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Igniting Love (Rescue Me #2) by Sara Ohlin

Blurb: When personal chef and single mom Katie Walsh jumps back into the dating game, Leo Treversini’s gaze in the doorway of a local bar lights up her whole body. Bumping into him a week later, Kate thinks fate is calling—until Leo’s bitter words hit her like a punch to the gut.

Recently returned to the up-and-coming Corvallis neighborhood, metal artist and loner Leo feels the beautiful power of Katie’s eyes like the flame from his torch, but discovering his muse is married and the young mother of three daughters cuts him to the quick.

Except…Katie is widowed, which means she’s free to love again—if she can trust a man with her heart and her most precious gifts, her daughters. As Leo is free to love her, if he can overcome a past betrayal and believe in Katie’s love. Add in the meddling community, Katie’s family and teenage internet crime and it’s going to be far from easy…or even likely.

Katie’s love might be just the balm Leo’s wounded heart needs, but will he have the courage to face his crushing past to accept it? Can the artist with the wounded heart love his muse?

Review: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review.

This cover was intimidating. I mean, look at that man! I didn't read the blurb before digging in and genuinely thought I was cracking open a book about a motorcycle club or something. But nope. Turns out the hero is a sweet-talking, PhD toting, somewhat grumpy artist currently renovating an old Victorian house with his bare hands. He had his asshole moments--thanks, big misunderstanding--but in the end he was the sort of hero you really want to escape into a book with.

Katie--ooh, I love this name (obviously) but it was admittedly weird to read a romance where the heroine has my name. Why aren't more heroines named Katie?--is a widowed mother to three girls. Yay for a romance novel that features a mature woman rather than an 18-22 year old, though we love them of course. Katie has dreams (starting with buying a new car that doesn't break down every week), a successful career (that she wants to take to the next level) and... a totally stalled love life. Understandably. I mean, did you hear the number of balls she's juggling? I can hardly meet up with a friend for coffee once a month. Something always falls by the wayside and for Katie it's meeting men.

There's some insta-love between the characters, lots of "souls crashing together" talk, and the dialogue and writing style is very poetic in a way. Some readers who prefer their romance novels a little more straight forward might not jive with the flowery language used here, but I know that many readers will appreciate the sheer amount of feeling that went into the writing. Still, fair-warning that it occasionally gets a tad eye-rollingly adorable (especially where the kids are involved).

I liked Katie and Leo together. There was a lot of push and pull that kept their relationship interesting and their insta-connection was fun to read. There was just the right amount of drama in just the right number of doses where you're entertained but you still want them to end up together at the end. The interactions between Leo and Katie's daughters were precious and I really loved the short glimpses into the eldest daughter's life and struggles as well.

All in all, Igniting Love would be the perfect read for those who want good writing, don't mind their romances occasionally tipping into over-the-top, and who can appreciate the journey of a mature woman. I'd absolutely keep going with this series because all the characters were charming and I have some serious questions for the hot Uncle.

Check it out on Goodreads.

Out 11/17/2020.


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