Series: Hope #1
Author: Jaci Burton
Published: January 7, 2013 - Berkley
Format: Egalley - Thank you!
Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she's not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.
That's fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he's devoted to the only faithful companion in his life--his police dog. Still, there's something about Emma he can't shake.
When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they're giving each other something they thought they'd lost forever...hope
This was my first book by Jaci Burton, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t quite love it though. Overall, though, it felt a bit predictable and it just felt like déjà vu. I liked the characters, and the storyline…but it just didn’t excite me as much as I had hoped it would.
Emma Burnett has just moved back to her hometown to open a veterinary business. She even took in a stray pit bull pup, which is something I adored to no end. Emma herself was pretty likeable as a character. She alludes several times in her inner monologue about a previous bad relationship. As the story goes on you get little bits and pieces about that. I could surely empathize with her. She continually doubted the present events because of what happened in the past, and it just got to the point where I was tired of hearing how much she didn’t want a relationship – all while obviously beginning one.
And that lucky man was Luke. Hot cop, a bit of a playboy, also had a bad relationship in his past. He was a strong character, with a very protective instinct over Emma. I liked all that. I liked how he was gun-shy about women, but was still jumping in headfirst. In fact, in my opinion, he was more open to a relationship than she was. But maybe my overall problem was that between the two of them always doubting this growing romance and its place in their current lives, it was just too much for me.
The supporting cast was pretty awesome, although I can’t really say there were any stand out players. Emma’s friends and family were wonderful and supportive, and I’d say the same about Luke’s. Even all of the pets were like characters in this book, and that gave me a nice fuzzy feeling.
“Bye Luke.” She started to turn away, but this time Luke grasped her arm.
He tipped her chin and crushed his lips against hers. Her breath held and she felt that brush of a kiss all the way to her toes, and every delicious part of her in between.
He stepped away. “Just a friendly kiss. Nothing more.”
He smiled at her and walked away.
The sexy times definitely happened in this book. And they were wonderful, hot and steamy. And plentiful! When Luke and Emma got it on, they got it on all the way. They flirted and were bashful, but when the time came to get down to business, neither one of them were late to the game.
Like I said, all in all I enjoyed this story. It had lots of nice elements, and I’d recommend it to people. There are definitely some things I’d change – the ending felt a bit anticlimactic when they discover who has been robbing pharmacies all over town. But if you are looking for a good solid contemporary romance, I’d say give Hope Flames a try.