Burning Up by Jennifer Blackwood (Flirting with Fire #1)
Released: May 8, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
Erin Jenkins loves living in San Francisco and teaching, but when the state slashes their education budget, Erin is out of a job. While she applies for as many positions she can find, she decides to take a short break and return to her hometown of Portland, to visit with her family and help out her mom who has recently had surgery. She is hoping that within the next few weeks, she gets a phone call with a job offer. She feels a little bit caged in at home – with her family in her business and lacking the independence she craves.
Jake Bennett is a firefighter in Portland, who grew up with Erin. Jake is best friends with Erin’s brother. Jake has a twelve-year-old daughter who he adores, and will do anything for her (except allow her to date boys) as her mother abandoned him and his daughter many years ago. Jake’s sister is about to get married and his mother really wants Jake to settle down with someone. To appease his mom and guarantee she doesn’t invite a date for him to the wedding, Jake sees that Erin is in town, and invites her to be his plus one. Erin is somewhat flustered to be around the now very mature, very muscular firefighter. They go away together for a weekend – (the hotel only had one room!) and a relationship develops.
Burning Up is a very sweet, cute book that has two people who just can’t help falling for each other, even though they try hard not to. Erin knows that her time in Portland is limited, as she is trying to get a new job back in California. And Jake knew that when they were growing up together, Erin’s brother made her off-limits to him, so it’s hard for him to wrap his mind around the fact that Erin is all woman now and hopefully her brother won’t interfere too much.
They enter into a relationship pretty fast. I would have not minded more sexual tension or a build-up to them getting together. It happens quite easily – although there is a lot of push and pull throughout the book as Jake can’t decide what he wants. There is also the predictable ending conflict where Erin does have an opportunity to move back to California for a job.
There are a lot of silly moments in this book – buying depends, a raccoon in a hotel room, unicorn pants… it’s a very light-hearted book but Jake’s firefighter career is not overlooked. We get some good action, and the weight of what can happen in his job is shown as well. We get a nice supporting cast of family and friends who made me smile. I liked Jake with his daughter and I really enjoyed the daughter’s relationship with her aunts. It’s a very nice family atmosphere.
If their relationship had a little more sexual tension, and a less predictable fight at the end of the book, I would have enjoyed this a little more. Still a fun read but I enjoyed her Rule Breakers series more.