Sunday, January 3, 2016

HOPE FLAMES by Jaci Burton


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     January 7, 2014
ISBN:       978-0425259764
Genre:      Contemporary Romance
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Veterinarian Emma Burnett has returned home to Hope ready to open up her brand new animal clinic and with a secret.  A dark secret she wants to keep buried deep in her past.  She’s determined that never, ever, getting involved with another man is the best way to keep her secret in that dark place.

K-9 officer Luke McCormack has his own past he’d like to forget or at least wishes never happened.  He’s just fine cruising around in his patrol car with his partner, Boomer and taking the occasional woman to bed…but never anything more.

When Boomer sprains his leg in the middle of a foot…or shall we say paw pursuit…Luke heads to the nearest vet which just so happens to be Emma’s clinic.  While he wouldn’t mind taking Emma to bed Luke soon realizes that there is more to the doctor than some kissable lips.  Likewise Emma can’t help but fantasize about Luke’s rather hot body. 

What better combination for a good time than a pair who have no interest in commitment?  But emotions and attraction don’t always listen to what our minds tell us, especially when two people find their way to each other.

I “discovered” Jaci Burton when I shortly after I started reviewing in 2001 with her Passion in Paradise series which debuted in 2003.  Her characters were personable and found themselves in situations many of us can see ourselves in.  You felt the intensity and passion the couples felt toward each other.  Reading her again for the first time in too long in HOPE FLAMES shows she’s better than ever in creating multi-layered, realistic characters that you wouldn’t mind meeting in real life.

There are hints about Emma’s secret – the part of her life she is trying desperately to forget.  What I really liked about the character and how Burton developed her is how she went from timid and afraid of her own shadow – so afraid she wouldn’t let anyone in – to a woman who finds her own inner strength.  And most important to let someone in her life. 

How Luke came to terms with his own heartbreak and disappointment was also well done.

Of course the dogs, Boomer, Daisy and Annie were a high point for me.  Burton has dog and puppy behaviour down pat.

The constant repetition about how both Luke and Emma both did not want a relationship.  A few less reminders would have made for a more solid story.

Still, a good read by a very talented author.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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