Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a contemporary romance from Andrea Laurence. FEEDING THE FIRE is the second book in her Rosewood series, but it’s cool as a standalone.
About the book:
Pepper has no interest in Grant Chamberlain…until she accidentally wins him at a school auction and finds the mega-hot firefighter impossible to ignore. Find out what happens next in the second playful and sexy ebook romance in the Rosewood series!
Living in the small town of Rosewood, Alabama, hairdresser Pepper Anthony has one rule—never date a Chamberlain. She’s always said, “the only thing worse than being ignored by a Chamberlain is being dumped by one.” But Grant Chamberlain, town fireman, isn’t used to rejection, and Pepper has consistently turned him down since high school. She isn’t intimidated by his family; she’s one of the few who refuses to take their crap.
When Grant volunteers at the charity bachelor auction, to his surprise, Pepper buys him. She hadn’t meant to, but Adelia Chamberlain dropped a cold drink in her lap, sending her leaping into the air at precisely the wrong moment. Suddenly she had a massive bill to the town and Grant at her disposal. Since the money has to come from her “restore the house” fund, she decides to use Grant for manual labor instead of romantic dinners. Grant is happy to help, sweaty and shirtless, because one way or another, he’s going to get Pepper to admit she’s attracted to him. All it takes is a small spark, and soon they’ll be fanning the flames.
This book is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.
Pepper Anthony grew up poor in a small Alabama town. She and her older brother Logan were occasionally tormented by kids with more wealth and popularity. Their mother always told them to hate the richest family in town, the Chamberlains, and so they have done…mostly.
Well, Pepper did turn down Grant Chamberlain’s advances many a time–not on this past Halloween, but she swore him to secrecy. And, she left his bed before dawn, leaving the local biker, fire-fighting, bad boy with a taste for more.
See, Grant never got hung up on being ‘better than’ anybody just ’cause his daddy was a wealthy attorney. Nope. His daddy was a no-good cheater, and Grant stopped idolizing him early in his youth. He does fancy Pepper bunches, however. And he’s so happy that Pepper outbid every woman at the charity Bachelor Auction. Until he realizes Pepper had no intention on bidding on him. She was devastated by a poorly-timed ambush that cost her $4000 of hard-earned cash she’d saved for house renovations.
Grant, ever the playboy, doesn’t know how to deal with Pepper’s heartache, but some well-timed advice clues him in on a strategy which might could win him this fiery bombshell’s affection. Instead of the big to-do date he’d planned, he spends his week of vacation crossing off the ‘Honey-do’ list on Pepper’s fixer-upper. And the results are incendiary. (<–this is literal and figurative).
Pepper still can’t find herself able to trust what’s developing between herself and Grant, but it’s strong and sure to leave her brokenhearted if she let’s him work his way in. Add to this, her brother’s simmering hate for all things Chamberlain, a Peeping Tom, and family skeletons that could cause a giant scandal in their tiny town, and Pepper’s all too willing to call quits before they even get started.
This is a quick read, and I liked the small-town setting. It did get a bit soap-opera-y, and, while I wished Pepper could have trusted Grant more, I was glad to see members of both Pepper’s and Grant’s family step in and settle the last part of the conflict. I got that Pepper didn’t want to betray another’s confidence, but she deserved to have happiness, even if the secret she kept only obliquely involved Grant. Glad they worked it out.
I loved the resolution of the Peeping Tom storyline, and it underscored the trust issues/infidelity themes that ran throughout his book. The sexytimes are a bit rushed, but, you can’t win them all. I liked how Pepper fought back her youthful prejudices, and how Grant was candid with everyone…well, excepting his father. I expect there will be more news on that front in the next book.
Interested? You can find FEEDING THE FIRE on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.
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