Flirting With Fire by Kate Meader…ARC Review and Author Q&A





The first installment in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series from Kate Meader that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests!

Savvy PR guru Kinsey Taylor has always defined herself by her career, not her gender. That is, until she moved from San Francisco to Chicago to be with her fiancé who thought she wasn’t taking her “job” of supporting him in his high-powered career seriously enough—and promptly dumped her for a more supportive and “feminine” nurse. Now, as the new assistant press secretary to Chicago’s dynamic mayor, she’s determined to keep her eye on the prize: no time to feel inferior because she’s a strong, kick-ass woman, and certainly no time for men.

But that all changes when she meets Luke Almeida, a firefighter as searingly sexy as he is quick-tempered. He’s also the second oldest of the Firefightin’ Dempseys, a family of foster siblings who have committed their lives to the service—if Luke’s antics don’t get him fired first. When Luke goes one step too far and gets into a bar brawl with the Chicago Police Department, Kinsey marches into Luke’s firehouse and lays down the law on orders from the mayor. But at Engine Co. 6, Luke Almeida is the law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules.


My Review:

Flirting With Fire is the first in a new series from author Kate Meader and after falling in love with Kate’s work in an earlier anthology, I was dying to read this book. Well, to say this book lived up to all of my expectations would be understatement of the year…

Kinsey Taylor and Luke Almeida meet under less than ideal circumstances. He’s gone and gotten into a bar fight with one of Chicago PD’s finest, which was now all over YouTube, and as the Mayor’s PR whiz, she was now charged with showing him in a better public light. Normally, Kinsey would be halfway into the project, but Luke would prove to be no ordinary project. Not only was he part of the infamous Firefighting Dempsey clan, he was drop dead gorgeous and had ego to spare. He was also beyond stubborn. Lucky for her, and equally unlucky for him, she was damned used to working hard to get the job done and she wasn’t going to back down. In fact, she was going to give whatever he threw at her back tenfold and with an extra dash of sass. Let the games begin…

It may have started out as an innocent mission to clean up Luke and his stations’s reputation, but before long the push and pull power play between Luke and Kinsey turns into a heat that will burn hotter and brighter than either one of them has known. Problems are mounting though. Not only because he’s got to behave and she’s got a job to do but because they’ve both been hurt terribly in the past by the one’s who should have loved them most. Could the heat they found burn up all that remains of the past and give them a fresh start through the ashes?

For the love of all things hot and sexy, I loved this book. I loved this book so much. Luckily I started reading this on a day I didn’t have much to do because I actually didn’t stop reading until I had finished it. Read through lunch, read through my son’s algebra homework, and pretty much read through dinner. It was a pizza night here.

Where do I even begin telling you all the things I loved about this book? Why don’t we start with Luke. He is everything I want in a hero. He’s sexy, built, the perfect amount of cocky and sweet, and has a hidden soft side that makes me weak in the knees. That, by far, is my favorite thing about him. He may look like a hard ass on the outside but his heart is huge and reserved for the people he loves. He may be a former foster kid, but he loved his adopted family with a fierceness that was enviable and admirable. From page one, I knew he was going to be a force to be reckoned with…and he didn’t disappoint. Kinsey was the perfect counterpart. So much like him in so many ways. Used to have to work hard to shrug off a label. Strong. Determined. Able to give his ego right back to him and it drove him crazy.

Of course, that just added to that slow burn between them and with every interaction it was stoked into a flame that eventually had to be addressed….and oh my, was it ever. There are two particular scenes that had me melting into a puddle on the floor. So. Hot.

And can I just take a minute to give the cover a mention? I lost count at how many times I paused after reading a delicious Luke scene to take a look at that cover. Whoever that man is, he is the perfect Luke!

Adding even more to this story was the entire Dempsey clan. These are all characters with a beautiful death and multifaceted factor that has me beyond excited for the rest of this series.
Just trust me when I say: Get. This. Book. You will NOT be disappointed! Thank you, Kate, for Luke, Kinsey, and the entire Dempsey crew. I will now be nursing my book hangover with some tequila and a campfire scented candle *dreamy sigh*


 Q&A with author Kate Meader:

Thanks so much for having me, Jilly!   

                    Thanks for being here, Kate! This was a lot of fun! 

  1. Do you have any fun plans to celebrate the release of Flirting With Fire? (I always picture Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone when she finishes her book and celebrates with tiny bottles of booze and her cat)

Booze might be involved for sure! Every new release is awesome, but I’m thinking this one might be extra special. It’s the start of a brand new series, set in this world of alpha men, strong women, the family we make instead of being born to, and bigger-than-life passion. With burning buildings thrown in to make it interesting. On release day, I’ll probably be curled up in a fetal ball, praying it does well, waiting until it’s “appropriate” to whip out the adult beverages. Sounds like fun, right?


  1. I just read that you’re originally from Ireland, what do you miss the most about living there?

My family – my mother and brother still live there, and although I visit and they visit me, it can be tough with an ocean separating us. Next, I miss Irish chocolate. You can’t beat Irish chocolate. Hmm, maybe I miss chocolate more than my family. I mean, I can talk to my family on the phone, I can’t eat chocolate over the airways!


  1. I love your “Fun facts about Kate” section on your website. Can you give us another fun fact?

A lot of people don’t know I have a masters degree in medieval history. I studied medieval nuns and holy women who used their connection to God to discover untrodden paths to empowerment in their community. Medieval nuns were probably the first feminists!


  1. What has been the most rewarding part of living your dream to write?

Nothing beats seeing your book in a brick-and-mortar bookstore for the first time. That moment is the absolute best, but the most rewarding part is just knowing that people actually like my stories enough to want to buy and read them. I thought I was the only one!


  1. Ok, your dream cast for Flirting With Fire is:

Main romance:
Luke Almeida, Irish-Cuban firefighter – Hugh Jackman, looking a bit scruffy
Kinsey Taylor, ice-cool blonde PR guru – Charlize Theron


Secondary m/m romance:

Gage “Baby Thor” Simpson, cocky fireman – Chris Hemsworth (of course)

Brady Smith, former marine turned gourmet chef (Gage’s love interest) – Tom Hardy with muscles on his muscles, shaved head, tattoos up the wazoo, and scars. Yum!



Five Loves


Book links:

 Amazon  |  B&N  |  Goodreads 

About the author:


Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.


Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Jilly – and thanks for the great review!

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