When meticulous rule-follower Emily Foster meets adrenaline junkie Lyle Tate, the last thing she wants to do is get involved with him–especially as her twin sister has fallen in love with his older brother.

But under his charming, reckless, sexy exterior, Tate’s the kind of man who rescues people. Can Emily break her rules enough to learn that she can trust Tate with her heart? And will Tate let Emily close enough to learn his deepest, darkest secrets and let her prove to him that he’s worthy of love?

Titles in the Men of Marietta series include:  Tempting The Deputy by Heidi RiceFlirting With Fire by Kate Hardy – Daring The Pilot by Jeannie Moon – Falling For The Ranger by Kaylie Newell – Burning With Desire by Patricia W. Fischer

Title:  Flirting With Fire
Series:  Men of Marietta #2
Author:  Kate Hardy
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  March 28, 2017
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Lyle and Logan Tate had such a horrendous childhood at the hands of their father who turned to drink after his wife’s and their unborn child’s deaths  He was a mean drunk, and until his death he took his anger at fate out on his older son Logan in some of the most cruel ways possible.  While Lyle was the younger brother, he still knew that his brother was protecting him, and taking the beatings meant for him as well.  Logan was under the mistaken assumption that Lyle was too young to remember – he wasn’t.  And the guilt at not standing up to his father and trying to protect his older brother has taken a toll on his life to this day, long after the man who was supposed to love them not harm them had died.  Over the years Lyle has lived behind a persona of a happy go lucky, carefree flirt who will never settle down.  A risk taker, always there to lend a helping hand but never to stay and develop a relationship with any woman.  No one has seen through his act, not until one special woman enters his life, one who knows that he deserves to be loved even if he won’t believe that himself.

Flirting With Fire takes up almost where Tempting The Deputy left off in this story of brothers who faced one type of abuse, and twin sisters who faced another type of abandonment might find that elusive thing called love in the people they weren’t expecting.  When Emily, Charlie’s twin sister, finally tracks her down long enough to have a decent conversation Em discovers that Charlie has finally found happiness in the American state of Montana – of all places.  Her sister sounds happy but Emily has spent her entire life picking up after Charlie’s actions and she’s not really trusting that her sister is truly happy and not being taken advantage of for her money.  Emily decides to make a surprise visit – one that will change not only her life but Lyle’s as well.  She may not know it yet, but she is exactly what one cowboy smoke jumper needs.

It’s hard to read Flirting With Fire and not feel anger and sadness at what these characters went through in their lives.  Especially Lyle, there are so many layers to this man who remains hidden behind a mask made of his unnecessary guilt.  While it would be very easy to dislike Emily on first impression, don’t give up on her, she’s facing her own issues and as the older sister (by 2 minutes) it’s up to her to protect Charlie.  I liked this couple.  And I’m very glad that we got Lyle’s story immediately after Logan’s.

If this is the first of the Men of Marietta series that you’ve read, I’d strongly suggest that you pick up Tempting The Deputy.  It’s quite a unique situation and Tempting The Deputy explains so much that is assumed to be already known in Flirting With Fire... in  my opinion anyway.  Back story information is given when needed in this story, but the impact isn’t quite as strong.  Besides, they’re both amazing stories.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle