**Review at the bottom
Everyone knows that if you play with fire you’ll end up getting burned…
What happens when you attend a first responder’s bachelor auction with your best friends? Well, if your name is Madison Kelly like me, your friends end up bidding on a date for you with your high school crush.
That’s right. Even back when I was ‘Fatty Maddie’ to all my classmates, I had eyes for the quarterback of our football team. Not like I was the only one.
Mauro Bianco may fight fires for a living, but he still sets my heart ablaze. One look at the rugged, muscular man he’s turned into and I want to slide down his pole.
One date. That’s all I’m committed to. A few hours and I can tuck him back into that tattered old shoebox in my closet.
As always, the universe has other plans. I never would’ve predicted that in a matter of days he’d turn from my dream guy into my enemy.
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My brothers widen their stances, share a look of amusement and cock their eyebrows at me.
“Hate to break it to you, but Maddie didn’t bid on you. Lauren did.” Luca laughs while Cristian chuckles.
“I’m going out with a Madison and she didn’t go to our high school. Which reminds me.” I pull out my phone.
“Maddie is Madison, you idiot,” Luca says. “Her and Lauren were my year.”
“I went to high school with Madison?” I try to let her face come back to me, and though I can picture her bright blue eyes and long chestnut hair, nothing about her is familiar from high school.
“Yes, but she definitely wasn’t hanging out at the bonfires and football pep rallies.” Luca grabs his helmet off his bike. The only responsible thing I’ve seen him do in the last few years.
“Well, shit and she doesn’t even want to go out with me? Her friend bid on me?”
Luca straddles his bike with a grin. I look over to Cristian, but he’s putting his shirt back on and starts fiddling with his earbuds. They obviously think this conversation is over.
“Yeah, but we’re all in the same boat.” Cristian’s thumb moves over his phone screen. “Maddie’s awesome and I think you’ll have a good time with her.”
“She seemed pretty quiet and way too accommodating,” I say.
Luca kicks his stand up, letting the bike rock a little under him.
Cristian’s hands freeze on the screen of his phone. “And that’s bad?” he asks.
“I want a woman who knows what she wants. Has her own damn opinions. Doesn’t just agree with everything I say.”
Cristian peeks over his shoulder, a look of amusement that matches Luca’s. “You want a girl to come up and grab your nuts?”
“I want a girl who knows what her favorite food is, has an opinion about where she wants to go for dinner, likes whatever sports team she likes and doesn’t default to my favorites.” I stuff my hands into my pockets, digging out my keys for my truck.
“Well then, Maddie might not be the one. Like I said, she’s nice.” Cristian slaps me on the shoulder. “Treat her good though, okay?” He inserts one earbud.
“What do you think I’m going to do, leave her in Garfield Park?”
He puts his other earbud in. “That’s not even funny man. I have a friend in that district and the shit that goes down there…” He shakes his head.
Cristian loses the entire point of my statement—the fact I’m not a jackass. I’m not Luca.
“It’s one date,” I say. “And who knows, maybe she’s nice but still has a wild streak.”
Christian again glances over to Luca who’s smiling like he’s fucking Mickey Mouse.
“Well, good luck on your date,” he says.
Cristian jogs away and Luca’s bike starts up.
I head to my truck.
The conversation is over, but I’m curious now.
Where’s my damn yearbook?
Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. Our goal is to bring you romance stories that have “Heartwarming Humor With a Side of Sizzle” (okay…you caught us, that’s our tagline). A little about us… We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.
So many will be able to relate to Madison and her insecurities, they don’t just go away because you graduate high school, or because you lost weight, etc and as hard as it can be, I loved seeing that vulnerable side of herself. The most important thing to me in a book is that I HAVE to be able to relate to the female character in some way or at least understand her, and in this case both are true. And I can’t imagine how much harder those insecurities come back when faced with your high school crush.
Mauro is great guy, and yet, when we start he doesn’t remember Madison, and it hurts her, and yet, she has changed and their encounter was brief. I find that this is a very relatable encounter and I don’t hate him for how he was or what transpired afterwards. He has been burned by love before, and you really understand and don’t fault him for not wanting to go there again.
Madison and Mauro may burn up your kindle with their steam and connection. And then it may get wet with your tears from laughing so hard. This book has the right amount of everything one would come to love with a Piper Rayne book. These two deal with the issues in a great way and I love that while it is hard they seem to really respect the other and say give space when it is necessary.
The side characters are so much fun as well. I love Madison’s best friend Lindsay as well as Mauro’s brothers. They sure add an overall fun aspect and with how close they are to the two main characters, you get a lot of meaningful interactions.