Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire

4.8 25
by Alison Bliss
     
 

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Anna Weber is every inch the proper librarian—old-fashioned, conservatively dressed right down to her tightly clipped flaming red hair. She's just moved to a small Texas town, and is determined to spend time with her friend before she has to disappear. Relationships aren’t easy for her. She knows too well what it means to be burned. And the last thing

Overview

Anna Weber is every inch the proper librarian—old-fashioned, conservatively dressed right down to her tightly clipped flaming red hair. She's just moved to a small Texas town, and is determined to spend time with her friend before she has to disappear. Relationships aren’t easy for her. She knows too well what it means to be burned. And the last thing she ever wants to do is fall in love…

Especially not with a fireman who's hot enough to set the entire state of Texas on fire.

Cowboy can't resist the fiery little librarian, and he's determined to make her his. Beneath that prim-and-proper exterior is a woman he very much wants to know—if she'd let him. She'll test his patience. His control. Hell, his very sanity. And for the first time, Cowboy wonders if he's found the one fire he can't control...

Each book in the Tangled in Texas series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Rules of Protection
Book #2 Playing With Fire

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633754737
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
10/26/2015
Series:
Tangled in Texas , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
28,185
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Playing with Fire

Tangled in Texas


By Alison Bliss, Candace Havens

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2015 Alison Bliss
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-473-7


CHAPTER 1

He strutted past me as if he owned the place.

A whole head taller than me, his height was nearly as intimidating as his broad-shouldered, well-muscled frame. The white straw Stetson he wore looked weathered from years of use, but the perfectly shaped hat fit his head as well as the name molded to the man.

Cowboy.

I couldn't forget his name, even if I wanted to.

No longer the cute sandy-haired boy on the cusp of becoming a man, his hair had darkened a little and his scrawny body had sculpted and toned itself proportionately in all the right places. But he hadn't noticed me then, and he wasn't about to now.

Long-legged strides pushed him closer to the computer area, showcasing the power of his thighs as his muscles flexed against his jeans with every step. When he pulled out a chair, his biceps bulged under the navy blue, long-sleeved shirt he'd rolled up to his elbows. Then he flicked a glance my way.

He held my gaze only for a moment — long enough to make my heart pound frantically against my rib cage — then focused on the pretty brunette reading across the room. As usual, he was on the prowl. It wasn't much of a surprise, though, given his reputation with the ladies. In fact, I doubted he could pick his most recent conquest out of a crowd of ... two.

Even if one of them was a man. And dead.

Not that I knew from personal experience or anything. I mean, just because I'd met Cowboy before didn't mean I had slept with him. Though I was probably one of the few women in the entire Tri-County area who could pronounce that with a clear conscience.

Whatever. Didn't matter.

With a loud huff, I maneuvered around the circulation desk to the return bins, where I bent to gather a stack of books. Irritation coursed through my veins at the speed of light as I slapped one heavy hardback on top of another, forming a tall tower, until the weight of the last book smashed against my thumb. I winced and jerked my hand back, shaking the pain away.

"Damn it," I grumbled under my breath.

I closed my eyes and breathed out a sigh. Why was I suddenly so agitated over his very presence? It wasn't like I should be surprised to run into him. After all, Liberty, Texas was his hometown. Then again, the public library wasn't exactly the kind of place where a guy like him would normally hang out. If ever.

It was, however, a place where someone like me would spend most of their time.

When the library's director had hired me two weeks before, I hadn't bothered to mention I would have done the job for free. Even as a child, I'd always spent more time in a library than my own home. It was the one place I felt safe. A place where I could get lost in another world, and my parents couldn't argue because they'd be forced to whisper. No fights ever broke out in a library.

And there was no shortage of love in one, either.

Nope. Not going there.

Arms fully loaded, I straightened and spun on my heel, bumping into a solidly built wall of ... man. Strong hands shot out and grasped my shoulders to steady me as the books toppled to the floor. "Oh, I'm sorr — "Emerald eyes stared back at me.

Oh God! It's him.

"Not your fault, darlin'," Cowboy said, flashing me one of his signature charming grins I remembered so well. "I didn't mean to sneak up on you. Let me help you with these, miss."

As I suspected, Cowboy hadn't recognized me. Big shocker there.

He kneeled and began gathering the pile of books easily into his muscular arms. The bulges in his arched back bunched and tightened with his every movement. Okay, so maybe I couldn't blame the ladies for throwing themselves at him. He was nice to look at.

"You okay, ma'am?"

His words shook me from my thoughts, and I stared blankly at him as I twisted my fingers into the flimsy fabric of my black tiered skirt. I gave him a quick nod. He grinned, then allowed his gaze to travel lazily over my body, examining me up and down, until his eyes finally zeroed in on my breasts.

With a high neckline, my cream-colored silk top covered my chest fully, though it didn't seem to matter to him. His green eyes twinkled with extreme confidence and blatant sexuality, which sent a familiar tingle skittering up my spine.

"You seem a little rattled. You sure you're okay, sweetheart?"

My fingers knotted together, cutting off the circulation, while my breath caught in my throat. Not only was he speaking directly to me and eyeing me like a tasty piece of candy, but he was referring to me in terms of endearments that sent a thrill up my skirt. Then he flashed me a very male grin that damn-near melded my panties to my body.

When I silently nodded again, he chuckled, straightened, and motioned to the books he'd retrieved from the floor. "Where do you want 'em?"

I stood there and stupidly pointed to the circulation desk, as if I couldn't speak. Which, at this point, was apparently true. Great. Now he thinks I'm a mute imbecile.

As he made his way to the counter, I followed, admiring his loose-gaited stride and the way his tight rear end filled out his faded Wranglers. The man was definitely a moving violation if I'd ever seen —

My heel caught on the rubber-back entrance mat beneath my feet, propelling me forward until I crashed into his back. He stumbled, but managed to hold onto the books while firming his stance to keep us from falling.

Pushing my palms against his stiff, muscular back, I quickly righted myself and regained my balance. But not before getting a whiff of his masculine, tangy scent. God, he smelled delicious. Thankfully, my 120-pound frame wasn't enough to bowl him completely over. Maybe he wouldn't even notice how clumsy I was.

"Darlin', if you wanted a piggyback ride, all you had to do was ask." He glanced over his shoulder with a teasing grin, then continued on his way.

Mortified, I closed my eyes briefly and let out a slow, calming breath as I fought the urge to fan my heated face. Jeez, Anna. Get a grip already.

When he reached the desk, he set the books down and turned to face me. "Maybe you can help me with something now. I'm looking for a book on fire accelerants. You know, like cleaners, paint thinners ... that sort of thing."

"I know what fire accelerants are." I'd finally found my voice, but the words spit out at him, sounding snippier than I meant them to.

Wordlessly, he raised one questioning brow.

I bit my tongue and mentally cringed. What the hell was wrong with me? One minute, I'm checking out his ass, and the next, I'm being rude to him. Talk about mixed signals.

Silently, I motioned for him to follow and led the way, not bothering to read the signs labeling each aisle. I stopped abruptly and reached for a book — the one with the red spine — on the bottom shelf and shoved it at him. I knew it was exactly what he was looking for.

Before he could say anything, I hurried down the aisle, speed-walking away from him. Once I careened around the counter, returning to the safety of the circulation desk, I took a deep breath and stole a quick peek at him from a distance.

Unfazed by our exchange, Cowboy sat at an unoccupied table and opened the book I'd handed him. He glanced up briefly, but barely acknowledged me before focusing all his attention on the printed matter before him. Once he began reading, he didn't look up again.

Thank God.

I went back to work, shuffling through the returned books and inspecting each for signs of wear before scanning them back into the system. Then I organized them into neat rows on a metal pushcart to ensure they ended up back on the proper shelves in their rightful order.

A half hour later, Bobbie Jo appeared in the sliding glass doors of the library entrance, pushing a green stroller. Her shiny gold tresses and warm smile instantly brightened the room. She had been the one who introduced me to Cowboy all those years ago, and although she'd mentioned she might drop by, I hadn't expected him to make an appearance.

Apparently, neither had she.

When her gaze landed on Cowboy sitting alone and reading, one eyebrow rose and a grin played on her lips. But instead of moving toward him, she headed directly for me.

I slid around the counter to give her a quick hug, then wasted no time lifting her precious bundle out of the stroller to get a better look. "Aww, Austin looks adorable today."

The light blue cap and romper set matched perfectly. Well, if you didn't count the fair amount of drool wetting the underside of his chin, darkening the front.

Bobbie Jo smiled proudly. "He does, doesn't he?"

"Yes, he's quite handsome." I bounced him in my arms and tickled Austin's soft cheek. "By the way, thanks again for helping me get this job. I can't believe your mom is friends with the library director."

She waved me off. "Mom has been friends with Mary Duncan since kindergarten, but we didn't have anything to do with it. You were perfect for the job. Even Mary said so. Just yesterday, she told my mom she could see you taking over the director position when she retires next year. Wouldn't that be cool?"

Sure. If I planned to stick around. But I didn't. Actually, couldn't was more like it. In six months, he'd be coming for me. So I had to make the most of my time here ... while it lasted.

Alert and wide-eyed, the baby cooed at me, blowing spit bubbles and increasing his vocalizations as I made funny faces at him. Five-month-olds are so easily amused.

Then a shiver ran down my spine, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Someone else watched me. Only his eyes were like lasers searing into my skin.

I glanced at Cowboy and caught him grinning. My stomach dropped and my posture stiffened. I didn't know why it happened, but my wires had always crossed around him. My normal friendly, chipper demeanor was now anxiety-ridden and laced with nervous energy.

The little guy in my arms must've sensed how frazzled I'd become because, although I tried to focus my attention on Austin, he whimpered and poked out his bottom lip. I spoke softly and rocked him back and forth, hoping to soothe away his tension, as well as my own, but it wasn't working. "Sorry, Bobbie Jo. I didn't mean to upset him."

"Oh, Anna, don't worry about it. It's not your fault. He's been fussy since he started teething last week." She rooted through the diaper bag and handed the baby a liquid-filled plastic teething ring to chew on. He grasped it in his tiny hand, took it straight to his slobbery mouth, and chomped on it.

The teething ring seemed to be working until Austin hiccupped — hard enough to jolt his entire body — and startled himself. The surprise on his cute little face tickled me, and I forgot all about my nervousness ... and my voyeur. I threw back my head and laughed.

Only after did I realize Cowboy still eyed me from across the room. And maybe it was the moronic way I always overanalyzed everything, but he seemed to be staring at me rather strangely. His eyes glazed over and the corner of his mouth twitched into a smirk, as if he were observing me with some sort of curious fascination or ... interest?

For a brief second, I may have considered stealing the baby's soothing ring for myself. "Um, Bobbie Jo, why is Cowboy looking at me like that?"

She peered in his direction and shrugged. "Who knows why that man does anything. Wouldn't surprise me if he's over there imagining you naked." My mouth fell open. "What? That's ridiculous," I said as my face burned with the heat of embarrassment. "I'm not the kind of woman men like him go for."

"Why do you say that?"

"Simple reasoning. Don't strapping young cowboys usually prefer their women how they like their horses — sleek, fast, and with a touch of wild?"

She laughed. A lot. "You've been reading too many of those romance books of yours. Sweetie, you're female and breathing. I'm pretty sure those are his only requirements."

I grinned at that, remembering my earlier thought about Cowboy's most recent conquest. "Well, he's not my type."

"What, you don't like hot, well-built men?"

"No. Um, yes. I mean ..." I shook my head to clear the confusion I was feeling. "It's not that. I just don't like men who regard women as sheep. And knowing Cowboy, I bet he probably lines them up and shears the clothes right off them."

"Can't argue with that," she said, nodding in agreement. "In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's already imagined you naked twenty different ways by now." My stomach clenched tightly, and I frowned at the unwelcome sensation, making her laugh.

I shook my head adamantly. "Well, it's not going to happen. Not with me, anyway."

"Oh, come on. Don't tell me you're immune to Cowboy. That would be a first. Most girls have to claw through the hoards of women just to get him to notice them. After all, he's in the bachelor calendar, you know." She giggled at that.

"Bachelor calendar?"

"The local newspaper runs a contest where men from Liberty County compete to be in next year's calendar. Cowboy won a spot as May's bachelor."

"Like a beauty contest for men?"

"Basically," she said with a grin. "I mean, the winners get a photo shoot and everything. I'm surprised you haven't seen them yet. The calendars were released yesterday and the whole town has been talking about them."

"I guess I don't get out enough."

"Wait until you see what Cowboy ... Uh-oh," she said, glancing over my shoulder with a grin. "Speak of the devil. Look who's coming."

Terrific.

He sauntered across the room, smiling at his five-month-old godson still cradled in my arms. Cowboy leaned lazily on the counter, gave me a quick nod, and turned his attention to Bobbie Jo. "Hey, beautiful. How's the little turtle doing?"

She heaved out an exasperated breath. "Would you please stop referring to Austin as a turtle?"

"Sure I will. Just as soon as he grows some hair."

I wanted to laugh, but bit the inside of my cheek instead. Cowboy's assessment of Austin's bald head and bug eyes was quite accurate — he did look like a turtle. Though I wouldn't dare tell his mother that.

Bobbie Jo rolled her eyes. Apparently, she was used to the insulting nickname. "What are you doing here, anyway? I don't think I've ever seen you in a library before. You lose a bet or something?"

"Very funny," Cowboy said, though he wasn't laughing. "No, Miss Nosey. I'm doing research." He held up the book I'd helped him locate.

"On household chemicals?" She shook her head. "Cowboy, when are you going to stop looking into that case? Don't you think it's time you let it go? It's been months already. There's nothing more you can do."

"Well, if I don't investigate that goddamn fire, then who will?"

My ears perked up. "Isn't that what the fire marshal is for?" I said it without thinking, then looked down quickly, keeping my gaze from meeting his. It wasn't like I couldn't speak around him. Basically, everything just came out sounding as awkward as I felt.

Cowboy's hand fisted on the counter. "I'm captain of the fire department, so that makes it my job. Besides, that jackass couldn't find his balls with both hands. He damn sure isn't going to solve this case."

Bobbie Jo touched his hand, offering him comfort. "I know you don't feel like he's doing enough," she murmured. "But your department's already so thinly staffed. And with the loss of your chief ..."

I cringed, realizing which fire they were talking about.

"I hate to see you working so hard," she added. "You need to take a day off and catch up on your sleep."

I'd noticed the dark circles under his eyes, but had attributed them to late night bar outings I imagined he was accustomed to. But hell, what did I know? I also thought his nose looked a little more crooked than the last time I saw him.

"Today is my day off, and it's just now getting dark outside." Cowboy rubbed at the back of his neck, then glanced at his watch. "When the library closes in half an hour, I'll be heading home and hitting the sack." Then he grinned at Bobbie Jo. "What are you doing here? Checking up on me?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Playing with Fire by Alison Bliss, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 Alison Bliss. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Alison Bliss grew up on a small island off the Texas Gulf Coast, where most of her childhood vacations consisted of camping or hunting trips to the deer lease. Although she will always be a Texan at heart, she currently resides in the Midwest with her Iowa farmboy husband and their two sons. With so much testosterone in her home, it's no wonder she writes "girl books."

As the youngest of five sisters, Alison has never turned down a challenge…or been called by the right name. Her writing career may have started out as a dare by one of her sisters, but Alison hasn't put her pen down since.

She's an animal lover, a closet video game enthusiast, and believes the way to know if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it's obviously meant to be. Alison's an avid romance reader who enjoys penning the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, laughter, and usually a cowboy or two. As she calls it, "Romance…with a sense of humor."

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Playing With Fire 4.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 25 reviews.
dshutters 6 months ago
Love how the story starts out with Anna working in a library and when Cowboy walks in she recognizes him but he doesn't recognize her. Love how the story unfolds where both have secrets but don't tell each other. This story has drama, suspense, romance and can't wait till the next book comes out! I recommend this book!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blsfan68 More than 1 year ago
This book is full of mystery and surprises, as well as humor. (There were several times when I actually laughed out loud.) The characters are all very likable and some you just can't help but love. The conversations are awesome. I loved Ms. Bliss's writing style and use of humor. It was refreshing. There were a couple of things that weren't revealed that I would've liked to have seen. I thought sometime during one of Anna and Cowboy's heart to hearts, Cowboy would've trusted Anna with his real name. I also would liked to have had more of an explanation as to why Cowboy pushed Anna away. It felt to me like there was a rush to finish the book and some of the detail was lacking towards the end. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
4.5**** This was a very thorough read that had many twists and turns throughout Cowboy and Anna's story. At first Cowboy comes across as very arrogant, overly confident and naughty. But then we get to know him more and see his genuine care for Anna. There were still times I would have liked to slap him upside the head for his treatment of Anna and things he would say to her. But Anna made me proud. She was not quite the wallflower timid person the group of friends thought her to be. She stood up for herself. And I enjoyed every minute of it. The who done it part of the story was intriguing and not what I saw coming. So that was an added bonus to the story. I like the way it ended better than I the way I thought it would end. There was one mystery that was not solved that I would have loved to have discovered. I cannot say what it was since it could be a spoiler. I hope Ms. Bliss continues to write for this series as there are a few other characters and their stories I would love to read. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
wackyheadcase More than 1 year ago
I was so anxious to get my hands on Cowboy's story after meeting him in book one. I loved Anna and Cowboy! I loved the smart little librarian girl with the haunting past and the playboy firefighter. This book has a bit of everything going for you. Humor, love, friendship, drama, it's great. a copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
KimberlyDawn55 More than 1 year ago
The story kept me hooked throughout the book. The spark between Anna and Cowboy kept things going, and I just had to know if Cowboy would get what he wanted. A great book!
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Engaging characters, entertaining, keeps the reader involved from the beginning of the story.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Playing with Fire was such an entertaining read, I really enjoyed it. The storyline captured my interest from the first page, there was so much going on I couldn't put it down! Loved Anna and Cowboy, they were both such likable characters. Loved watching them together, they made this such a fun and entertaining read. Alison Bliss is a talented author who knows how to write a story that will entertain her readers from the get go and leave them well satisfied at the end. I highly recommend this book.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Can not believe Alison has done it again. Reviewed by Kim Playing with Fire is the second book in Alison Bliss’ Tangled in Texas series. Told in first person from the point of view of heroine, Anna Weber, it is a standalone read. I will admit, I am not a fan of romances told in first person, especially when you only get one side. I found myself desperately wanting to know what the hero was thinking. Readers first got a glimpse of Cowboy in Rules of Protection. When he stood up to one of his best friends to defend the heroine in that story, I was in love. Cowboy is an easy-going, love ‘em and leave ‘em guy. The only things he truly takes seriously are his job as a firefighter and taking care of his friends and family. Anna Weber has recently moved to Liberty, Texas and has been hired as a librarian. Her intention is to only be in town for a few months and spend as much of that time as possible with one of her only friends, Bobbie Jo. Anna is a fiery redhead who is strong-willed and determined. She’s a survivor in every sense of the word. However, Anna is running from her past, one she is desperately afraid will catch up with her before she can disappear. Seeing Anna throws Cowboy for a loop. Use to getting any woman he wants, he isn’t sure what to do with Anna who is constantly turning him down. It’s been ten years since the two first met. Ten years for Anna to have carried a major Cowboy crush. But Cowboy seems to have no idea they met before. The two usually find themselves bickering, with Cowboy usually walking away or laying on the charm. When they finally do give into their desires, the heat level is about a 3 1/2 to 4 (a cold drink and fan is needed). Not only do things heat up in the bedroom, but Anna’s run-ins with the town bullies do as well. Anna’s past catches up with her. Her life as well as Cowboy’s is put on the line. Playing with Fire is Alison’s second book. I loved her debut book tremendously and didn’t think she could top it. In fact, I was sure PWF was only a 4 star book until Alison kicked up the suspense. The suspense with its twists and turns put this book over the top for me. There were several “oh my gosh” moments that left me a little surprised. Alison has this ability to make you laugh when you least expect it thanks to the humor she puts into her books. I have learned to never doubt Alison’s writing skills again. I’m looking forward to returning to Liberty, Texas and the great characters who live there. **Received a copy of the book courtesy of Entangled Publishing for an honest and unbiased opinion.**
Bekina32 More than 1 year ago
Love this book! This is the second book in the Rules of Protection Series. It's the perfect balance of humor, mystery, suspense and hotness. We met Cowboy in the first book in the series and though he wasn't the start of the show, I fell in love with him instantly. He's a ladies man, full of confidence until one little red head knocks him off his feet. Anna is the girl next door with a past full of secrets. Cowboy can't help but be attracted to her but she's not so easily swayed like all the other ladies that fall into his bed. The banter between the two is hilarious! When Anna starts getting mysterious notes left in her mailbox and secrets of her past come to light, she wonders if it isn't time to run again..... well not if Cowboy has anything to say about it! This is an excellent book and a perfect follow up to the previous story! Get it, read it and I know you'll love it like I did!
LittleMissBookmark More than 1 year ago
This is the second novel in the Tangled in Texas series and since I absolutely adored the first, I had super high expectations for this one. The lovely Ms. Alison Bliss shot me an email last month and said she didn't know if I would have the time to read Playing With Fire but she wanted to offer it to me. I mean, come on. I immediately said yes!! I had no idea what this one was even about but I knew that I had to read it. It's by Bliss, so I knew it would be exceptional. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. After Playing With Fire, I'm totally immersed in my love of what this amazing author can create. I'm a lifetime fan. Enough of the slightly embarrassing gushing about Alison Bliss ... let's get down to business. I started reading and when I was like 3 pages in, I was already in love with Cowboy. I nearly burst into flames during a couple of scenes ... "Next time we'll try whipped cream ... and a different body part." ... Sweet baby Jesus. Yes, there are other amazing characters involved in this book but Cowboy is my absolute favorite character in any romantic suspense novel. Ever. He's crass and vulgar and I wouldn't change him one iota. I enjoyed Anna as well ... she's very sweet and demure but also has this sassiness to her that makes her a woman I aspire to be. Experiencing the relationship ebb and flow between Anna and Cowboy pushed me to read faster and faster and then curse myself because I was blowing through an amazing book that I wanted to last for forever. The story-line was everything that I had hoped it would be in Playing With Fire. You won't find any spots that are wordy or slow ... everything moves along at a wonderfully delicious pace that leaves you wanting more with the end of each sentence. Bliss also brought back all of the characters from the first book and it was nice being able to catch up with them and reminisce about the previous book. Absolutely nothing was forgotten and how Bliss can write so many characters with all of their distinct quirks and then bring them back into the fold with a new book just amazes me. It felt like I was hanging out with some old friends that I hadn't seen in a while. It is so difficult to get that kind of feeling from fictional characters but Bliss really blew it out of the water. I really don't want to get into anything else with this one because I REALLY want everyone to read it and get that first read magic like I did. It is definitely one that I'll read again and again. I'm already itching to get my hands on number three because I want to see what happens next. I just love everything about this book. I could go on for hours but you really need to read it and then let me know what you think about that ornery Cowboy!! * I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
SuePaulsen More than 1 year ago
** ARC received in exchange for an honest review** OMG… Alison Bliss knocked it out of the park AGAIN! I LOVED Playing with Fire! I was sucked in from the beginning and couldn’t put it down! This book was hilariously funny! I laughed until my stomach hurt! What was really cool, though, was that it had suspense too. I was seriously nervous and on the edge of my seat until the very end. There were a few twists to this book that I never saw coming too! Loved them!! It was fun watching the relationship between Anna and Cowboy… Speaking of Cowboy…SIGH.. Not only is he is totally swoon worthy; but he seems like one of those folks that is just “good people”. It was fun to see Emily and Jake in the book too. They, along with Hank, Floss and the others, really made me laugh. Playing with Fire is definitely on my top fave books!!
Mikky_MWOB More than 1 year ago
OMG, and here I thought Jake and Emily were crazy. LOL! Finally, the book we’ve all been dying to get our hands on! We first met Cowboy in Rules of Protection. What we saw there was the player, the man who has a new girl in his bed every night. He’s charming, he’s funny and he’s the ultimate player. Love ‘em and leave ’em is his motto and he’s fine with that. His reputation surely doesn’t bother him until he meets Anna. She has a lot of secrets and hides behind old fashioned clothes, trying to keep everyone at a distance. She’s smart and the total opposite of the women that have always trailed after the hot fireman but, when their worlds collide, it’s going to be an event that will change their lives forever. Saying that I loved this book is not enough. Alison has really outdone herself. It was nice to see all the characters together and how the connections between all of them have developed and changed. Emily is the same smartass we all know and love and she still keeps Jake on his toes while Cowboy and Anna figuring things out is a hilarious comedy of errors. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Anna and strange things happen wherever she goes. The suspense mixed with the humor and the romance made this novel very hard to put down. I was up all night reading and I don’t regret a thing. Hard to believe this is Alison’s second book. Her writing is brilliant and she’s getting better with every novel she puts out there. She’s also a big tease. Really, Ali? Teasing us with Cowboy’s real name and leaving us hanging? Not nice. *pouting* Another highly recommended must read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next novel. Happy Reading!!
Linda_RochesterNY More than 1 year ago
*I received an ARC from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review* I LOVE this romantic suspense book. There is a great plot, great characters, and great writing. There is passionate sex, humor, sexy banter, and also some edge of your seat moments. Despite all her hang-ups, I liked Anna, and Cowboy is one sexy hot firefighter. The friends are also interesting and now I must read Jake and Emily's story! I highly recommend this book.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Anna Weber has had a secret crush on a certain cowboy since they were teens, and back then he didn't seem to take notice because he was too busy sowing his wild oats and living up to his well-known playboy reputation. She has thought of him often over the years, and continued to harbor her school girl crush, sometimes he even has a starring role in her dreams. And now that she has recently moved to his hometown, to be closer to her friends she wonders how long it will be before they run into each other, and if he'll actually remember her, not that she's out to catch his eye or anything. She is well aware of his reputation and long line of one night stands, and she has no interest in being added to the list. Not to mention she's not really comfortable with catching any man's eye, let alone have a physical encounter with one, and give them the opportunity to hurt her or see her scars. After being wounded as a child and having her body marked with permanent scars she tends to dress conservatively to ward off men affections, and to cover up the painful reminders of her broken childhood. Only problem is that her conservative ways didnt repel a certain cowboy like she hoped, he has taken notice and is actually quite fond of the prim and proper librarian, and isn't willing to take no for answer. He wants one date with her, and he's willing to do just about anything to get it... Cowboy is a handsome firefighter that is quite use being showered with women's affections, and has never had to worry about a shortage of women willing to take him home for the night. He's has a "no strings attached" policy, and is quite proud of his track record thus far...that is until the sexy new librarian catches his eye, he wants a date, but she isn't willing to give him one, and take the chance of being another notch under his belt, which leaves him thinking maybe he doesn't quite measure up to her standards. She deserves to have someone who can give her more than one night, and he's not so sure he's capable of that, but there's something about this auburn haired beauty that draws him in and has him wanting to change his wild ways...now he just has to find a way to prove to her that he can be the man she's looking for... This was my first experience with this authors work and I can say with complete certainty that it won't be my last, I loved every minute of this book! It had the makings of a perfect romance story, it was packed with spine tingling mystery, feisty banter, and steamy scenes that left me blushing. Anna and Cowboy were perfectly matched, their chemistry was off the charts and helped to create some very hot and spicy encounters that left me fanning myself. This is definitely one of the most impressive first reads I have read in a while, I highly recommend you add this series to your reading list. Cowboy is sure to satisfy all your reading needs, and leave you with a smile on your face! ARC requested through Netgalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
Loved this story, why? well Firemen duh! Ok but seriously. Opposites attract, mysterious fire starters, firemen, cowboy... the list goes on and on. This was a great easy to read story that flew by way to fast. I love that Anna isn't Flashy. Made her real and very likable. My mystery? Does Cowboy have a name?
missalicia2013 More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.... Exciting and dangerous read with HOT cowboys and damsels in distress! Cowboy, no we don't know his real name, is a local playboy and firefighter. Anna is the new town librarian. She has known Cowboy for 10 years not that he remembers that. For some reason fires seem to follow Anna around and Cowboy begins to take notice of her. Anna is receiving threats in her mailbox but thinks its the local crazies next door so she ignores it. Anna try's to dodge Cowboy's advances so she is not another notch on his belt but he's quite persistent. What happens if Anna and Cowboy get together? Will it be for more than one night?
TheSassyBookster More than 1 year ago
Cowboy is a man who loves women, is skilled at picking them up and has the reputation to prove it. But you wouldn't know this by Anna Weber's reaction to him. He just can't seem to wow her with his considerable charm and that's something that has never happened to him before. The sweet librarian is a challenge he can't resist and is determined to break down her barriers but he's in for a tough time because she will test his patience and control in every way possible. Anna Weber is hiding out in Liberty, Texas just until she can put her plans into action and getting involved with any man, let alone the playboy fireman is the last thing on her list of priorities but Cowboy won't take no for an answer. Anna has been down this road a few times and knows that it will always end in disappointment so she doesn't plan to even start anything. In addition, she had a crush on Cowboy when she was younger but he never saw her and she doesn't want to repeat that experience. But when suspicious fires begin to happen around her and she starts to receive threatening letters, Cowboy is the one person riding to the rescue. But Anna's hiding something and how will her secrets affect her budding relationship with Cowboy? Anna is quiet, shy and quite inexperienced but is definitely a match for the worldly and outgoing Cowboy. These two are very different but bring out the best in each other. The banter between them was very funny and Cowboy seemed to love the chase. More than the chase though, he wanted something special like his friends had, but had to contend with his reputation as he tried to convince Anna that he wanted forever with her. This was a fun and humorous book overall and had me laughing really hard at the antics of the characters, not just Cowboy and Anna but the rest of their posse. I love the way Ms. Bliss portrays the small town and its characters. The mystery and suspense added to my enjoyment of the story. I have just one question: what is Cowboy's real name? 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.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
This was a first read for me by Alison Bliss and I can guarantee you it will not be my last! I am already itching to go back and read the first book in this series. This story can be read as a standalone and you can follow it really well without having read the first one. Anna is a young lady that has decided to get a job in the town where her best friend is living so that she can spend some time with her before she does a disappearing act she has planned. Anna gets a job at the local library and that is where she meet Cowboy. Cowboy has the whole town of women chasing after him, but not the one he would like. Anna is able to resist all of Cowboy's flirting and advances that he makes on her. Cowboy is shocked and not too happy about it to say the least but he never gives up. Cowboy is a fireman on the local fire department and with him on the calendar that the firemen sell each year, he thinks no one can resist him. Most of the ladies can't. When Anna and Cowboy end up being in the same place and a couple of fires break out, Cowboy starts to question Anna's involvement. Is she the one setting the fires? Why can't she react like normal when she sees fires? Alison Bliss does an amazing job with giving us little clues along the way of what Anna is hiding and what she is having to learn to deal with. I was so ready to find out what all was going on that I flew through the story. This is a great read that you will not be sad that you read, I promise. This has suspense and romance all in one and with all the right amount to make it a great read. Thanks Alison Bliss for a great read and I can't wait for more from you in the near future!
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
Nothing ignites a fire like the perfect match… Anna Weber is every inch the proper librarian--old-fashioned, conservatively dressed right down to her tightly clipped flaming red hair. She's just moved to a small Texas town, and is determined to spend time with her friend before she has to disappear. Relationships aren't easy for her. She knows too well what it means to be burned. And the last thing she ever wants to do is fall in love… Especially not with a fireman who's hot enough to set the entire state of Texas on fire. Cowboy can't resist the fiery little librarian, and he's determined to make her his. Beneath that prim-and-proper exterior is a woman he very much wants to know--if she'd let him. She'll test his patience. His control. Hell, his very sanity. And for the first time, Cowboy wonders if he's found the one fire he can't control... Review: First, I have to say that she wrote the who-dunnit part of this story very well. I thought I knew who was behind it all, but enough red herrings were thrown out that I second guessing my thoughts...kudos! Lots of surprises in this book for me. The story is much deeper than the blurb lead me to believe. At the heart of this is a love story, but the flaws and scars of the characters give it much more depth. I don't like to give away too much of stories, so without rehashing the plot-I will say that this story has a great deal going for it. Of course the romance, these two are definitely opposites and that gets in their way a lot. As does each of their preconceived notions of the other. It has a mystery, which I did not expect from the blurb and as I said before, I thought was well-done. The characters themselves are diverse and interesting and make you laugh at points. I guess this book two in the series, but the story can be totally stand alone. Emily and Jake who are the main characters in book number one are in this book and after reading about them, I want to go back and read their story. This new-to-me Author did a great job and will look for more from her. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an fair and honest review.*
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Anna Weber is the new librarian in town and she fits the role perfectly. Conservative dress, quiet, old fashioned, but there's something about her that draws the attention of one very sexy Cowboy! Problem is, Anna has secrets. Those secrets make letting anyone get too close impossible. Cowboy is outgoing, fun, with a personality and reputation as big as Texas itself. He's determined to get to know Anna and he want's to know everything! Can she be the one woman who could tame this wild Cowboy or will her past and her secrets keep them apart??? This was an amazing read and it had a bit of everything. A bit of mystery, a bit of suspense, and a whole lot of romance and sexy times! It's very well written and the story will grab you from the beginning and keep you turning page after page. I love this group of characters and Cowboy is one of my favorites. So happy his story is as wonderful as it is. This is definitely a book that should go on everyone's must read list. I highly recommend it.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Playing with Fire is a roller-coaster ride I can't wait to experience again. Alison Bliss brought a blend of comedy to an intriguingly sexy read. Ms. Bliss created a world that was unique. The characters had me wondering what would happen next? Am I going to be blindsided? I would have probably enjoyed it more if I had read the first book in the series. Will be doing that before I reread Playing With Fire. Surprising characters, sultry chemistry and wonderful writing make this a story not to be missed. I received an ARC of Playing with Fire by Alison Bliss in exchange for an honest review.
MaureensBooks More than 1 year ago
In August 2014 I read the first book in the Tangled in Texas series ‘Rules of Protection’ by Alison Bliss. Not only did I completely fell in love with her writing and this series, I also became a part of her street team. Soon I not only was a big fan of ‘Rules of Protection’, but also came to know Alison Bliss a little more. Not only is she a great author but she’s also a very kind person who really cares for her fans. So when her new book ‘Playing With Fire’, the second book in the Tangled in Texas series was available for reviewing, I signed up as soon as possible. I was super excited to start reading and when I finally was able to, I didn’t stop until the very end. In ‘Playing With Fire’ we meet Anne Weber, a librarian who knows how to hide herself between books and boring clothes. Anne has just gotten a new job as a librarian in a small Texas town, a town she visited before almost ten years ago. Anne loves the little town and its people, but she also knows she won’t be able to stay for long. When handsome playboy ‘Cowboy’ starts noticing her, Anne doesn’t know what to think. All she wants is to stay away from Cowboy, since she just knows he is trouble, but her body and heart seem to want something else. Cowboy has always had a reputation for being a total womanizer, and he always made sure his reputation stayed in place by flirting with every woman who came to town. But when Cowboy meets Anne his life changes instantly. All Cowboy wants it to spend time with Anne, but Anne is the only woman who doesn’t seem to want to spend time with him. For a very long time I was waiting to finally read the second book in this series. And now I just can’t believe I’ve read it already. I should have read slower… I should have been able to enjoy it longer… Well.. Who am I kidding? This series is meant to devour!! From the moment I started reading ‘Playing With Fire’ I just couldn’t stop. This is just such an addicting read, you really can’t stop until you know how it ends. The romance is sweet, hot and just makes you fall in love with those characters. The two main characters Anne and Cowboy were great and I loved them from the very first page. Especially Anne. I loved how shy and even a little naïve she was. But most of all I loved the way she acted and reacted when Cowboy was near her. Her reactions definitely made me laugh at times. And although I really don’t like arrogant man, Cowboy was a character I liked from the moment I read about him in ‘Rules of Protection’. Somehow you just know there is more to this character than his arrogance. The best parts about this book were definitely the ones were Anne and Cowboy were arguing about Cowboy’s reputation and why they shouldn’t date. It definitely made me laugh a lot. But not only is this book a great, steamy and hot romance but there’s also quite a lot of mystery. I really loved the combination of these two genres. Yes, this book definitely gets 5 stars from me. I just love this series and I can’t believe I have to wait again to read the next book in this series. Alison Bliss is definitely an author who should be watched.. because she can really write!
MsChris1161 More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness! PLAYING WITH FIRE is scorching hot and sexy read! I expected nothing less about the legend that was Cowboy from author Alison Bliss as a follow-up to her debut book, Rules of Protection, and nothing less than excellence is what she gives her readers. Again. The plot is sexy and romantic, yet mysterious with a dash of danger. The characters have fun, yet realistic, well-developed personalities and the dialogue is charming with just the right amount of wit and snark. The core group from the first book in the Tangled in Texas series, ROP, are all back. Their friendships establishing a strong base and balance for the story. Cowboy, the local legend and player, doesn't know what to think of the pretty new librarian. His usual charm and panty-melting grin doesn't seem to have the same power over her. Despite his best, and very consistent, efforts to get her to go out with him, she keeps shutting him down. He's not used to being told no and is only more intrigued by her refusal. Anna Weber isn't as immune to Cowboy's charm as she tries to make him believe, but she has too many secrets of her own to give into the temptation. She's all too aware of his reputation and doesn't want to get burned, so she fights her desire for him even though he's clearly irresistible. Loved this book! I love it when the unexpected woman brings the player to his knees. Throw in a little danger, some intrigue, a lot of laughs, and steamy sexin' scenes on the way to the HEA and you've got a book I didn't want to put down. 4.5 stars ~Downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.