Everyone knows that if you play with fire you’ll end up getting burned…
What happens when you attend a first responder’s bachelor auction with your best friends? Well, if your name is Madison Kelly like me, your friends end up bidding on a date for you with your high school crush.
That’s right. Even back when I was ‘Fatty Maddie’ to all my classmates, I had eyes for the quarterback of our football team. Not like I was the only one.
Mauro Bianco may fight fires for a living, but he still sets my heart ablaze. One look at the rugged, muscular man he’s turned into and I want to slide down his pole.
One date. That’s all I’m committed to. A few hours and I can tuck him back into that tattered old shoebox in my closet.
As always, the universe has other plans. I never would’ve predicted that in a matter of days he’d turn from my dream guy into my enemy.
5 ++++ STARS
Flirting with Fire by Piper Rayne was a book that grabbed me from the beginning with the special note from our favorite fireman, Mauro. I knew then he would own my heart. It didn’t take long for Madison to own my heart too! These two definitely belonged together even if it took them years to accomplish it, and I loved watching these two fall hard for one another.
This is one of my top ten reads of 2018 for romcoms and an all-time favorite! Madison was so incredibly easy to relate to. I have read so many books about the smart girl in high school who was in love with the jock, only for him not to notice her. She grows up and becomes a success and wants vengeance on her crush. However, that isn’t how this book goes at all as you will soon discover.
The chemistry between these two is evident, but their first date doesn’t go as planned. This is the point where Madison gained my respect and admiration. She is nothing like Mauro expected, but he won’t discover that until a bit later. It won’t be long until she has him under her spell.
As I wrote earlier, Madison is a woman many of us girls can relate to. She wasn’t popular in school, and she carries some of those self-confidence issues into adulthood with her despite the incredible woman she has grown into. Luckily, Mauro does everything he can to assure her of her beauty both inside and out.
Speaking of Mauro, he is pretty much perfect. He is an adonis, but it’s his heart that is his greatest asset. Madison describes perfectly who he is:
No one would blame me if I passed out right now because he really is the perfect specimen of a man, right down to his heart of gold.
As much as I loved the characters, I loved the storyline as well. The pacing was perfect, never rushed. The development of their romance was slow, with little sexual innuendos thrown in building the tension until that final moment when they couldn’t resist each other anymore. It really was the perfect combination of sexy and sweet.
Underneath the romance was the theme of never judging someone too harshly before learning what is underneath the surface. Mauro never got to know who Madison was in high school and was sorry for that. Mauro is often underestimated. Because of his looks, people, especially women, consider him not too intelligent. Madison idolized him in high school, with much of that based on his looks. Now, she is getting to really know him and is falling for him because of the man he is, not who she thought he was. Most of the time we see that label attached to beautiful women, so it was an interesting twist seeing that label attached to a gorgeous man.
The icing on the cake was the addition of the secondary characters: Madison’s friends, Lauren and Vanessa, and Mauro’s brothers, Cristian and Luca. Each couple will get there own book, and it all centers around the bachelor’s auction just like it did with Madison and Mauro! The authors give us just enough about each of them to whet our appetite for more. I, for one, will anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!
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My brothers widen their stances, share a look of amusement and cock their eyebrows at me.
“Hate to break it to you, but Maddie didn’t bid on you. Lauren did.” Luca laughs while Cristian chuckles.
“I’m going out with a Madison and she didn’t go to our high school. Which reminds me.” I pull out my phone.
“Maddie is Madison, you idiot,” Luca says. “Her and Lauren were my year.”
“I went to high school with Madison?” I try to let her face come back to me, and though I can picture her bright blue eyes and long chestnut hair, nothing about her is familiar from high school.
“Yes, but she definitely wasn’t hanging out at the bonfires and football pep rallies.” Luca grabs his helmet off his bike. The only responsible thing I’ve seen him do in the last few years.
“Well, shit and she doesn’t even want to go out with me? Her friend bid on me?”
Luca straddles his bike with a grin. I look over to Cristian, but he’s putting his shirt back on and starts fiddling with his earbuds. They obviously think this conversation is over.
“Yeah, but we’re all in the same boat.” Cristian’s thumb moves over his phone screen. “Maddie’s awesome and I think you’ll have a good time with her.”
“She seemed pretty quiet and way too accommodating,” I say.
Luca kicks his stand up, letting the bike rock a little under him.
Cristian’s hands freeze on the screen of his phone. “And that’s bad?” he asks.
“I want a woman who knows what she wants. Has her own damn opinions. Doesn’t just agree with everything I say.”
Cristian peeks over his shoulder, a look of amusement that matches Luca’s. “You want a girl to come up and grab your nuts?”
“I want a girl who knows what her favorite food is, has an opinion about where she wants to go for dinner, likes whatever sports team she likes and doesn’t default to my favorites.” I stuff my hands into my pockets, digging out my keys for my truck.
“Well then, Maddie might not be the one. Like I said, she’s nice.” Cristian slaps me on the shoulder. “Treat her good though, okay?” He inserts one earbud.
“What do you think I’m going to do, leave her in Garfield Park?”
He puts his other earbud in. “That’s not even funny man. I have a friend in that district and the shit that goes down there…” He shakes his head.
Cristian loses the entire point of my statement—the fact I’m not a jackass. I’m not Luca.
“It’s one date,” I say. “And who knows, maybe she’s nice but still has a wild streak.”
Christian again glances over to Luca who’s smiling like he’s fucking Mickey Mouse.
“Well, good luck on your date,” he says.
Cristian jogs away and Luca’s bike starts up.
I head to my truck.
The conversation is over, but I’m curious now.
Where’s my damn yearbook?
Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.