By Jaci Burton
When it comes to love, they already know the rules…by heart.
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.
Both Emma and Luke haven’t had successful relationships, so neither of them is looking for a partner when they meet for the first time. It’s not long until Luke is suggesting a friends-with-benefits arrangement. Their dogs get on really well together, so why can’t they?
I found it extremely difficult to like Emma, who seems to spend most of the book thinking about Vaughn⎯her dangerous ex-boyfriend⎯and then comparing him to Luke, trying to find reasons to keep him at arms length. She thinks about Vaughn several times just in the first 25% of the story, before we finally hear exactly what he did to her at the 54% mark. Given that Vaughn was mentioned so many times, I predicted that he would make an appearance at some point, even though it wouldn’t fit with the story. When Luke comes in to save the day, Emma gets upset because she wanted to save herself…so she dumps him. Apart from her love of animals, I can’t think of anything else I liked about her. To be honest, I can’t say a lot about Luke because I didn’t find him memorable. Unfortunately, my dislike of Emma overshadowed his character.
HOPE FLAMES is told in dual POVs, but sometimes the POV would change in the middle of a chapter without any notice, so I’d suddenly find myself confused before I realised the POV had changed. There is no epilogue, and the HEA comes in the form of a two-page conflict resolution, which was a let down. When I started reading HOPE FLAMES, I was really into it, but at some point the story slowed down and really started to drag. For a book that stated out so well, I was left so disappointed by the end that I don’t think I’ll continue on with the series.
Hope Flames (Hope # 1)
Visit Jaci Burton: Click Here