In Susan Andersen’s Burning Up we meet Macy O’James. Macy is a bad girl – at least that’s the reputation she’s had since her days in high school in Sugarland, Washington. She’s come back to the town that she eagerly fled to help take care of her family. Her cousin Janna was in a car accident that left her ailing and making it difficult to take care of her young son. But Macy isn’t going home hat in hand. She’s made a name for herself in Los Angeles for staring in some racy music videos for her friend Jack’s band.
Gabe Donovan is the town’s Fire Chief and is staying at Macy’s Aunt’s boarding house as he builds his house. He’s heard the rumors about Macy and doesn’t particularly like all the costumes she has taken to wearing all over town. But after time he sees that the costumes are just a suit of arms for Macy. And he finds that he cannot deny the attraction he feels for Macy.
They say you can’t go home but for Macy going home gives her an opportunity to settle the issues from the past, find love and start over. Yes, the bullies from high school are still trying to make her life miserable but people aren’t as afraid to standing up to them to defend Macy. And the truth is finding a way to be revealed all these years later.
Ultimately, I found this book to be missing something. I frequently set it aside to read something new. Macy seemed a bit much. The arson subplot bored me. It felt like it was tacked on the story. Susan Andersen’s snappy dialogue was there but it just wasn’t enough this time. I found myself more interested in the characters of Jack and Grace, the local school teacher who also happens to be Gabe’s ex.
I’ve read other books by Andersen and found them much more compelling. There seemed more push and pull to the characters fighting their attraction. I would recommend reading either Cutting Loose and Bending the Rules over this book.