Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

by Kate Meader

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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From popular romance author Kate Meader comes the second novel in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests!

As the only female firefighter at Engine Co. 6, Alexandra Dempsey gets it from all sides: the male coworkers who think she can’t do the job, the wives and girlfriends who see her as a threat to their firefighter men, and her overprotective foster brothers who want to shelter their baby sister at all costs. So when she single-handedly saves the life of Eli Cooper, Chicago’s devastatingly handsome mayor, she assumes the respect she’s longed for will finally come her way. But it seems Mr. Mayor has other ideas…

Eli Cooper’s mayoral ratings are plummeting, his chances at reelection dead in the water. When a sexy, curvaceous firefighter gives him the kiss of life, she does more than bring him back to the land of the living—she also breathes vitality into his campaign. Riding the wave of their feel-good story might prop up Eli’s flagging political fortunes, but the sizzling attraction between them can go nowhere; he’s her boss, and there are rules that must be obeyed. But you know what they say about rules: they’re made to be broken…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476785929
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Series: Hot in Chicago Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at

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Playing with Fire 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
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.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angela and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Alexandra is an independent woman trying to prove her worth in everything she does. Having badass firefighters for foster brothers set the bar high for her. Of course, she has met every demand. She has become a badass herself, and it’s going to take one hell of a man to handle her. Who knew, that the stubborn, pig headed mayor will be the man to step up to the plate. Firefighter Alexandra can’t put this fire out even if she wanted to. They start out the game with the wrong reasons but they know venturing into any kind of relationship together will be Playing With Fire but denying their attraction is useless. I love that Alexandra is a fighter and succeeded not only in her career but earning the respect of the people around her. She was humanized by her vulnerability of wanting a man of her own who will treat her like the woman that she is. Eli was also built to perfection but underneath that facade, he is just as insecure and vulnerable as Alexandra. Both their strength and weaknesses compliment each other making them perfect for the role of hero and heroine. Meader didn’t just create a good romance, though, she also made their story filled with banter, laughter, and sexy scenes. Which I’m finding is her MO. There was never a dull moment.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Playing with fire Kate Meader Wow... you can't make it as hot as saving the man of your dreams only to be saved yourself by him. Alexandra Dempsey was a top notch firefighting woman from a family of heroes. Eli Cooper the hot single most eligible bachelor Mayor of Chicago was not ready for her. Their tumultuous love affair would be the movie of the week if it wasn't written into the pages of this very heartfelt dynamic book.
sbart84 More than 1 year ago
Enemies to lovers, Alex has finally met her match, Eli. Alex, sassy, female firefighter has saved Eli,handsome, arrogant, Chicago mayor in a burning building. Sparks fly immediately, Eli will do anything to pursue Alex. Alex wants to so much dislike him. but can't deny the physical attraction between them. The banter between them will have you laughing out loud. The sex scenes are hot. And, whats not to love, firefighters, politics and the city of Chicago. Kate Meader, you have made me homesick for my hometown of Chicago! I highly recommend this book!
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
Playing With Fire is book two in the Hot in Chicago series by Kate Meader. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, Pocket Books and by Kate Meader. I have previously read the prequel to this series, Rekindle the Flame, and loved it. But still, I was not prepared for the impact of this book. This book is amazing. I loved every single page of it. Now I am going to have to go back and read the two books between the prequel and this one. Eli Cooper is Mayor of Chicago. His first four year term is about over and he is running for re-election. The poll numbers haven’t been all that promising lately. He needs a boost. Eli isn’t ready for his time in office to be over. He still has so much he wants to do. But to what lengths is he willing to go to insure he will win the election? Eli lives alone in his deceased parents huge home with his adorable lab-collie mix dog, Shadow. Alexandra Dempsey is a firefighter. She is part of the famous Dempsey family. Her adoptive parents are no longer alive but she has a set of brothers, all alphas, all over protective, and all are also firefighters for the City of Chicago. Alex is still a rookie at Engine Company 6. She will be until her first year is complete. She takes flak from some of her fellow firefighters, from her brothers, and from the media. She has to be tough every single minute of every single day. But she still dreams of finding her own Mr. Right, someone that can handle her strong personality and her dangerous job. But while trying to find her Mr. Right, she feels like she has managed to date half the city of Chicago’s eligible men. Alex is tough, always seems to manage to say the wrong things at the wrong times, and has a hot temper. How could it be so difficult to find a guy who could handle all that? The first time Eli ever laid eyes on Alex, he knew she was different from any woman he had ever known. When they were thrown together again later when Alexandra’s temper got her into trouble, Eli was even more sure of the fact that Alex was special. There was a crazy vibe between them, a zing. Then, a fire at a fancy hotel he was attending a campaign event at brought them once again together. Eli had stayed behind to find his campaign manager and was trapped in the fire. It was Alex that saved him. Well, first Alex saved him, then he saved Alex. So, they saved each other, in more ways than one. The media loved them together. The chemistry was obvious to everyone. Eli is willing to do anything to have Alexandra in his life. He doesn’t believe in fairy tales. But he has to have her, to get this out of his system, out of both their systems. But the methods Eli uses to convince Alex to date him, to help him win his election, might not have been completely honest. But at this point, he is willing to do just about anything. “This thing between us, Alexandra…this thing,” he grated, his voice so graveled it coated every nerve ending with his masculine essence. “It will pass.” Panic knifed through her, mixed confusion at her body’s overreaction to his bold statement. “It--it will?” “God, I hope so, don’t you?” These two together were just electric. Sizzling doesn’t even seem to begin to describe their chemistry. This author can most definitely write hot, steamy, sexy scenes. But it wasn’t just the sexy times. It was the impact they had on one another. Eli was most definitely all alpha and he was perfect
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Alexandra Dempsey, the funny younger sister of the Dempsey Clan, has finally gotten her own book. She and Mayor Eli Cooper have a long history of loathing each other. They clashed in the 4 stories of the Hot in Chicago series. This book centers on their romance that begins when Alex rescues Eli from a burning building, (he technically carries her out, but she did most of the heavy lifting) and becomes an instant media star. Eli is in the midst of trying to be reelected and his poll numbers instantly raise as a consequence. He blackmails Alex into pretending to be his girlfriend until he is reelected, and she reluctantly agrees. Their chemistry is smoking hot and before long they are hooking up and feelings become involved. Will their fake relationship be able to survive the media spotlight and secrets from an unlikely source? I am a fan of Ms. Meader’s series, and this is another hot addition. This story had funny dialogue, hot romance, and great glimpses of former characters from previous books. I cheered as Alex and Eli got together, and understood when they weren’t. I enjoyed the main characters growth and look forward to the next book in the series. I was given a free copy for an honest review by
TheSassyBookster More than 1 year ago
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.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
3 - ”You planning on kissing my clock later with that mouth?” Stars! I love Kate Meader’s writing style, and I think the main issue I have with this book (hence the rating) and similarly to the first one in the Hot in Chicago series is that due to their length the writing loses a little of the authors usual punch in delivery. Both novellas were absolutely stellar, but I really struggled with keeping my reading focus, especially for the first half of the book. I loved Eli, him and Alexandra have been circling around each other like snarky vultures throughout most of the series, so it was good to finally see the two of them actually squaring off against each other. ”You never fail to bring out the worst in me.” Alex was a little harder to get along with, I loved her snark, the fact she didn’t take any of Eli’s pressure lying down, and that she stood up for herself with her brothers and anyone else who dared to get in her face, but at times… I don’t know, I think due to the pace/length of the book some of her reactions just seemed a little overblown, over dramatic and a tad immature. In parts I could understand this especially as she became more aware of the levels that Eli had stooped to spend time with her. ”I’m a no good dirty, rotten barstool who knows what he wants and will fight like hell to get it. I’ll destroy anyone who says anything against you, who lays a hand upon you, who gets in my flocking way.” Dirty, confident and dominant, terms that can be used to describe both of them to be honest, and on that front and when the sexy times happened, they were stellar. ”No one else will satisfy you… not even your own fingers. If I’m in the room, in this city, on this planet, I will be the one who takes care of you. We clear?” I really did like them together, I just found again that the length of the book diluted Kate’s one-liners, pithy retorts and entertaining inner-monologues, it was very much slow, quick, slow, quick for the most of the story. Great ending and epilogue, I just wish the book was a little shorter. I’m here. I’m not leaving. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
blonde_betty More than 1 year ago
Playing with Fire is the second full-length novel in Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series. In this installment Alex (American’s favorite firefighter) and Eli (Mayor McAsshat) finally get their HEA. Not surprisingly it is quite a ride before they get there. Alex is strong and take charge; she is definitely the hero in her own story. Eli is not exactly who the public believes him to be. Both of these things collide dramatically as Eli makes his second run for Mayor. Alex agrees to help him get elected by pretending to be his girlfriend. As anyone who read Flirting with Fire realized, there would be no pretending. The sparks fly fast and furious, but it is the emotional connection between these two that makes this such a wonderful novel. While each are strong on their own, together they make each other better. To make things ever more fun the other Dempsey siblings make regular appearances to meddle. Meader definitely hits another one out of the park. I can’t wait to see Wyatt get his own HEA next.
LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
Alexandra and Eli are now my favorite Hot in Chicago couple! To read the entire review please visit: I love Kate Meader's Hot in Chicago series with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns! "Playing With Fire" was everything I was hoping for the Romance between Alex and Eli, and more. The antagonistic flirting, the witty banter, and the uncontrollable eye sex is all there again but more of it but souped up! The chemistry between Alex and Eli is like a powder keg with a lit stick of dynamite sitting on top. Eli is using manipulation to get and keep Alex and he is holding onto a secret that is eating away at him from the inside. Not only that, but Sam Cochran knows this secret and is using it to pull strings in the mayor's office and using his newspapers to ensure all parties know who has the upper hand. Eli is sitting on a house of cards and the pressure is weighing on him. Alex is torn between the loyalty of her family who has been burned by Eli in the past and her passionate addiction to his voice, touch, and presence. As I said this book is hotter than the infernos that the firefighters are called to put out! "Playing With Fire" has become my favorite book in the Hot in Chicago series, and I practically devoured this novel in one sitting. This novel was provided to me by the Publisher for a honest review.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
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!
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
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!
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
This was so fantastic! Excellent story with the perfect build. Loved it. And holy hot! Mr. Mayor has my vote. ;-) Eli and Alex were great characters. Eli was super sexy, commanding, a go-after-what-you-want kind of guy. Seriously HOT! Alex was fan-freaking-tastic! I've got a total girl crush on her. I loved how she just put it all out there, was so fiery and full of life. These two together had the best chemistry. I loved their verbal sparring and innuendo. They definitely give good fight. Holy sexual tension and build up batman - these two when it comes to the hotness... WOW! So much passion between the two. I love that she's all woman-hear-me-roar but she also likes his powerful, commanding ways in private. I loved the story of them coming together, the challenges they faced, and really getting to learn their secrets as they opened up. The intensity and need between Eli and Alex made this great story hard to put down. It had such an awesome build as all the details unfolded. It was just so well developed, and I thought they both had great back stories. I love all the Dempsey siblings and their passion for family and how that really comes through in the story. I am so excited that their were hints about Wyatt, his story is next and I can't wait to learn his secrets. There were ups and down with drama and tension. There were funny times as well with some great one-liners. Alex's free flowing speech can be pretty priceless. I cannot say enough about their fun yet argumentative ways and just how challenging they could be to one another - that type of connection and all that it creates for a storyline is one of my favorite things ever. Loved the ending and the epilogue. I was actually surprised which is always refreshing. Great everything! Just an incredible story with really in depth characters. It was full of sexual tension, drama, and love. Just awesome! 5 votes for the major! Complimentary copy received for honest review
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
There is nothing more passionate than ego, blackmail and competition. Alexandra and Eli found that out first hand. Despite a contentious relationship they can't keep their hands or thoughts to themselves. I liked Alexandra. She spoke her mind, stuck to her beliefs and loved her family. Eli took a while to grow on me. As I got to know him more, I started to realize that he kept his guard up to protect himself from the traumatic blow he was dealt as a child. Kate Meader picked the perfect name for a battle of will, heart and dominance. Playing with Fire lives up to it's name. Received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.