Series: Freak House #2
on September 2013
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Hannah Smith thinks she's safe now that Reuben Tate is set to face trial. But when an unusual creature is let loose on the Freak House estate, everybody is in danger, including Jack. To hunt it down, the household must take risks, but the greatest risk is to Hannah's heart. She's in danger of falling deeply in love with Jack, a man whose very touch can kill her.
Jack Langley won’t just melt your heart in Playing With Fire, he’ll melt your knickers as well.
The cold, crisp night air nipped at my skin like cat teeth, and the warmth stirring inside me only made it feel colder in contrast. I hurried towards the edge of the woods where Jack requested I meet him after the house was settled in sleep. I hugged myself, and rubbed my hands up and down my arms quickly, more to ease my nerves than to keep me warm. What could Jack possibly want with me in such a clandestine meeting?
As I grew closer to the clearing, I could see a warm glow illuminating Jack. Fire light was flickering over his features, making hypnotic crackling sounds as he stared, transfixed, into the burning logs. His dark hair hung softly around his face, as if it had just recently dried by the heat of the fire and cold autumn air. He was leaning back on one arm, with the other propped on his up-turned knee. He teased the embers of the fire with his outstretched leg. His white linen shirt hung carelessly open around his chiseled chest, and my breath hitched in my lungs. I moved towards him, leaves crunching beneath my feet, giving me away. I blushed, sure that he knew I had been admiring him in secret.
“Hannah, I”m so glad you came,” Jack said as he stood, and brushed off his trousers. Despite the fire on the ground and in our veins, I saw a faint shade of rose make its way across Jack’s features, and knew he was blushing for the same reason I was. It wasn’t the heat from this unpredictable element that rouged us, it was our desire for each other…and the possibilities that the blanket of night suggested…
Be prepared to buy a bodice simply for the pleasure of RIPPING. IT. OFF. once you have read this book. Playing With Fire (Freak House #2) sizzled from cover to cover. I was so satisfied and pleased with this sequel to The Wrong Girl– I found myself giddy- a blathering school girl. I wanted to run and tell all my friends about Playing With Fire like it was my new crush. When I finished the last page, I wanted to find C.J. Archer and hug her while begging for the next book.
What you just read in italics, above, was my attempt to tease you with my dream. YES. This is the kind of book that inspires dreams. Luckily for me, I didn’t dream about the creepiness that gives this novel such a Halloween-esque feel. Playing With Fire inspired dreams of the dangerously romantic sort! It was my dream-world after all, so of course I was playing the role of Hannah. Sorry I didn’t let you get to the juicy part but you can guess where it was headed. After you read Playing With Fire, you can have some delightful dreams of your own.
Playing With Fire picks up a couple of weeks after The Wrong Girl left off. The story opens up with a creepy and horrifying mystery. Something sinister has been found under Freak House, and it’s going to take more than Jack’s fire abilities to destroy it. On top of this new threat to everyone’s safety, Reuben Tate, our villain from The Wrong Girl, has escaped from prison. Hannah’s life is at stake if Mr. Tate is not found, and Jack will stop at nothing to protect her.
Samuel, our suave and seductive gentleman, is now residing with Jack, Hannah, Sylvia, Mr. Langley and the servants at Freak House. We met Samuel towards the middle of The Wrong Girl, and he quickly became a threat to Jack’s budding affections for Hannah. Under the guise of scholarly research, Samuel makes himself at home, but he might belong there more than everyone thinks. He’s been harboring a secret, and his success in school and business hasn’t been purely coincidental.
Playing With Fire was just what I needed from C.J. Archer’s Freak House characters. The creepy and diabolical premise to the story was wonderfully played out, and the chemistry between Hannah and Jack was positively EVIL. I’ve never felt more deliciously tortured with two main characters. The tone of this novel was as inviting and engaging as The Wrong Girl and The Medium trilogy. C.J.’s prose is charming and clever, with a hint of deviance. I enjoyed EVERY WORD of this book and I absolutely loved that The Beauforts from The Medium trilogy had a brief appearance in this novel. The X-men-like twist set in the Victorian era that C.J. has dreamed up is nothing short of genius. This trilogy would play out magically as a BBC series. I wouldn’t want to see it in the hands of any other studio.
Playing With Fire has amazing characters, action, adventure, depth, and romance perfectly pieced together to create a curious masterpiece. You can check out my review for The Wrong Girl here, and The Medium trilogy here. Since I teased you with my dream at the beginning of this review, it is only fitting to tease you with an excerpt from the book. Enjoy!
When Jack didn’t answer, I glanced over my shoulder at him. Our gazes connected in the reflection of the window glass. He’d been watching me the entire time. It was impossible to tell if he blushed, but his eyes widened upon being caught and he turned away quickly. My own face blazed like a torch. [……….]
I put on my dress with Maud’s help and sat at my dressing table so she could do my hair. “You may turn around now, Jack.”
You will just have to buy the book to read the rest of this DELICIOUS scene. 🙂