Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can’t let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he’s trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.
Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she’s determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she’s terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner–never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.
Glynna can’t help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There’s the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna’s diner into Dare’s back. Are Flint’s cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna’s son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?
The second instalment of Mary Connealy’s Trouble in Texas series sees the return of the band of friends that rid a desolate town of its villain and consequently liberated his battered wife and two step-children. Fired Up picks up the story as Glynna and her children are leaving the ranch where they were terrorized after Dare and his band of former Regulators reclaimed the stolen land. Glynna and Dare are drawn to each other in spite of their strongest efforts of resistance and the threats and fits of Glynna’s son. They perform the familiar dance of push and pull with each pass drawing them closer together.
The requisite intrigue and comedic dramatics that are part and parcel to a Connealy novel will entertain fans old and new. Connealy tips her hand too early in the novel with the reintroduction of a particularly unstable character to keep the suspense strong, but the romantic elements make up for the loss of tension in the secondary storyline. The love story is predictable, which in itself is expected based on previous books, but there are several very sweet moments to keep readers invested. The last quarter of the novel sets ups the third book with heated banter between Vince and Tina, which promises to a pairing full of chemistry. A fast read with a healthy dose of love and action.