One year ago Willow Gregory entered the Miss Firecracker contest on a dare—and ended up with the crown. As a working carpenter, she’s not exactly the tears-and-tiara type, and after a year of walking the straight and narrow she’s ready to cut loose. Waking up in a sexy stranger’s bed with no memory of the havoc she wreaked the night before wasn’t quite what she had in mind. Nor was agreeing to his mandate—work for him at the tavern until she repays the damage. Or go to jail.
Blake West thinks he could possibly be the only man alive who could say no to a drunken, horny, naked beauty queen. There’s something about the former Miss Firecracker that makes him want to blow his Mr. Nice Guy persona all to hell. It helps that Willow is ready to dive headfirst into a no-heartstrings-attached affair. Which fits in perfectly with Blake’s temporary gig managing his friend’s bar. Every grinding kiss, every stolen touch leads to another…until a harmless little white lie becomes the detonator that could explode their chances at a happily ever after.
Warning: This light-hearted beach read features a hero hotter than the 4th of July and a feisty heroine who knows exactly how to pop his top.
Every romance reader has her (or his, let’s not discriminate) crack. For some it’s J.R. Ward, for others it is Nora Roberts. For me it’s Lorelei James. Seriously, I would forgo food and new clothes or shoes to buy her books! That is why I was ecstatic when I won a copy of MISS FIRECRACKER on her yahoo loop. Not that I wouldn’t have obtained it otherwise of course. But it had been a while since I had indulged in Lorelei James’ writing so I welcomed Blake West’s story with open arms and once again she did not disappoint me.
She gave me what I was expecting from this short story and a little bit more. I did not expect elaborate plots or deepened characterization because come on, let’s face it, it’s a 113-page story. What I did expect was a witty, down-to earth story; sprinkled with emotions, hot sex and a cherry on top. And that’s what I got, right down to the cherry but I’ll get to that later.
MISS FIRECRACKER is the story of Willow Gregory and Blake West. A couple made for each other despite their unusual first encounter. Willow entered the Miss Firecracker competition just to prove a point. She won and proved her point but after being stood up by women she thought were her new-found friends she drinks one drink too many and ends up trashing a bar. And of course this is the bar where Blake, former sheep rancher, is temporarily in charge. I could almost here him thinking: “Of all the joints in Broward, Nebraska, why did she have to trash mine?” Long story short, what follows is a lovely mating dance where things heat up considerably in backrooms, bar stools and shower stalls. Issues are left unspoken and assumptions are made but in the end everything works out just fine.
Willow is funny, caring and impulsive. She overanalyzes and feels like an outsider most of the time. Her being a woman in a man’s world (construction), working in a company that was founded by her dad only makes this feeling and her constant need to prove herself stronger. It is a pleasant surprise for her when Blake accepts her for who she is, treats her with genuine respect and lets her be herself.
Blake is decent, hardworking, thoughtful and sweet. He is a truly good guy who is dutiful, gentlemanly and intuitive. But Blake also has that sexy aura that all the McKays and Wests have. That raw sexuality that shimmers just below the surface and is brought out by the right woman. And what that man does with maraschino cherries is hot as hell and should be prohibited by law. I’m not telling, you should read it for yourself.
Even though Lorelei James’ books can easily be read as stand alones, especially the ones in the Wild West Boys series, I do recommend reading them in order as in every consecutive book more is revealed about several previous matched happy couples and you catch a glimpse of what their lives are like. The extent of the revelations and peeks differ from small and subtle to very important events or developments. Therefore put together the Rough Riders series and the Wild West Boys series form a chronicle of a Western family with all their ups and downs like every family has, but it is one that is as hot as they come.
MISS FIRECRACKER is another great Lorelei James read where she combines witty and outspoken characters with off the chart sensuality. Even in this 113 page-story she managed to create a nice background for her characters. Willow and Blake are defined by their family and past and Lorelei James pens this down perfectly. The combination of scorching sexuality and characters that are easy to relate to, is what attracts me in Lorelei James’ writing and what keeps me going back to her. I haven’t read anything by her that has let me down and MISS FIRECRACKER is no exception to that. It aroused me, it pleased me and it moved me as few eBook novellas can.
Willow skirted the dwindling crowd and fell on the cold food like a starving hyena.
She’d just wiped her mouth when Blake’s voice bounced off the concrete walls. “Lord, do I love to see a woman with a healthy appetite.”
She took another swig of ginger ale. “Is that your gentlemanly way of telling me I eat like a pig?”
Blake kissed her. Not hot and hard. Not sweet and warm. His mouth simply…overtook hers. The kiss knocked her sideways, even as he pressed her against the wall to keep her upright.
When he broke free from her mouth, Willow gasped for breath.
He whispered, “You undo me. You have from the second you I saw you.”