Released: August 7, 2012
E-book: 81 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhuman abilities. Fiona's powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won't be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant...and she's hurt enough people already.
But when the man behind her conversion returns to blackmail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona's M.O.
Ian is convinced Fiona's dangerous, convinced she's Fireball, and convinced he'll damn himself if he doesn't resist a heat that's always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.
And he'll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.
I like novellas, I really do. What I don't always like about them is the fact that the romance sometimes does not work very well. For me, such was the case in PLAYING WITH FIRE.
I did not understand the attraction between Fiona and Ian. They supposedly have a rough high school past, but Fiona just finds him so delicious that, despite those harsh memories, she practically turns into a puddle of goo internally when they run into each other at the start of the story. "Okay," I thought to myself, "It can't be so bad, right? She just re-met some hottie with a body in the park!" My problem was that her memories of Ian turned me off from him almost instantaneously. If she felt she was so mistreated back then, why would she even give him a second thought so many years later? Is her self confidence that shoddy that she would settle for a jerk? Right from the start I was against this pairing, which did not bode well for the rest of the story.
Ian's character (and this is going from memory because it's been about a month since reading) was really not all that memorable, aside from the fact that he was like a stick in the mud and very broody. Fiona was a bit more likeable, but overall, these characters did not really stick with me.
What initially drew me in was the superpower approach the author took. I suppose I'm a sucker for humans with abilities such as controlling fire and the like. It was interesting, and I enjoyed the method of administering such abilities to the humans in this world. I think PLAYING WITH FIRE would have been more successful as an urban fantasy with a side of romance, as opposed to primarily being a romance. I felt like the interesting aspects of the novella were overwhelmed by lackluster characters. Too bad, too.
1. Playing With Fire