This story is as hot as the flames in the kitchen of Sarriette and the sexual chemistry between its two main characters, Shane and Cara, is definitely its fuel. All Fired Up is a great romance filled with just the right balance of lust, attitude, and humor and has so many references to delicious food that my mouth watered most of the time.
I loved the writing overall. Meader has a way of building up just the right amount of tension and letting it crest a while before the reader everything they want. I knew while I was reading chapter 1 that I was in for a treat. In most books, the problem is front and center within the first page. Instead, I was left wondering what the awkwardness was between Cara and Shane for the entire chapter. It’s not often the book starts with the marriage, and that an immediate solution wasn’t granted made it all the more enticing to keep reading.
I loved that the characters had an honest depth to them. Cara’s battle with her self-image and recovery, coupled with Shane’s struggle to make peace with his abusive childhood and estranged family allow for the two to have shared secrets that actually strengthen their bond. There’s a sense throughout the book that although they are literally surrounded by a host of family, friends, and coworkers, Shane and Cara are often in a world of their own. The reader gets a real chance to see the two bond, sometimes without the interference of others.
My only disappointment is that I read this book before having the opportunity to read its predecessor. The first book gives the story of Cara’s sister Lili and her courtship with Jack Kilroy. The two factor heavily in this second book, so it would have been nice to have more context around them. I am quite excited to read subsequent books. There are definitely new directions to take the family and friends in, and I expect that Meader will deliver a compelling story.