As many of you know, I co-host the Cocktail Hour podcast with my buddy, Andy. In preparation for our next show, I’ve been on a massive KG MacGregor kick. Just so you don’t think I’m exaggerating, these are the books I’ve read in the past couple of weeks: Without Warning, Aftershock, Small Packages, Mother Load, Worth Every Step, Sea Legs, Photographs of Claudia, Mulligan, Out of Love, and Playing With Fuego. I also read the online short that was the launching point for Playing with Fuego, Community Serivce. I’m wanting to read Just This Once again but I read it a couple months ago so I’m fighting the urge.
As you can see, I’m a big MacGregor fan. I’ve even decided that I like Sea Legsand Out of Love better the second time around. Which made me want to give Sumter Point, Malicious Pursuit, Secrets So Deep, and Rhapsody another shot since they weren’t on my “faves” list.
Even though I’m a fan of the author, I have to say, I was surprised by just how much I liked Playing with Fuego. I thought the short story was cute and I liked the characters and the plot so I figured a longer, deeper story would be nice. But, wow, was I shocked by where this book went. I didn’t read the blurb on the back of the book – still haven’t – so I’ll give you a tiny taste.
Daphne Maddox works for a non-profit that rehabs houses in blighted communities. She pretty much hates Miami and resents the Latin American culture that seems to be behind all that she sees as wrong with the city. She’s been dumped by her girlfriend, whom she followed to Miami, so there’s loads of bitterness there, too. She’s not a bad person but she’s got some issues.
Maribel Tirado León ends up being sentenced to community service and assigned to work on one of Daphne’s crews for 32 hours. Mari is rich and girly and Cuban. She rubs Daphne wrong from the first minute they meet. As they work side by side, though, Daphne has to grudgingly admit that she respects Mari’s work ethic and that she may not be as bad as initially suspected.
So up to this point, pretty standard stuff, right? That’s what I thought, too! Then the twists and turns start and this book went places I never would have expected. Ever.
Playing with Fuego is definitely a book that I recommend. Like I said before, I’ve not loved all of the author’s books but this one definitely has a spot on my list of favorites.