Playing With Fire (Sexy City Nights) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2001
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Daniel Savage's life had become a cliché with long hours and an administrative assistant that knows him better than he knows himself. He's drawn irresistibly to the woman's teasing seduction, thriving on the thrill of the hunt, and delighting in her potent allure. When they leave the party to retreat to the quasi intimacy of a drink at another restaurant, the heat between them becomes searing. Especially when Daniel wants to know what's she wearing beneath the daring dress that is only a dropped thread away from public indecency. When she leaves him with her golden panties in hand as she departs the restaurant, he's hooked, forever. Now he's got to find the woman who plays the game complete with false identity and sensual allure.
Lara Gladstone fled the brittle city, with a lifestyle of struggling by day and partying by night, to the quiet of the Adirondack Mountains where she recreates the beauty of nature in stained glass. A restaurant opening where her work is displayed lures her from her quiet retreat, and in a borrowed dress as dangerous as sin, Lara catches Daniel's eye. She knew immediately that he was uniquely her match. His distinctive aura lures her, creating a chemistry she wants to play out. The night becomes like a dream sequence, and she is caught up in this otherworldly feel that allows her to seek reckless adventure. She wants to live her fantasies, to be overwhelmed by passion.
Carrie Alexander's PLAYING WITH FIRE provides a searing look at love, blending extreme sensuality with the struggles of maturity. Lara's no frightened virgin; she's a provocative, powerful woman unafraid of her sexuality, but terrified of a permanent commitment that might weaken her. At thirty, Lara's grown beyond the limits of youth that loves late nights and a party atmosphere. She needs something more; something offered in the sexual fantasies and emotional implications of a relationship with Daniel. But as much as Lara desires the fantasy, she fears the reality. A relationship with a man like Daniel can't be relegated to the bedroom and kept a secret. Their relationship must be more than just sexual games, wild nights and excitement.
Alexander captures the struggles of risk that come to all of us past our twenties as we learn to cope with the changes maturity brings. These are memorable characters, from the best friend with her brightly colored kitchen and delightful daughter, to the fiercely independent aunt. The gamut of possible roles for a woman are presented within the secondary characters, from fierce independence and remaining single, to the traditional sister's marriage and two children, to her best friend's unconventional lifestyle and single mom status. Alexander's story honors each character's choices, while pushing her heroine into pursuing the path that is uniquely her own. Very highly recommended.
Daniel Savage is flummoxed. He is being teased across a crowded room by a woman he can only describe as a lioness. His competitive spirit ignited, Daniel is up for fun and games and leaves with the exciting, mysterious woman. Startled to realize that he wants much more from her than a one-night stand, Daniel sets out to change Lara's mind about love, in a subtle, yet thorough manner.
PLAYING WITH FIRE is a fun, fantastical, highly sexual read. For every woman that ever dreamed of acting on that secret fantasy of taking the gorgeous man across the room home and devouring him, this is the book for you! Lara and Daniel are a match made in sexual tension heaven, but better still, roles are reversed in that Lara is afraid of commitment and Daniel is not. Watching the by-play, listening to the intense and witty dialogue, feeling the leaves crunching beneath my feet as Daniel chased Lara through the woods near her home, all made for a vivid, exciting, satisfaction-guaranteed read. The subplot involving Lara's best friend Bianca is heartwarming and tender, surprising in its intensity for the characters involved.
I highly recommend PLAYING WITH FIRE as a daring and original fantasy romance read. Consciously, readers know this may not be a realistic storyline, but let yourself go and enjoy the unconventional love story that unfolds from the depths of sexuality. Ms. Alexander's vivid imagination leaves readers reaching for the iced water and personal fan!