Blazing Midsummer Nights (Harlequin Blaze Series #689)

Blazing Midsummer Nights (Harlequin Blaze Series #689)

by Leslie Kelly
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Blazing Midsummer Nights (Harlequin Blaze Series #689) by Leslie Kelly

Marketing director/workaholic Mimi Burdette has The Plan—work for her father and date his right-hand man. Problem is, there's no heat in the relationship. Not even a spark. And worse still, Mimi is having some seriously sexy, panties-ablaze dreams—and the star looks a lot like Xander McKinley, the hunky firefighter next door.

Mimi's dreams might be due to the strange tea she drank. Or the predictions from the fortune cookie she ate. Or they could be due to Xander's smokin' hotness. But whether it's magic or just old-fashioned fireworks, Mimi is about to break all of the rules—including her own!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459230170
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #689
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 448,356
File size: 294 KB

About the Author


Leslie Kelly has written dozens of books and novellas for Harlequin Blaze, Temptation and HQN. Known for her sparkling dialogue, fun characters and depth of emotion, her books have been honored with numerous awards.  Leslie lives in Maryland with her own romantic hero, Bruce, and their three daughters. Visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

Someone once said that the course of true love never did run smooth. As Mimi Burdette watched two of her good friends sway together in a romantic dance, however, she had to disagree. Because the true love between this couple had been obvious to everyone who knew them, almost from the moment they'd met.

"They look like a prince and princess," murmured Anna, her neighbor, friend, landlady and tonight's hostess.

"Considering the setting, maybe a fairy king and queen."

She wasn't kidding. The woods surrounding the backyard of the old plantation house just outside of Athens had been turned into a mythical forest. As dusk fell and a thousand twinkle lights began to gleam in the night, everyone at the engagement party slowed to appreciate the beauty all around them.

A trio of musicians softly strummed their instruments, the lyrical notes riding a warm, summer breeze. The Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks gleamed silver under the evening dew and the firefly-soft lighting.

Magnolias the size of dinner plates dotted the trees, looking like a thousand full moons, filling the air with their evocative scent. Lanterns hung from the lowest branches of the graceful pines, and the arches of a dozen arbors were draped with writhing, sweet-smelling jasmine and heavily laden grapevines. Otell-allkay, the vines and fruit were fake. But what an effect!

"You really outdid yourself," Mimi said to Anna, who stood watching the proceedings, wearing a smile.

The older woman, dressed as always in colorful, flowing robes, merely shrugged. "Setting the stage for romance is easy when the people involved are meant for each other like Duke and Lyssa." She chuckled. "Of course, it didn't hurt that I'm helping with the costumes and props for the downtown theater group's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream."

With her filmy, billowing clothes, and her long ash-gray hair, loose and wavy and entwined with flowers, Anna looked more like a hippie than a retiree. So maybe it wasn't so surprising that she could take a normal backyard, ringed by normal Georgia woods, and turn it into something out of a storybook.

"Anyway, it was just a few lights, some fabric—easy."

"Maybe for you, but other than advertising, the creative wiring was left out of my genetic code. To me, this looks like pure sorcery and magic."

The soon-to-be bride and groom deserved a magical wedding. They were wonderful people, and she already missed having them as neighbors. They'd already moved into their new house, but until a week ago, had lived right across the hall from her own first-floor apartment in this grand old estate home.

Anna and her husband, Ralph—dubbed Obi-Wan because of his love for all things Star Wars and his sage, all-knowing demeanor—had bought the place decades ago and raised their family here. Once the kids were gone, they'd divided the three-story mansion into six small apartments, figuring the rental income would keep them nicely provided for in their retirement.

With the unit across from Mimi's vacant, and another unrented one on the second floor, the big house was feeling empty. Plus, Anna and Obi-Wan's volatile marriage was on the rocks again. Obi-Wan's one fault was his jealous streak. He was always accusing other men of being after his wife. His latest accusation had angered Anna enough that she had moved into one of the vacant units to teach him a lesson.

In this economy, three rentals not bringing in any money was not a good thing. She had to wonder where Anna had come up with the funds to throw this engagement party for her former tenants. Mimi had offered to help pay—she could certainly afford it and would have loved to help—but Anna's pride wouldn't allow her to accept. The most she would allow was the use of Mimi's nice discount on much of the food.

Sometimes it really paid to be the daughter of the owner of a chain of grocery stores. Not to mention being the head of marketing for said grocery store chain, with an express ticket to the executive offices of her family's business.

Some people wondered why she lived here, in a small apartment in an old house, when she could afford to buy her own home, or sponge off her parents at their estate. But Mimi loved this place, loved the history of it. More importantly, she loved the sense of community she found here, where she was free to be herself and didn't have to wear the socialite hat, or the business executive one. She could just be Mimi.

"Oh," Anna said, snapping her fingers as she remembered something. "You're going to have new neighbors. My daughter, Helen, and her little boy are moving from Atlanta next weekend, taking the vacant unit on two. And I rented the apartment across from yours today."

"Really? That's wonderful," Mimi said, surprised.

"I invited the new tenant to come tonight, but he didn't want to intrude—he moved in this afternoon."

"You must be so glad," she said, relieved to know one financial burden had been lifted from her landlords' shoulders. She doubted they'd take rent money from their daughter, who had gone through a bad divorce last year.

"One B is a real hottie," Anna said, her eyebrows waggling.

"There are more important things than hotness."

Definitely more important. She'd been involved with superhot guys in the past and had the psychological burn scars to prove it. The last supersexy, relied-only-on-his-looks guy she'd dated had ended up "borrowing" her credit card and buying a matching pair of his-and-her motorcycles.

That had been bad. Worse? Mimi hadn't been the her.

No way was she stepping close to the flames again. Now when she looked at a man, she was more interested in steadiness, self-confidence and brains. If those things came in nice-looking packages, okay, but looks alone just didn't cut it.

Fortunately, it was possible to have all of the above. She only had to look across the crowded party at her own golden-haired escort to see that.

Dimitri was perfect. He was everything she'd been telling herself she needed, and was nothing like the men who'd hurt her in the past. He'd also been hand-picked for her by her own father, who was notoriously hard to please. Normally, that would be a bad thing; she didn't like doing what was expected of her, and knew her father to be a bully. But considering her bad luck with romance, and her efforts to improve her relationship with her dad—who stood firmly in the path of her going where she wanted to go professionally, i.e., right into his office once he retired—it seemed like a smart move.

The icing on the cake? Dimitri was also very handsome.

But handsome doesn't always equal hot. And enjoying being with someone definitely doesn't always lead to physical heat.

She sighed deeply, wishing that little voice in her head would shut up, even while acknowledging the words were true.

But it didn't matter—handsome was enough. Handsome was movie-star good looks, good manners, holding the door. Handsome was every hair in place, jaw smoothly shaven and a nice suit. Handsome was self-confidence borne of being admired by everyone who knew him, and inspiring fantasies of Prince Charming in just about every woman who saw him. Handsome was a good-night kiss with enough tongue to be provocative but not enough to be impolite.

Handsome was Dimitri.

Hot was…something else.

Hot was sexy, rugged and edgy. Hot was unpredictable. Hot smelled sweaty and male, not doused with expensive cologne. Hot had thick muscles that gave proof of utter strength and could make any woman feel feminine by contrast. Hot had an edge of danger, wasn't always courteous, didn't treat a lover like a fragile object. Hot had a deep voice, knowing eyes and a stubbled jaw that every woman wanted roughing up her inner thighs. Hot would ensnare a woman…mind, body and soul.

She fanned herself, acknowledging the truth. Handsome she had. Hot she hadn't seen in a very long time.

More importantly: handsome she should have. Hot she should stay away from.

She shook off the mental images. Enough with the hot fantasies. Handsome reality was bringing her a glass of wine, drawing the appreciative stares of every person with a uterus.

He was hers if she wanted him. And you want him. Damn it, you'd be crazy not to want him!

But she was beginning to wonder. Heck, she hadn't even been the one to invite him here tonight. Anna had bumped into him at the store and extended the invitation. Mimi had no idea why he'd accepted, considering he didn't know anybody here except her. Since he'd said yes, he'd naturally expected Mimi to be his date, which should make any woman extremely happy.

"Okay, Miss Smarty-Pants, if you're not about looks, care to explain your date over there?"

"You invited him," she pointed out. "Only because you've gone out with him a few times."

"I know, my family swears he's perfect for me. And he is very good-looking," she admitted. Then, speaking more to herself, she voiced the concern that had been niggling at her. "But there's also something called chemistry."

"Hate to break it to ya, but you two ain't got it."

She sighed. "Is it that obvious?"

"Only to an expert like me."

And to Mimi. She'd already figured out that good looks didn't always inspire sparks, and dating someone wasn't the same as wanting to go to bed with him. If it were, she and Dimitri would probably be sleeping together, or perhaps even engaged, which was what her father was pushing for. Pushing hard.

Dimitri was a new executive with Burdette Quality Foods, the family business. He was also her Dad's right-hand man. Cultured, handsome, well-educated. The perfect guy in every way.

But perfect for her?

Anna shook her head and tsked. "Honey, it's obvious you're experiencing a small sexual dry spell."

"Small? Try Sahara-sized," she admitted, wondering, not for the first time, if there was something wrong with her.

"So, sex camel, what are you looking for, a Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp oasis?"

Dimitri would probably be considered every bit as handsome as those men. Still, there was no fire. When he kissed her, she always thought, well, that's nice.

But she never had the urge to rip off his pressed shirt, shove him against a wall and thrust her tongue down his throat. And they'd never done anything more than kiss. He hadn't pushed, and she hadn't wanted him to. Because, for a sex camel, nice sex wasn't an oasis, it was just the last few drops of water from a nearly empty canteen.

If she really wanted an oasis, she needed hot. Forget it. Heat burns. A lukewarm canteen is good enough.

"I honestly don't know," she finally admitted. "He's everything I should want."

"But not what you need? Not what you crave?"

Needing and craving didn't begin to describe what she felt for Dimitri. Respecting and appreciating did. "Like I said, there's more to life."

"You tell yourself that the next time a gorgeous, hot, half-naked man lands at your feet."

"I think I'll go for a walk during the next thunderstorm. I'd have a better chance of getting struck by lightning."

"Thunderstorm?" Dimitri asked. "It doesn't look like rain."

Glad he hadn't overheard their entire conversation, Mimi took the glass of wine he offered, murmuring, "Thank you."

"You're welcome. How about a dance when you're finished?"

Dancing under the stars with a handsome man. It should sound heavenly. But instead it sounded.. just okay. As okay as everything else in her life lately.

Okay is fine. Okay is better than wounded and lonely. Okay is better than wondering what the hell is wrong with you since the last few rounds of ring-around-the-relationship ended with you in the used-and-heartbroken seat.

She'd been following her libido instead of her brain and had lived to regret it. So her brain needed to be in charge from now on. And her brain said okay was good enough.

"Sure, thanks," she said, lowering the glass.

She let Dimitri lead her to the flagstone patio, which was being used for dancing. Mimi held her breath, looking up at his handsome face—all slashing, GQ-magazine-cover cheekbones, haughty brows, dark green eyes that watched her closely. She was waiting for a frisson of sensation, a spark at the brush of his tall, lean body against her own, but it just didn't happen.

Maybe it never will. Maybe acknowledging that he's handsome and smart, and liking him will do.

She did like him, and respected him. She doubted he'd hurt her—the fact that she wasn't desperate for him should be enough to insulate her from too much pain if things went south. And it would certainly make things nice in terms of the business, not to mention her rocky relationship with her dad.

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Blazing Midsummer Nights 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
DaniC More than 1 year ago
Seeing how I love Shakespeare and the thought of reading a modern romantic retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream really interested me. I just wished it had kept me interested. I found myself taking forever to get through Blazing Midsummer Nights. It really shouldn’t have seeing that it is a relatively short book. I just found myself putting it down a lot and then not want to go back and finish reading it. I wish the plot had been better and I could have really done without those crazy dreams Mimi had. They didn’t add anything to the story and almost made me quick reading it altogether due to the fact one of them was borderline ménage. I wish there was a better plot and more of a connection between Xander and Mimi. If there had been I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
3 Stars I have to admit that I skipped over a lot of the book because of all the love scenes in it. It really fits the Blaze line of books. To me I really did not connect to the characters very much. The story line that Mimi Burdette works in the advertising for a chain grocery stores for her father. She is dating Dimitri a guy from work to make her father happy. She is thinking that tonight is the night they would sleep together and than thought oh I need to wear sexy underwear so she goes into her room to change. Xander was just moving into the old house and his apartment and locked himself out and he had taken off his shirt. So he goes to the party outside for the landlady gives him a key to a secret door of the patio through the closet to his room. In the closet he hears voice talking about would he like her sexy underware? and then saw her naked from the waist he trips and ends up looking at her from the floor. They end up sharing a passionful kiss. Mimi goes back to the party and forgets her plans for Dimitri. Xander has just moved to Atlanta from Chicago to be a fireman. He has lost both of his parents within six months. He keeps rescueing Mimi. Mimi's father wanted a boy but all he got was Mimi. He is oldfashioned and doesn't think a women can run a business and does not respect Mimi. Warning again lots of sex scenes not much plot around them making love. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. 06/05/2012 PUB Harlequin Harlequin Blaze
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From below
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Furyclaw is right. Blazeclan is tied with horseclan(we still dont know who is older) for oldest clan inrp, and ifyou dont change your name, i willd everything in my power to giv you the wors reputation ever but if you changeyour name, i will create character to join your rp. So please, change your name. Sincerely~~ icetail, 2nd longest blazeclan rper(only after current leader), former leader, and current medcat/warrior of blazeclan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excuse me, but I just wanted to say there is already a Blazeclan at 'arson' (much, much older). C: So, could you change your clan's name please? Thank you.~Furyclaw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone wanna be my friend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darkfur just let them stay in their positions. Lets give them a chance to prove that they are going to seariously fix the clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in. Catches a mouse and sets it down, proud of her prey, distracted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Toxin, our place please. I have a few suggestions for you...(not related to BloodClan, but if you remember my essay at old camp, perhaps you should work on that here...)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What should we do about the non cat animals in our clan already?.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He whimpers in fear
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beats up toxin with a pillow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
K. Gtg bbl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reason is coming in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Streamstars den
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok nvm im here now..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in and drops a bag on the floor*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cabin is for Ares chilren.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bring you hunting stories here for al to here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wakes up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute story with good chemistry between the characters.  Very loose association with Shakespeare's Misdsummer, but you do see a few ties.