Ignite is the first book in Karen Erickson's new Wildwood series and I couldn't wait to read about this sexy firefighter! There is just something about a sexy man in a uniform, and I enjoyed Weston's story quite a bit. There were a few things that kept me from loving this book even though I did like a lot here.
Weston Gallagher couldn't get out of Wildwood fast enough, but now eight years later he is back in his hometown after accepting a promotion. While most of his family and friends are excited, not everyone is thrilled he is back. Right before he left, Weston shared a steamy night of kissing with Harper Hill, his sister's best friend. Though they had always liked one another, there were many things that kept them apart. But now that West is back and Harper is all grown up, he is ready to finally see what is between them. West has his work cut out for him though, as Harper is determined to keep him at arm's length after the way he was in the past.
These characters while likable felt very immature at times. They were constantly doing or saying things that felt a lot younger to me than should be acceptable in an adult romance. I know that Karen Erickson/Monica Murphy writes a lot of NA books as well, and I think part of that bled into this book. I wanted them to get their acts together, and unfortunately I didn't see a lot of that here. West was looking for his return home to be temporary before he could get back out and at first he didn't want commitment or a relationship. Even though he was attracted to Harper, he had no intention of anything more. Then it was suddenly as if a switch had been flipped and he changed his mindset completely. Harper seemed to be protecting herself from being hurt at the beginning and knew she wanted to explore a bit of her wild side with West, knowing the score from the beginning. But as they grew closer, she grew more immature it seemed. There was one time here that it especially showed, and West was in the middle of doing his job after a fire and he had to return to work after checking to make sure that she was okay. She was really upset that he had to return to his serious self and do his job and didn't spend more time showing her how much he cared...it was ridiculous and honestly I wanted to shake her.
While I liked them together and they had obvious chemistry, it was hard to get over everything that they did. Their actions just felt too childish for me to really believe that they had a chance at working out long term, especially with how high risk his job was. If she reacted that way this early on, I just didn't have much faith that she would be able to accept it as they got more serious. I also have to say that things felt a bit incestuous here (not as in actually related or anything!) but Harper was best friends with West's sister Wren and his ex-girlfriend Delilah. Delilah was over West and was now interested in West's brother Lane. Though West had never had sex with Delilah and there were no feelings there, it was just a bit weird and kind of gave me a bit of an icky feeling as I read about Delilah not only discussing Harper and West's sex life, but also asking for details. It just didn't really work for me, and as much as I wanted to be able to leave it all in the past it felt like it was all still very present here. I think that this story had a ton of potential, and I think that there are a lot of readers that will enjoy this book. There were just some things that bothered me personally and that made this book one that I didn't love. Lane and Delilah's story is up next in this series with Smolder expected to release in June 2016.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**