Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ARC Review: Burning Up

Burning Up
Susan Andersen
Contemporary Romance

Harlequin/August 2010

Received from Harlequin/NetGalley

From the author's website ~

She's So Good at Being Bad

Though it’s been years since the infamous Macy O’James stepped foot in Sugarville, Washington, everyone remembers what she supposedly did. The tiny town is still buzzing about her crime and lack of punishment.

Now back to lend her family a hand, Macy vows to hold her head high—especially at her high school reunion. But forget about the hottest man in Sugarville escorting her. Though she and fire chief Gabriel Donovan generate enough sparks to burn down the town, he’s a law-abiding, line-towing straight arrow. So not her type.

But, maybe—just maybe—he could change her mind about that.

This is a fun romance with misunderstood bad girl Macy O'James returning to her hometown. She meets up with an all American hero type - fire chief Donovan. They both feel that instant zing of attraction and both fight it. The story starts with a quick entrance by Macy, giving a first impression that seems to confirm what the gossips all say about her. She's hot, she's fast and she's trouble.

Macy isn't what everyone thinks. Sure, she stars in sexy rock videos but she's really more than a hot chick in a short skirt. She's smart and funny and loves her family very much. It's that love of family that's brought her back to Sugarville. Her cousin, Janna, who's more like a sister, was in a car accident and is now in a leg cast. Janna's had a rough time with her husband leaving her and now the car accident.

So Macy's there to help take care of Janna and her son, Tyler. Janna's parents, Macy's Aunt Lenore and Uncle Bud, are more like parents to Macy than her own. She'd do anything for these people. You can tell coming back to Sugarville is hard for her. It's sad because she's expecting the nasty gossip and the dirty looks and she gets them. She also finds that some people have gotten over the past and moved on. It's the idiots who still live in the past and enjoy giving Macy a hard time that basically ruin her homecoming. I wouldn't say I liked how Macy played into the whole sexy rock video babe. I liked her much better when she shed the bad girl looks and was just Macy - good friend and a sweet person.

Gabe is the new fire chief, who came to Sugarville to get away from the big city of Detroit and the madness of his busy life there as an arson investigator. He's currently living in a boarding house while his home is being built. As it turns out, Macy's Aunt and Uncle run the boarding house. Hello - trouble in the form of a woman that he wants but thinks isn't his type. Gabe can't seem to get away from Macy, and after a while he finds that he doesn't want to. I liked Gabe but wished he hadn't bought into Macy's bad girl rep so quickly. He's an investigator and should have done some investigating first. He does come around and starts to understand why Macy dresses and acts why she does. It pisses him off and he lets her know - I liked that about him.

There are a couple of secondary storylines that round out the book. There have been a number of suspicious fires in the area and Gabe is kept busy not only fighting the fires but trying to find out the cause. Then there's a romance developing between two secondary characters that I really liked and hope they get their own book. They are a pair of opposites on the surface and I liked how Andersen has built their relationship so far.

Macy and Gabe have these preconceived ideas about the other that they need to get over. They can only do that by spending time together. It's more on Macy's part than Gabe's, she's got some serious issues to overcome. Macy is stubborn but she slowly comes around to realizing that it's only the previous mentioned idiots that are holding her past against her.

Burning Up is a sexy and sweet small town romance with interesting secondary characters adding to that small town feel. Gabe was there to help Macy realize that she is important and she is someone that he's proud to be with. Ultimately, it's Macy who changes her portrayal of who she really is and what she wants made for an entertaining and sensitive romance.

Per Ms. Andersen's website, her next new release is scheduled for August 2011. I'm hoping it's the story of one of the wonderful secondary characters found in Burning Up.

Rating: B+


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Leslie :D I thought it was a simply a fun read :)

    By the way, no, her next release will not be about the secondary characters of Burning Up. Before Burning Up, she had a trilogy going on... but the publisher decided not to print Book #3. Then, I guess they got too much fan mail LOL. So next release is going to be Book #3 :)

  2. Nath ~ Wow - so any follows up to this one will be a couple of years way. Bummer. :(

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I didn't so much. I like how Macy was family-oriented and stuck it out helping her cousin despite the disdain she was getting from the townspeople. But I didn't like how she projected her sexy flirty image to the people for so long. Another thing that bothered me was how Janna let the townspeople judge and mistreat her cousin for the "thing" she didn't do. With the two of them being so close and all, it's not so believable to me.

    I thought the romance between the secondary couple came too easily together, imo. I like both characters but I couldn't feel the attraction between them. If the two get their own story later I could probably believe in them but the scenes that we got were just too short and too little development for me.

    Sorry I didn't mean to go off like that. I was just disappointed because I was really anticipating this book. But I'm glad you and Nath enjoyed it way more than I did, hehe!

  4. Tabitha ~ Awe, sorry it wasn't a winner for you. The Janna thing, I just took Macy's reason for it. At the time it made sense and I think it was just Janna's character flaw.

    I liked the secondary romance and hope they get a full length story. Thought they made a cute couple. :)