Playing-with-Fire

Craptoid factoid: This book made my mind twist. 

Hello, fans of Bliss Babe, this woman has come out swinging with her sophomore novel, and I dug it big-time.

How now sexy Cowboy; if a girl says no that many times she is hiding things.

If you are looking for a second Emily you will be sadpandakittyface–but this heroine will win you with her own special brand of womanly wiles. I’m all about Anna and Cowboy and Anna is a beautifully damaged character who squeezed that fleshy thing in my chest. I’m so thankful this isn’t a second book with a stamp copy of previous characters because I get disappointed when I read a series where it’s cookie cutter and redundant. I have a hard time loving “the-book-peoples” when all of them lack variation. (Hello, Suzanne Wright and Tijan, I love you but your books are all the same.)

Anna Weber is a girl on the run, she has a habit of burning bridges when her past catches up with her. She arrived in Liberty, Texas with a plan that included sneaking out in the dead of the night when the time came. A series of mysterious fires plus a determined fire department captain named Cowboy have her feet warming up. But she is fighting a losing battle if she thinks the obstinate bumpkin with the smexy bod will let her get out of his reach. Not only because he is suspicious of her but because all her attempts at getting away from him only turns him on more.

man [man] noun, plural men.
~Curious creatures that make no sense.

For a someone who doesn’t want to show his driver’s license because he fears his birthname being found out by his friends and family; Cowboy is doing a good impression of a guy wanting to attach his last name to his obsession. Anna is this fireman’s addiction, seeing her, hearing her, and touching her just fuels his desire.

It’s that “she’s different than all other women” thing and Cowboy needs his arrogant babe ego deflated by a good woman. Anna has taken the job and she excels.

For me there were a few problems and the largest being the pages I, myself, wanted to set a fire too. Cowboy is a massive retard when he finds out his expectations of her lack of experience doesn’t meet his expectations. He reaches major douchebag levels when he slut shames her for assumptions he made based on her blushes. Alison should have let Emily whip his tight buttocks for that part of the novel.

Some word choice and awkward sentences caught me up too and had me reading them a few times trying to figure out why they didn’t seem right to me.  I’m unsure if they are editing errors, or writing issues, it’s mainly strange word choices and awkward sentence structure. That is really nitpicky because I read a lot of books with larger acts of grammar destruction on a regular basis. The only reason I make a point of mention it is because Playing With Fire is published through Entangled and they are known for high standards.

I highly recommend this. It doesn’t HAVE to be read in order of the series because these novels are stand-alone but Rules of Protection introduce Emily and Jake, you should experience the full Emily experience to get what she is like in this novel.

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Playing With Fire (Tangled in Texas #2)

Release Date: October 26, 2015

Nothing ignites a fire like the perfect match…

Anna Weber is every inch the proper librarian—old-fashioned, conservatively dressed right down to her tightly clipped flaming red hair. She’s just moved to a small Texas town, and is determined to spend time with her friend before she has to disappear. Relationships aren’t easy for her. She knows too well what it means to be burned. And the last thing she ever wants to do is fall in love…

Especially not with a fireman who’s hot enough to set the entire state of Texas on fire.

Cowboy can’t resist the fiery little librarian, and he’s determined to make her his. Beneath that prim-and-proper exterior is a woman he very much wants to know—if she’d let him. She’ll test his patience. His control. Hell, his very sanity. And for the first time, Cowboy wonders if he’s found the one fire he can’t control…

TBR

Purchase Playing With Fire:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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Books:

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Playing With Fire Excerpt:

Chapter One

He strutted past me as if he owned the place.

A whole head taller than me, his height was nearly as intimidating as his broad-shouldered, well-muscled frame. The white straw Stetson he wore looked weathered from years of use, but the perfectly shaped hat fit his head as well as the name molded to the man.

Cowboy.

I couldn’t forget his name, even if I wanted to.

No longer the cute sandy-haired boy on the cusp of becoming a man, his hair had darkened a little and his scrawny body had sculpted and toned itself proportionately in all the right places. But he hadn’t noticed me then, and he wasn’t about to now.

Long-legged strides pushed him closer to the computer area, showcasing the power of his thighs as his muscles flexed against his jeans with every step. When he pulled out a chair, his biceps bulged under the navy blue, long-sleeved shirt he’d rolled up to his elbows. Then he flicked a glance my way.

He held my gaze only for a moment—long enough to make my heart pound frantically against my rib cage—then focused on the pretty brunette reading across the room. As usual, he was on the prowl. It wasn’t much of a surprise, though, given his reputation with the ladies. In fact, I doubted he could pick his most recent conquest out of a crowd of…two.

Even if one of them was a man. And dead.

Not that I knew from personal experience or anything. I mean, just because I’d met Cowboy before didn’t mean I had slept with him. Though I was probably one of the few women in the entire Tri-County area who could pronounce that with a clear conscience.

Whatever. Didn’t matter.

With a loud huff, I maneuvered around the circulation desk to the return bins, where I bent to gather a stack of books.

Irritation coursed through my veins at the speed of light as I slapped one heavy hardback on top of another, forming a tall tower, until the weight of the last book smashed against my thumb. I winced and jerked my hand back, shaking the pain away.

“Damn it,” I grumbled under my breath.

I closed my eyes and breathed out a sigh. Why was I suddenly so agitated over his very presence? It wasn’t like I should be surprised to run into him. After all, Liberty, Texas was his hometown. Then again, the public library wasn’t exactly the kind of place where a guy like him would normally hang out. If ever.

It was, however, a place where someone like me would spend most of their time.

When the library’s director had hired me two weeks before, I hadn’t bothered to mention I would have done the job for free. Even as a child, I’d always spent more time in a library than my own home. It was the one place I felt safe. A place where I could get lost in another world, and my parents couldn’t argue because they’d be forced to whisper. No fights ever broke out in a library.

And there was no shortage of love in one, either.

Nope. Not going there.

Arms fully loaded, I straightened and spun on my heel, bumping into a solidly built wall of…man. Strong hands shot out and grasped my shoulders to steady me as the books toppled to the floor. “Oh, I’m sorr—”

Emerald eyes stared back at me.

Oh God! It’s him.

“Not your fault, darlin’,” Cowboy said, flashing me one of his signature charming grins I remembered so well. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you. Let me help you with these, miss.”

As I suspected, Cowboy hadn’t recognized me. Big shocker there.

He kneeled and began gathering the pile of books easily into his muscular arms. The bulges in his arched back bunched and tightened with his every movement. Okay, so maybe I couldn’t blame the ladies for throwing themselves at him. He was nice to look at.

“You okay, ma’am?”

His words shook me from my thoughts, and I stared blankly at him as I twisted my fingers into the flimsy fabric of my black tiered skirt. I gave him a quick nod. He grinned, then allowed his gaze to travel lazily over my body, examining me up and down, until his eyes finally zeroed in on my breasts.

With a high neckline, my cream-colored silk top covered my chest fully, though it didn’t seem to matter to him. His green eyes twinkled with extreme confidence and blatant sexuality, which sent a familiar tingle skittering up my spine.
“You seem a little rattled. You sure you’re okay, sweetheart?”

My fingers knotted together, cutting off the circulation, while my breath caught in my throat. Not only was he speaking directly to me and eyeing me like a tasty piece of candy, but he was referring to me in terms of endearments that sent a thrill up my skirt. Then he flashed me a very male grin that damn-near melded my panties to my body.

When I silently nodded again, he chuckled, straightened, and motioned to the books he’d retrieved from the floor. “Where do you want ’em?”

I stood there and stupidly pointed to the circulation desk, as if I couldn’t speak. Which, at this point, was apparently true. Great. Now he thinks I’m a mute imbecile.

As he made his way to the counter, I followed, admiring his loose-gaited stride and the way his tight rear end filled out his faded Wranglers. The man was definitely a moving violation if I’d ever seen—

My heel caught on the rubber-back entrance mat beneath my feet, propelling me forward until I crashed into his back. He stumbled, but managed to hold onto the books while firming his stance to keep us from falling.

Pushing my palms against his stiff, muscular back, I quickly righted myself and regained my balance. But not before getting a whiff of his masculine, tangy scent. God, he smelled delicious. Thankfully, my 120-pound frame wasn’t enough to bowl him completely over. Maybe he wouldn’t even notice how clumsy I was.

“Darlin’, if you wanted a piggyback ride, all you had to do was ask.” He glanced over his shoulder with a teasing grin, then continued on his way.

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Meet Alison Bliss:

Alison Bliss grew up in Small Town, Texas, but currently resides in the Midwest with her husband and two sons. With so much testosterone in her home, it’s no wonder she writes “girl books.” She believes the best way to know if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it’s obviously meant to be. Alison pens the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, laughter, and usually a cowboy or two. As she calls it, “Romance…with a sense of humor.”

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Alison Bliss’ Web Tracks:

Website | Facebook | TwitterLinkedIn | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest | Entangled Pub Profile

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Alison Bliss on All The Things Inbetween:

Hashtag: Luck and Charms – Lucky Charms by Alison Bliss
Makin’ The Love Monday – Rules of Protection by Alison Bliss

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Reader, writer, gamer, nerd, and kpop lover; Ms. Ali Cat lives deep in her own imagination within the grand city limits of San Diego, CA. A proponent of afternoon naps, kitten cuddles, and hashtags, she will be voting: #COFFEFFORPOSITIVECHANGE in the next presidential election.
Makin’ The Love Monday: Playing With Fire by Alison Bliss
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