly. Final grade: B+.

Kind regards,

Kati

 

AmazonBNSonyKoboAREBook DepositoryGoogle

#Giveaway:  Heather Lire,Jaci Burton,Jeannie Lin

#Giveaway: Heather Lire,Jaci Burton,Jeannie Lin

Welcome to the Dear Author August Extravaganza, Day 6.

Every day this month, we are giving away copies of books, both digital and print, as well as gift certificates and even a digital reader. Stay tuned to this link to see all of the giveaways. They only last a few days each so keep visiting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From Author Jaci Burton

Win a copy of the first six books in Jaci Burton’s bestselling Play by Play sports romance series. Hot jocks, and the smart, capable women who are their match in every way.

“This book delivers.” —Dear Author

“A beautiful romance that is smooth as silk . . . One hell of a good time, a romance to remember . . . leaves us begging for more.” —Joyfully Reviewed

“Hot, hot, hot! . . . Romance at its best! Highly recommended! Very steamy.” —Coffee Table Reviews

“The romance sparkles as the sex sizzles.” —RT Book Reviews

You can find more information about the Play by Play series here *  Jaci’s Website * Facebook * Twitter

BIO: Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 60 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Author Heather Lire

Second-Chance_31 Second Chance at Happiness is the second book in the Holiday Vermont series. When Colin discovers his best friends sister in law unconscious he has no idea how much his life will change. www.heatherlire.com * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest

“A touching story with characters that will stay with you long after you close the book”  ~Erin Nicholas

When Colin MacCaffe’s  personal life comes crashing down around him, he leaves the big city behind for a fresh start in the small town of Holiday Vermont. As the Deputy Chief of Police he spends his time making sure the town he’s come to call his own is safe. The only problem in his peaceful life is the arrival of his next door neighbor’s sister. A woman who threatens to destroy the peace of his new life. After years of putting one foot in front of the other, acting like she was fine for her family Brynn Sanderson – Jackson is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. All she wants is a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation while she house sits for her sister. What she gets instead  is a trip to the hospital, emergency surgery, and the neighbor next door. A man who makes her feel more than she wants to. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Author Jeannie Lin

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THE LOTUS PALACE, Jeannie Lin’s single title debut, releases August 27, 2013. Enter to win an early copy.

“Deliciously detailed and intricately plotted, THE LOTUS PALACE proves Jeannie Lin is a master storyteller, conjuring the intrigues of Imperial China with spare and delicate prose.” - Deanna Raybourn, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A deeply satisfying romance set in the midst of a fascinating world of glamour and intrigue.” - Lauren Willig, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Lin has a reputation for crafting wonderfully adventurous love stories set in ancient China…without missing a deeply emotional love story at the core”  – RT Book Reviews

Jeannie Lin is giving away a Tang Dynasty historical duet: THE SWORD DANCER and THE LOTUS PALACE. Each book is the launch of a new series. THE SWORD DANCER is a fast-paced action adventure as a relentless thief-catcher chases a clever bandit through the rivers and lakes of China while THE LOTUS PALACE is a mystery set in the infamous pleasure quarter, a place of music, beauty and intrigue. 10 duets available. Digital or print, winners choice. (Digital copies of The Lotus Palace will be sent on the release date of August 27, 2013)

For more book information & excerpts, visit Jeannie Lin’s website
The Lotus Palace – Amazon pre-order * B&N pre-order
The Sword Dancer – Amazon * B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway