by Lauren Connolly
Series: Casual Magic #1
Publisher: City Owl Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2002
Source: the author
I received an advance review copy of this book from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
When fire meets ice cream, will passion turn into a melted mess or dessert flambé?
Quinn Byrne is rare even among fire elementals, with her powers hard-wired into her arousal. She can’t touch herself without setting the sheets ablaze. With an incendiary sex drive, Quinn’s dating life is dryer than the desert that surrounds her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She’d give anything to have a normal romantic relationship. But she knows one thing for sure: human men are out of the question. No exceptions. Not even if the guy is trying to woo her with delicious ice cream.
August Nord is new to town, building a business that involves things staying cold. His whole life has been one, long icy stretch, until a fiery redhead saunters into his ice cream shop. Quinn is the hottest accountant he’s ever met, and a small business owner would be dense not to hire a professional to review their finances, right?
As the two approach their attraction with wary steps, the sparks flying between them are all too real. Will the flames feed their burning desire or melt their chance of a happily ever after?
I loved the author’s Folk Haven series so I was very interested to see what paranormal romance she’d come up with next. And when I found out it had lots of ice cream? Mmmm. This sweet book is definitely one that you’ll want to have some ice cream on hand while reading!
Quinn may be an accomplished accountant and the much loved middle kid in a trio of sisters, but she has no control over her fire elemental powers. All elementals’ powers are incited by a powerful emotion, like fear or anger. Except for Quinn, it’s lust. And her one try at trying out a water elemental was, well, less than satisfying. And that’s her only explanation for why she agrees to go on a date with the very handsome (and likely human) owner of the new ice cream shop. Phoenix is very different than (and very far away from) August’s native Alaska, but he’s dreamed of this opportunity to strike out on his own for years. As an ice elemental, it’s no surprise that he gravitated towards ice cream, but it doesn’t stop him from missing the warmth of other people. When Quinn and August collide, will these true opposites attract? Or will it just result in a lot of melted ice cream?
“But I’m not trying to be sexy.” He almost looks chagrined, as if apologizing. It’s infuriating.
“That’s even worse! Do you know how sexy not knowing you’re sexy is? Do you?”
As the middle kid, and the only one of the sisters who hasn’t mastered control of her powers, Quinn is used to relying on herself. Asking one of her sisters to help tamp down her powers long enough to get an ice cream cone is nearly an impossible feat. She’s simply not the type to ask for help. August also knows the value of hard work, having grown up helping with his parents’ bakery, but he’s glad to be striking out on his own, mostly, even if he misses his family. Fire elementals are practically mythical creatures to the Alaskan elementals (and the reverse is true for ice elementals in Phoenix) so at first he’s not sure what this strange warmth he feels around Quinn is. But even once they figure out why Quinn warms up August and he cools her down, there’s still a lot to work out. Even August isn’t enough to keep control of her powers, and Quinn doesn’t intend to melt his entire store full of ice cream more than once.
“How could you think I’m tired of your ice cream? If your ice cream suddenly took on human form I would cheat on you in a second. And I wouldn’t even feel bad about it.”
It’s a bit on the nose to call this ice-cream-filled book sweet, but it truly is. Quinn and August are adorable together, though of course there’s plenty of steamy banter as well. The side characters are also fun. I especially loved Quinn’s sisters and best friend and I hope we see a lot more of them in future books in the series.
Overall, this a cute, fun and quick read. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a sweet beach read!