The Hopeless Romantics Book blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Lexi Ryan's "Playing with Fire (Mended Hearts #1)."
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1J0qBAp
Everyone knows a phoenix rises from the ashes. What they don't talk about are the people she drags with her into the fire.
I thought one hot night with Max Hallowell was harmless. I never expected it would force me to face my past or bring back the man who swore he'd never let me go. Now Max wants to help me. Wants to save me. But if I let him, he'll be destroyed. I can already smell the flames.
A woman with a secret past. A man determined to protect her. A dangerous passion that could cost them both everything.
Playing with Fire is the first in a new series of standalone novels featuring the New Hope characters Lexi Ryan fans have come to love. While you wait for Nix and Max's story, explore Love Unbound, the collection of books set in Lexi's New Hope world.
It's been nearly two years since I ventured back to the little town of New Hope (in a lexi Ryan book) and on one hand I can say, reading "Playing with Fire" was like coming home, that sense of familiarity consuming me the minute I turned the first page but on the other hand, it was like so much had changed in the time I'd been away. It appears I'd missed some fantastic stories and equally I'd missed being introduced to some amazing characters but for that, I can only blame myself. "Playing with Fire" really highlighted that I'd done myself a disservice by not keeping up with the works of this author because I absolutely loved everything about Max and Nix's story.
It's almost a desperate kiss- as if she's been waiting a lifetime
for my mouth and I'm the only one who can bring her pleasure.
Nix and Max were a new couple to me but I fell in love with each of them very quickly and adored watching their journey to a HEA unravel. As the synopsis says, Nix had a history, a past she was desperately trying to run from and New Hope had been a fresh start for her. I would never have guessed her back story and am thankful for the fact that it was original and different from what we are used to reading about. A relationship was something she didn't want, couldn't want and so she immersed herself in work and her friends. Her character was one that intrigued me and as I was drip fed snippets from her past, my heart broke. I could sense her despair, her anguish and her inner turmoil. There were things in life she wanted... things she would have loved to have (one of them being Max) but her past was a constant reminder that such things weren't possible. On the flip side of that, I was also in awe at the strength and resilience this woman displayed. With everything she had been through (which becomes clearer as you read on), and to achieve everything she had took guts and bravery and there almost a sense of pride in the person she had become.
"Hey why are you so convinced I'm going to hurt you?"
"Because I've never been with a man who didn't."
And Max, well he hadn't had much luck in the relationship department. In fact every relationship he had been in had turned to mush but out of it, he had a gorgeous little girl who he was primary parent to. Boy oh boy did my insides go all gooey at how wonderful a dad he was. And on top of that, he was not only physically appealing but he was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Trust me when I say, it was difficult not to go weak at the knees at Max. He was sweet. He was protective. He was alpha. He was domineering and he was all kinds of crazy hot in the bedroom department. He really was just the perfect package and shame on those women who had broken this man's heart because honestly, I didn't get it. I mean really????? Lexi Ryan you really know how to write a male lead that will make the women swoon.
So Max and Nix's story really wasn't as straight forward as two people who had been burned before getting together. There was so much at stake, so much at risk and so their coming together was slow with a lot of push and pull and a hell of a lot of would they... wouldn't they. Of course I got frustrated but I understood why it had to be this way. Having their story go any other way would have felt unrealistic and a little forced and when you get to the last page, everything will become clearer and you'll get it. I was with this couple until the end, rooting for them and be damned if they didn't get that beautiful, sweet HEA we are so used to getting from this author!!!
“I’m not looking to rescue anyone. But if you’re the one who needs saving,
I’m happy to invest in a stallion and learn how to ride.”
"Playing with fire" was a book that had me hooked very quickly. There was so much mystery and suspense surrounding Nix and I couldn't wait to get to the nitty gritty of it all, the drip fed tid bits of information only serving to heighten my enjoyment of what I was reading. The story line was definitely unique and gripping and the drama surrounding both Max and Nix as individuals and as a couple had me eager to reach the end to see how everything turned out. Well let's just say, it was an action packed finale... one that had me on the edge of my seat wondering just who was friend or foe!!!
Lexi Ryan has this ability to suck you into the lives of her characters, making you feel every ounce of what they go through; the happiness, the sadness, the anger and the fear. And that for me was the icing on the cake for this book. As much as it was a brilliant story, it was the added fact that I could feel all the emotions the characters experienced and by the end, I honestly felt like I'd been through the emotional wringer but in the best possible way.
"Max found out I’m afraid of the dark and bought me a nightlight.
He found out I was afraid of falling for him, and he’s giving me time."
Another job well done to this author and I promise not to leave it so long before I go visit the towns folk of New Hope again. I rated "Playing with Fire" ❤️❤️❤️❤️
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lexi Ryan’s novels have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. A former college professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a neurotic dog. Find her on Facebook or Twitter to chat about books, TV, and her children’s latest antics.