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    Awesome

    An absolutely awesome read that gets 5 huge stars from me!! Alex and Eli's story has been building and it finally flares to life in this story. The always direct and sassy Alex has met her match in Eli and the sparks that sizzle between them can no longer be contained. With humor and witty banter between the characters, the enemies to lovers story is pure perfection. Can't wait to read the next in this fantastic series. I highly recommend this one!
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    Scorching!

    Eli Cooper, Mayor of Chicago and sexiest man alive (according to People Magazine) may have the average woman in the city fooled, but to firefighter Alexandra Dempsey he’s just a smug, infuriating ass who has become the bane of her existence. When a chance rescue at a hotel fire results in a case of ‘who saved whom’, Eli’s mayoral candidacy team is quick to use the situation to their advantage in his upcoming re-election bid. Not above using any means to get Alexandra to toe the line, Eli’s got his own scheme to get her on board, and in bed. But when things take a more emotional turn, and some deeply held secrets are spilled, Eli’s going to have to decide if keeping his reputation will be worth losing the one woman he’s discovered he doesn’t want to live without. What a fun and sexy read! It was a pure delight to return to the world of the Dempsey’s, a firefighting foster family in Chicago, after reading the first in the series about Alexandra’s older brother Luke (Flirting with Fire) and her foster sibling Gage (who found himself hot chef Brady in Melting Point). This story is standalone as are the others, but the close-knit family runs through all the stories and this one is no exception. Alexandra’s had to make it clear to her interfering brothers that she can hold her own and that her love life (or disappointing lack thereof) is of no concern to them. When she starts seeing Eli, purely for publicity and unbeknownst to them, mostly (at first) under duress, they are skeptical and appalled at her choice. There is no love lost between the Dempsey’s and Eli, and the sparks fly on all levels between them, making for interesting family conversations. Indeed the sizzle between Eli and Alexandra is present from the start, taking the form of some great heated banter between them, as Eli admits to himself that he is driven by Alex’s passion and temper and can’t wait to use all that in a more productive form than arguing with him. Their internal thoughts are quite hilarious (Alexandra’s in particular) as they fight their feelings for each other, but when they eventually succumb to all that chemistry between them their love scenes are super steamy and explosive. Alexandra is one of my favorite kinds of heroines. She’s feisty, outspoken (I mean, it takes balls to ask an injured hockey player you’ve just met how his groin is) , strong both physically and mentally (though she does have the occasional moments of self-doubt), and not willing to put up with anyone’s sh*t, whether it’s her brothers, or Eli, or the guys at the firehall who think she doesn’t belong because she is a woman . Yet she does have a girly side to her, one that might be hidden under her uniform in the form of sexy pink lingerie, but one that Eli is able to draw out of her, one seduction at a time. Eli’s comments that a female would be better off not being in such a physically demanding job as a firefighter draw her ire and his chauvinism grates on her. Yet, with his chauvinistic attitude comes the protector side of him, one she secretly can admit turns her on, even as she fights the urge to submit to his caveman tactics. Still, she’s not about to admit anything to him, and her strength of will is just one part of her character that Eli admires. Eli is an interesting hero. Sure he’s sexy and charming and fit. But he’s a politician, which inherently means that he sometimes makes choices that aren’t necessarily on the level but are the lesser of two evils. Morality comes in shades of grey here, and while Eli does his best most of the time, there have been circumstances in the past where he’s made choices that he knows wouldn’t pass the ‘Alexandra’ integrity test. What surprises him is that he wants to change that and become a hero in her eyes. There are few people in the world whose respect he cares about, but one of them is definitely her. I really loved his character, smug cocky bastard that he is. (It’s hard not to love a guy who worships a woman in bed the way Eli worships Alexandra). And I appreciated his ethical struggles and his difficulty in reconciling his feelings about his father and things that happened in the past with what he knows in the present. This story has everything that I love in a contemporary romance – great banter, interesting and dynamic characters, super sexy times and a fast moving and entertaining plot. 5 stars, and I’m ready for the next Dempsey brother to meet his match.
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    Another great book in this fabulous series!

    The Chicago Amazon hot-tempered firefighter, Alexandra Dempsey and perfect, metrosexual mayor Eli Cooper finally get together, and can you say “sparks fly”!!! Kate Meader is a spectacularly talented writer, with a very visual writing style, and she shines again. PLAYING WITH FIRE is a fun, sexy, fabulous book; I love those Dempseys! Brilliant!
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    So much to love about it!

    Kate Meader delivers on the promise of Alexandra and Eli in spades! Chicago is on fire and it's not the buildings! All that blazing, over-the-top chemistry between Eli and Alex, the snarky banter, the vibrant characters, all of these add up to one absolutely sexy and engaging read. Alexandra Dempsey is one of a kind. With a very large personality, she's strong, outspoken, feisty and loyal to those she holds dear. As the only girl in a family of macho, overprotective males, Alexandra learned early to assert herself and she's more than a match for the males she works with in her job as a firefighter. Only one man has ever been able to get under her skin: Eli Cooper, the Windy City's swoon-worthy mayor. The problem? She dislikes him with a passion, but her body does not seem to have received that memo because only a glance from him is enough to set her on fire and now that she finds herself in a tight spot, he's the only thing standing between her and ruin. Eli is a politician all the way through, charismatic and used to getting his way. Never one to let an opportunity pass by, he skillfully manipulates the situation with Alex for his own benefit and while it appears to be all for political purposes, the truth is that Eli can't stay away from her. But even as they keep the public pre-occupied with talking about their relationship, all is not well. Eli is keeping secrets, the kind that are certain to damage his campaign and re-election chances as well as what he's building with Alex. Eli and Alex were so hot and so good together that I can't imagine that Ms. Meader will be able to top them. For someone used to getting everything he wanted easily, Eli had to work hard to get Alex and I love that she was not a pushover but made him earn her. Everything about their relationship was wild and passionate and their conversations, one-liners and wisecracks were so entertaining to read. I love that they both saw the real person beneath their public personas and brought out the best in each other. And their sexual chemistry? It was enough to set the city on fire. Ms. Meader succeeded in making me love Eli. Not the slick mayor, but the little boy with a huge case of hero worship who discovered that his hero had feet of clay. Eli started out as an opportunist ready to play every angle for his benefit, but in the end he redeemed himself and honestly, there is no bigger declaration of love than single-handedly demolishing everything you've built just to prove your sincerity. There is so much to love about this story. Steamy sex, snappy dialogue, funny moments and a lot of family make PLAYING WITH FIRE a must-read. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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    Great read

    Playing With Fire by Kate Meader is a fantastic read. Ms Meader has delivered a well written book. I love the characters and they were my favorite thing about this book. Alex and Eli's story is full of drama, action, humor and sizzle. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Kate Meader in the future. Playing With Fire is book 3 in the Hot In Chicago Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
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