Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hope Flames (Hope #1) by Jaci Burton

Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she's not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.

That's fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he's devoted to the only faithful companion in his life--his police dog. Still, there's something about Emma he can't shake.

When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they're giving each other something they thought they'd lost forever...hope.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

Girly squee! I love Jaci Burton's books. They're always fun and sexy and just a good time. She can write some make you squirm erotic romances that's for sure. But I'd never read a straight contemporary from her before and damn if she didn't do a fucking fantastic job with that too. Hope Flames had it all. Sexy times, a bit of danger/mystery, an awesome heroine and a sexy cop of a hero who just played nicely off each other, great romance and a pretty darling cast of furry characters to round it all out.

I really enjoyed both Emma and Luke. They're interesting characters, don't always understand each other which leads to some excellent moments and are really dedicated to what they do--he loves his work in law enforcement and she's passionate about helping the furry community members. I really liked that they were pretty normal/down to earth people. There's nothing too fancy or wild about them. They're just...them. Which to me, I don't know, made me comfortable with them and made me want to spend more time with them. I also kinda liked seeing them on the job. And, again, nothing glamorous...just them.
"...I know you get called out on emergencies sometimes, but if it hadn't been me today, you might have been facing one hell of a speeding ticket."

Her smile faded. "You're right. In the future I'll be more mindful of that. I was only thinking about the cow."

He tipped her nose with his fingertip. "Thank about your safety first."

"Oooh, I get all tingly when you talk cop stuff and the law."

He stepped closer. "Don't tease me, Emma. I have handcuffs."

Her eyes went dark. "Yeah? And you know what to do with them?"

In an instant, he'd jerked her against him. "If we weren't standing in front of the Miller's house right now, both of us covered in cow--whatever-- I'd show you exactly what I could do with handcuffs."
Luke has some sexy going on and damn but I am a sucker for a guy that loves animals. They're both a little damaged by their past relationships so it was really wonderful seeing them work past that and find something together. It was pretty fun watching them quip with each other and dance around their attraction and when things finally get steamy they really work nicely together.
"Wait," she said.

He frowned. "Is this too fast for you?"

"No. Definitely, no. I just need to look at you." She gave him a slight push so he'd take a step back.

She took in the sight of him. Well-sculpted shoulders, a wide expanse of chest, and oh, God, those abs. She was going to have to spend hours exploring his abs. With her tonight.

She took a deep breath, then sighed.

"Are you ogling me?" he asked.

"Maybe a little. Okay, yes. I've missed seeing you naked."

His lips curved. "You're killing me, Emma." He moved in and kissed her again, this time laying a very possessive hand on her breast. She gasped, especially when he deftly pulled one side of her bra down to brush a thumb over her nipple. If she came while he did that, it would be so embarrassing. Then again, she might not care..."
One thing I wouldn't normally point out but that was just really nicely done so I wanted to say something and give Burton kudos for was Emma's job. In my real life I'm in animal rescue so I spend a ton of time in the veterinary world so reading a book based on that and that has animal rescue as part of it is something I usually avoid because they usually are pretty far from accurate. But. Burton damn near nailed it. I was so impressed with the feel and reality she brought to Emma's career and found myself nodding my head a lot going yup. Mmhmm. Exactly. So, to Jaci--awesome fucking job. Thank you for representing the field so well!

I enjoyed the mystery as well. Though I would have liked a bit more of an 'omg' factor with who was behind the break ins and the stealing of pharmaceuticals throughout the town it was exciting to be part of the investigation with Luke and the frustrations he went through on the case. It kept me on my toes waiting to see what would happen next and that's always a fun feeling.

Overall, I really loved Hope Flames and am so excited that it's the start of a new series. There were some excellent secondary characters...his brother, friends and her employees that I can't wait to hear more about. It's a neat little community that just sucked me in and makes it easy to recommend. 

More Jaci on Herding Cats!

Review--Taking a Shot

Have you read Burton? Have a favorite cop hero romance?
Do you like reading books based in your field?

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