Last fall I read Kimberly Kincaid's Stirring up Trouble, and while I wasn't quite sold on it I was pretty sure I'd try another by the author. This winter Fire Me Up appeared on NetGalley and since I remembered loving the brief glimpse of Adrian we had in the first one, I requested it. While the two books take place in the same town, there is very very little overlap, and in fact neither of the main characters from Stirring up Trouble appear. There were two other books in the series, which I have not read, that tie them together.
So, what's it about?
Here's the summary:
The entire series revolves around a restaurant in a small resort town. Adrian is sous chef there, except now he isn't since he broke his arm and is temporarily off work. His best friend and boss not so gently forces him to take an extended time off to get his life on an even keel, but on the way home he crashes his motorcycle and meets Teagan. Adrian is big and bad and has made some mistakes in his past. He is currently walking on a very tight straight and narrow and can not afford to take one step to mess it up. With the (temporary) loss of his job and now his broken arm, he despairs of keeping his sanity. When he meets Teagan a second time at her father's bar he knows this is a bad, bad idea.
Teagan is strong, resourceful and determined. She's completely unexpectedly thrown into managing the bar on a more than full time basis, and while she's in way over her head, she's never anything more than focused on fixing the problems. She holds it all together for a very long time. She trusts Adrian immediately, not that she has a choice, and works hard with him. As it turns out, there's more to the problem than simply a failing bar, and Adrian's past makes things delicate in more ways than one. I thought this line was very well written.
I could so easily see Teagan fall in love. I'd have fallen in love. I might have asked for more explanation of his willingness to help, but I'd have loved him for his strength and determination. The attraction between them was solid, if not explosively so, and by the end I could completely buy the romance. Any quibbles I'd have had were with some minor details in his past, and the degree of seriousness of the bar's trouble (I can't say more, it's not even hinted at in the synopsis!)
With this second book, Kincaid has earned herself a place on my list. I'll certainly be looking for more of the Pine Mountain series. I really hope we get to see the two other bar employees soon.
Fire Me Up was released on January 20, 2015.