Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

by Clare Meyers, Cris Meyers

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The rules are simple: Get in. Get out. Get paid.

Loner Renee Devereaux is a thief with a lot to hide, and trust is a risk she rarely takes. Stone Anders is a mercenary and hitman, but being a hired killer isn’t fitting like it used to. But while they are criminals, they are anything but common. Renee and Stone are Talents, and their supernatural powers give them an edge in a high stakes business where one wrong move could be their last.

It’s always just one job, and everyone scatters—sometimes in less than favorable circumstances. For Renee and Stone, that’s business as usual. But things change.

A chance at revenge draws Renee and Stone into a job they know they shouldn’t take. The job: Steal a dangerous magical artifact before it can be used. Along with the deadline, they’ll have to deal with a loudmouth hacker with problematic connections, a rookie who still believes in ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ and a professional liar with a cat’s curiosity.

Worse, something just doesn’t feel right.

But this is their job. They have a reputation to maintain, a paycheck to earn, and a score to settle…

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153708461
Publisher: Clare Meyers
Publication date: 08/31/2016
Series: Criminal Elements
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 456 KB

About the Author

Clare Meyers is the co-author of urban fantasy with her husband, Cris. Their current project is an adult urban fantasy heist series that features a band of supernatural criminals. Born and raised in Illinois, Clare still makes the Midwest her home. She met Cris in college, where they were both majoring in English. She wrote a few short stories on her own, but then two years ago, she and her husband decided to combine their efforts and see where it led. Their debut novel was just released.

Cris Meyers is the co-author of urban fantasy with his wife, Clare. Their current project is an adult urban fantasy heist series that features a band of supernatural criminals. Born and raised in Illinois, Cris still lives in the Midwest. He met Clare in college, where they were both majoring in English. He has experimented with horror and high fantasy, but two years ago, he partnered with Clare on an urban fantasy series. Their debut novel in this series was just released September 2016.

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Playing with Fire 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
SkyeLyn More than 1 year ago
This book is so good; I want to tell the world. I want you to read it so I can say “I told you so”. I want to knock on the door of Netflix and beg them to make a series called Criminal Elements so I can binge on it. Why? Let’s start with the Frenchie, Renee Devereaux; a kick butt bundle of ambiguity. She’s Talented. No, not like America’s Got Talent talented, more like “piss me off and I’ll mess you up” talented. To be Talented means you have magical “kick you into next Tuesday” powers. Renee is Talented but just how talented… that she keeps to herself. Also a Talent, and easy on the eyes, is Stone Anders. Unlike Renee, he makes it clear what his talent is right out of the gate, he blows stuff up. Like Renee, he makes a living thieving. And when I say thieving, I’m talking Ocean’s Eleven type heists and payouts with Pulp Fiction fury. A Royale with cheese. The courtship between Renee and Stone begins in Russia. It starts with a “you carrying” curiosity and slowly morphs into a “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” flirtation but before they can sort out exactly what heat the other is packing, the job goes south and they spend the rest of their time together trying not to die. That’s the thing about dying; it can really mess up the moment. Call it fate or a big payout or revenge, whatever the reason, Stone and Renee find themselves on the same job in Vienna and then again in Florence where Stone’s epic battle against a hit on his own life nearly kills him and Renee’s nursing him back to health turns their co-worker status into a full blown office romance. Then Seattle happens… In Seattle we meet Rook. Whereas most people would hate Rook, I of course love him. I have a habit of embracing the character awarded “most likely to make you want to punch in the face” and the winner is—the smart mouthed, shape-shifter were-crow. Rook is annoying, cocksure and cawing, rambunctious and rude, but he’s loveable, if that makes any sense. The Seattle team also consists of a Talent named Carlos, shape-shifter coyote and Grace, a Talented shape-shifter, con-woman cat. Renee and Stone are here for revenge. Revenge on Marcus Issacs, the man who backstabbed them in Moscow. Once Rook reveals the money of the operation, they almost back out but their need for revenge supersedes their better judgement. The money, Victoria Reid is a Talented mob boss of sorts, running the East Coast of the US like the Godfather of the Talented. The job from the get-go is flawed and working for a crime boss is always questionable but Vic is serving Issacs for dinner and revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. In addition to the Corleone conundrum, Stone and Renee are working with a team of misfits with Rook as Captain Chaos. His plan is messy, he’s a hot head and he’s hiding stuff. Not to mention that it’s the first time off the bench for Carlos and Grace missed tryouts. Or did she? The Seattle job, well let’s just say things could have gone better. Playing with Fire ends with the Seattle debacle and you immediately want to read book two, Fly by Night. Which I two days. The Criminal Elements series by Cris and Clare Meyers is perfection. It’s raw. It’s real. They hold nothing back: crime, love, violence, addiction, sexuality, magic and whole boatload of butt kicking.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Playing with Fire by Cris and Clare Meyers is Volume 1 of the Criminal Elements Series. Renee Devereaux is a bit of a loner; she is also a thief who has plenty to hide and doesn’t trust anyone. Stone Anders is a mercenary for hire, but he isn’t finding it as thrilling as it used to be. While Renee and Stone may be criminals, they are not common criminals. They are what is known as Talents with supernatural powers, and this puts them ahead of the game in a job that carries the highest of stakes. Things begin to go wrong when they take on a job that could give them the chance for revenge for a previous job that went wrong but, this time, they may just have bitten off even more than they can chew. Retrieving a magical artifact before it falls into the wrong hands puts them in the way of others, and things could be about to go horribly wrong. Playing with Fire (Criminal Elements Series Volume 1) by Cris and Clare Meyers is something very different. It’s an action-packed paranormal mystery with a little romance thrown in for good measure and plenty of suspense at the same time. This is an incredibly strong story, an edge-of-your-seat tale that you won’t want to put down. The plot is unique and very cleverly woven, with each of the main protagonists melding into the storyline seamlessly. The characters are very well developed and, although this is a paranormal tale, the way it is written makes you believe it could truly happen – maybe it does, who knows! It draws you in and holds on, pulling you into the tale, into each scene, and only lets go when the story is done. I am so glad that there will be more books in this series and I truly look forward to reading them. It makes a refreshing change to read something so different and so well-written.
DarylVQ More than 1 year ago
I've always been into the fantasy/sci-fi books, when I saw this as an option and read the description I had to try it and I'm very glad I did! In my opinion, it's a PG-13 version of similar books in this genre which gives people from about junior high age or so and older a very good read! The characters are easy to follow and combine light romance, comedy, seriousness, and light suspense. The hardest part would be the foreign language that is used occasionally. However, some of it can be loosely processed in the context of what's being said and the rest can easily be translated. It reminds me a lot of the hit show "The Black List", and other similar shows, using different people, sometimes complete strangers, with "talents" or powers to complete a contracted job. Very detailed descriptions of surroundings and characters along with clever comments made to give more information about the person or situation and sometimes to just add comedy. I'm a slow but avid reader and this book read very quick and smooth. This is a good start to a great future and I can't wait to see what else is in store from this series and this author team!
Eve_V More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The characters were so well developed and interesting! I can't wait to read more from this series!
J_M_Northup More than 1 year ago
Don't Judge This Book By Its Cover! I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. When I first saw the cover, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. I cannot be more honest than to tell the authors to invest in a quality cover because the current one doesn't do it justice! THIS BOOK WAS GREAT! I enjoyed the characters, even the offensive techie, Rook. Of course, my favorite was the female protagonist, Renee. I thought the use of magic and spells was refreshing. The variances in talents and how they interplayed in the world was cool. I am intrigued to learn more about the background story to Renee and the history of the magical families introduced to us in this book. I am thankful it is a series and looking forward to uncovering more information in book 2! I highly recommend it for those interested in urban fantasy or paranormal crime stories! It was well-paced and entertaining all the way through!
Pearl_Cooper More than 1 year ago
I am big into Urban Fantasy, so reading this was not a hard choice- and I’m glad I did. Mixing magic with conspiracies and snark always makes for a good read. All of the main characters had more to them than meets the eyes; with secrets on top of need to know with some “why should I tell you?” thrown in. It is nice to have characters with depth and lives beyond the scope of the story to read. And I appreciate it when the magic makes sense. I liked how it was incorporated into their lives here, it flowed well and felt natural. I am looking forward to reading more about these characters and seeing where they go from here.
Jeanenne Cox More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review. I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this book. Paranormal mystery is not usually a genre that I read, but I am glad that I did. It took a chapter or two for me to get into it, but once was I into it, I was hooked. It starts with a simple job that brings together the two main characters, Renee and Stone, for the first time. Of course, the job is not so simple and it goes wrong, which sets up the rest of the story. Renee and Stone are great characters, though I wish we had seen more of the growing relationship between the two of them. One particular scene with these two in Chapter 26 I thought was priceless. I fell in love with two of the characters introduced later in the novel, Carlos and Grace, who to me stole the show at times. Rook was also an interesting character, who had some lines that made me snort. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read with interesting, complex characters, mystery and action that don’t let up in the latter half of the novel, and a sprinkle of humor. Definitely keeping any eye out for the next book, curious to see what happens next.