Redindle the FlameTitle:  Rekindle The Flame
Series:  Hot In Chicago #0.5
Author:  Kate Meader
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  November 30, 2015
Publisher:  Pocket Books
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

Chicago firefighter Beck Rivera always knew his destiny would be defined by two things: his dream to follow in the footsteps of his legendary foster father Sean Dempsey and his teenage passion for heiress Darcy Cochrane, the one girl who could both stoke and cool his fire. Loving her meant setting her free and breaking her heart—and his. But when a chance reunion at his family’s bar, sparked by a drunk Santa, places her in his path again, destiny can no longer be denied.

The last thing heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane needs is the rollercoaster of emotion stirred up by her first love: sexy, gorgeous man-on-fire Beck Rivera. But he always had such talented hands. And more talented lips. And…maybe one time can’t hurt. Then she’ll send him packing like he did to her all those years ago. But Darcy and Beck soon discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love.

Read on for my thoughts on Rekindle The Flame.  No true spoilers, promise.

Darcy was back in Chicago for a very short time, only long enough to see her grandmother through the rehab from her recent stroke.  Then she’d be outta town once again.  Far away from her overbearing father and his influence.  And physically far away from the memory of the teenager she’d loved so much until he rejected her – for her own good.  Yeah, right.

The last place she ever wanted to be was on her butt in front of Dempsey’s, with the bane of her young teen heart quickly running his hands over her in search of broken bones.  Unfortunately the years inbetween hadn’t turned him bald and beer bellied, in fact the man before her right now was any woman’s fantasy.  He certainly had been her’s for far too many years.

Once upon a time, Beck had loved Darcy with everything he had to give.  But she was upper class and he was a foster kid too used to dealing with life with his fists and attitude.  They were perfect for each other in so many ways – and he was so wrong for her, back then.  So he’d been the one to break off their relationship and he’d regretted it ever since.  Especially right now, looking over the beautiful woman his Darcy had grown into.  And wanting her just as much if not more than years ago.

Nether of them were the same person each had known back then.  Strength, determination, frustration and loss had taken Darcy far, far from the skyline of Chicago.  Beck has become what he wanted most, a firefighter for his own reasons and to honor his foster father and the foster siblings that made up his cherished family.  She might still be too good for him, but now as an adult he better understood the idea of fighting for what you know is right for you with everything you’ve got.  Darcy, on the other hand, saw the perfect timing of giving Beck exactly what he’d given her years ago.  Heartache.  She’d only be in town for a short time – long enough for a fast bit of revenge when she’d gotten his heart once again, and then tossed it back in his handsome face.  But you know what they say about best laid plans… they usually come back and bite you on the butt.

Rekindle The Flame is the prequel to the Hot In Chicago series.  It was also part of an anthology in 2014 called Baby, It’s Cold Outside – so in all fairness, you might have already read this novella if you have Baby, It’s Cold Outside on your shelf.

I really enjoyed Beck and Darcy’s romance – and getting the first meeting of most of the rest of the characters in the series.  I have yet to get started on this series, so this is a great introduction for me to go pick up the stories that are waiting for me to continue to get to know this interesting group of foster siblings and their loves.

While Darcy had wilted under her father’s dominance and determination to see her settled into a life that he wanted for her – not what she desired – there came a breaking point.  She used her frustration and yes, her heartbreak from Beck’s decision to forge a new life for herself far away from Chicago and the two men who’d brought about that change in her.  Beck had grown up and even though he wouldn’t change that decision, now he was ready to go after the life that he’d set aside for Darcy’s own good.  Adults play differently than kids do – and watching these two finally get that they belong together was a fun and satisfying journey.

I would definitely recommend Rekindle The Flame for any romance reader.  Not only are the characters realistic and believable but they heat up the pages with some pretty steamy encounters.  This is a couple that obviously belongs together, in spite of themselves.  I enjoyed every minute spent with this cast of characters and I’m looking forward to discovering more of this family.

*I received an e-ARC of Rekindle The Flame from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available for the Kindle