ATF Special Agent Carter Boone arrives in Oak Bend after following church fires across two states. Determined to find the suspect and make the arrest so he can earn his next promotion, Carter believes he has finally identified the arsonist: the brother of an Oak Bend police officer. But instead of making what he’d hoped would be an easy arrest, he finds himself locking horns with his suspect’s beautiful sister.
Police Officer Eve Sutton is conducting an investigation of her own. She knows her brother is innocent, even if the handsome but stubborn special agent in charge refuses to believe her. But as she gets closer to uncovering the truth, arson turns to attempted murder, and Eve discovers that her role in the investigation could cause her to become the killer’s next victim.
As Carter and Eve race to catch a deadly criminal, tempers clash and desires erupt, but the simmering passion between them is as difficult to contain as the fires burning in Oak Bend. Can they find the culprit before the town – and their hot romance – goes up in flames?
In Magnolia Flames we are introduced to Eve Sutton immediately. Eve is a strong, young woman who has gone through a lot in her life to achieve success in her chosen field of law enforcement. She is exhausted after assisting the local fire department battling a church fire. In the small Mississippi town, it is unusual for fires to occur, although the church that burned was an older wooden building.
Eve lives with her younger brother, Jamie, having taken custody of him after their parents died in a car accident when she was only nineteen and he was eleven. Despite taking on the responsibility of raising him, she managed to keep the family home. Starting out as a police dispatcher, with the help of the Chief of Police, she is able to complete training and is hired as a police officer.
When a special agent from the ATF arrives in town to investigate the fire she is immediately attracted to the hunk. Agent Carter Boone sees connections between previous fires that occurred in Louisiana and Texas. He’s determined to capture the arsonist who is terrorizing the area. Electricity sparks between Boone and Eve and soon they are involved in a passionate relationship.
However, everything is not paradise when clues seem to indicate Eve’s brother Jamie may be the firebug. While she defends Jamie against the accusations, evidence mounts incriminating the young man. Despite her anger at Boone, she is irresistibly drawn to him. They begin to work together to solve the case.
Hale does a great job of maintaining reality in what could have been an unbelievable situation. It’s apparent Boone is as eager to solve the case for personal reasons as he is for justice to be served. Eve can respect that, although she believes with every fiber of her being that her brother is innocent.
While the lesser characters play important roles in the story, Hale wisely focuses on the tension between the primary protagonists. This is a quick read; I finished it in one night. Although the plot was predictable, I was intrigued with the sexy relationship between Carter Boone and the fiery Eve Sutton and couldn’t wait to learn how the story would conclude. I’m pleased to recommend this well-written book as a great weekend read or to take on vacation.
I award this book a Gold Bookworm
Officer Eve Sutton is having a dry spell in the love department, enter ATF agent Carter Boone, and sparks fly. They both feel the instant connection, but, Carter goes and arrests Eve's brother for arson. Needless to say, Eve hits the ceiling and she sets out to prove her brother's innocence. And to prove Carter wrong.
Eve finally convinces Carter of her brother's innocence to some degree. But Carter being stubborn causes him to almost be too late to find the real culprit and save Eve.
Fast paced, well written, witty dialogue, Beth nails a strong Southern woman.
Beth has a way to bring her characters to life , to the point you actually feel you are part of the story.
Magnolia Flames is about Eve Sutton and Carter Boone. Eve is a police officer and Carter is a special agent. Carter is called in to investigate a string of arsons. He is putting the pieces together to solve arsons that have been happening for four years. When Eve and Carter meet, they have an instant connection, but when Carter arrests Eve's brother, Jamie, for the arsons, tension build.
I love a story without a lot of detail. I like books to just flow between the characters and the story to just keep moving. Beth Hale is great at keeping your attention.
Eve and Carter have great chemistry. Their love scenes weren't too risqué. You could feel the heat between them.
I recommend this book to romance readers and anyone who wants a quick read that keeps you guessing until the end. I can't wait to get my hands on another one of her books.
My favorite thing about this story was the unique theme about pyrophilia (basically sexual arousal from fires and fire-starting activities), something I didn't even realize existed. But this author delivered this topic brilliantly.
She also incorporated funny and flirty sex scenes that had me laughing out loud. Sex is not always pretty or well-orchestrated, so it was refreshing to read a scene like this:
Eve turned to face him. "More," she demanded. "I want more. Fast and hard."
And just a little mean, was Carter's last coherent thought as Eve pushed him against the fridge so hard that a cereal box toppled over and rained rainbow-colored marshmallows over them.
Can't you just picture that ridiculous scene in your head? I could. It was funny and authentic. I've read a plethora of romance novels, but I'm always impressed by this author's ability to create unique love scenes, not just from book to book, but scene to scene.
Beth is also very skilled at infusing her character's words with emotion, like in this line from a scene where Eve's brother Jamie has discovered that she is sleeping with the very detective who is trying to prove him guilty of arson:
"I'm trying to help," Carter mumbled. Jamie made a rude noise. "Jamie!" Eve snapped. "He doesn't have to do this, and it will make it easier for us to focus on what we need to do." "Just because you're sleeping with the enemy doesn't mean I have to lay down with him."
And to top it all off, the book pulls you in right away with a brutally honest, though a bit strange, but definitely unexpected and intriguing line: The night had been full of suck. I had to laugh at that. I highly recommend this novella to anyone who enjoys witty banter and hot love scenes, because this book has it all!
As you already know, if you're a fan of Beth's writing, her writing is super detailed and full of wonderful things. She puts her heart into every sentence and that is an amazing thing for me, and because of that, I advise you all to check out her work.
Magnolia Flames tells the stories of Eve and Carter. Eve is a policewoman that loves her job. Of course to succeed in this profession that is owned mainly for the male gender is hard, but she's convinced that she will be the best. Carter is a firefighter specializing in investigating cases of arson. He spent the last two years tracking an arsonist and if he can find him, his career might gain the momentum he wants.
Desire and passion are present in this story as well as crime and madness. The suspense and the will to find the culprits left me almost crazy. I love it when a book makes me dream and see things and this was no exception. I have warned Beth to be careful because her wonderful writing is creating a monster that wants more and more.
It's a Gold Bookworm for sure!