Author: Claire Boston
Release Date: February 2016
Book 4 of The Texan Quartet
Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Piper Atkinson uses the truth as a weapon, but her latest interview candidate is more than just a headline.
Piper wants to be the kind of journalist who makes people sit up and take notice of the issues, and in Houston, Texas, there are plenty to go around. In the city's high-end restaurant world, reclusive Native American chef Taima Woods is discussed in reverential whispers, so when the opportunity to interview him arrives, Piper jumps at it.
But getting to Tai is tougher than she expected. He has a deep mistrust of reporters, and a private life he'd prefer to keep hidden. There are two passions in Tai's life – his cooking and his tribe – and he means to keep it that way. But the closer Tai gets to Piper, the closer he comes to conceding a third. Through Tai, Piper discovers a world she knew nothing about – a damaged and ostracized community in need of a voice. But the more Piper wants to help them, the more Tai understands that to love Piper is to turn his back on his people.
Will Tai reject the one woman who's ever understood him? Or can Piper show him that hardening his heart helps no one? -
I received an ARC courtesy of The Romance Review in exchange for an honest review.
I never heard of this author prior to reading INTO THE FIRE. I chose to read and review this title as I was intrigued by the premise and was keen to learn more. Such was my keenness that I was willing to read this title without reading the previous books in the series. I knew this was a gamble as the possibility existed that it could not be read in isolation. I am glad I took the risk, because not only could it be read as a stand-alone, I discovered a great new author in the process.
INTO THE FIRE is an inter-racial romance. This is one of my favourite genres, although I must admit I have not read much of them lately. This is the fourth book in the Texan Quartet series. For those who have read the previous books in the series, this is Piper's and Taimon's story.
Piper Atkinson is a blogger and journalist. She dreams of becoming a hard-hitting investigative journalist, however, her current employment does not provide her with the flexibility to achieve her goal as they were intent on keeping her in a box. Taimon Woods is a Native American and a member of the Queche tribe. He is a well-known chef and owner of the Wooden Spoon restaurant. He is a recluse and have no trust of reporters based on prior experience. Things became interesting when Piper's employer requested that she secure an interview with Tai for a celebrity profile for the newspaper.
I enjoyed the interaction between Piper and Tai. I thought they were great together. Piper is independent, smart, honest and motivated and she was determined to prove to Tai that she was not like other reporters. She proved that she was willing to learn all she could about his tribe. Although she was independent, she was hoping to one day be lucky in love like her friends. Tai is strong, selfless and compassionate. He was dedicated to his tribe and he was intent on improving their standard of living.
Relating to the characters came easily as they were rounded. They faced real life issues that each reader at some point can relate to. They were not perfect and they each had past demons to contend with. There was a point in the story when I was disappointed in Tai's actions towards Piper. He was not honest with her from the outset and he was willing to place tradition and tribal laws above love.
It was evident that there were moments of intimacy, however, the author did not provide titillating details. As such, you are forced to use your imagination. This was fine by me. There were several themes highlighted in the story, but the two that resonated within me were depression and racism. I have had first-hand experience with racism and I know the impact it can have on one's mental state. The feeling of inferiority and being constantly looked down on because your skin tone is perceived to be of the wrong colour. The manner in which the author addressed the issue of depression made for a moving and emotional read. She demonstrated the impact that it has on the individual affected as well as their close family and friends.
The story flowed and the pacing was just right. The story was well written and I enjoyed every moment. I recommend that you take a chance on this book. If this would be your first time reading this author's work, then you won't regret taking the chance on this one. I will be looking to read the previous books in the series. If you are not new to the series, then I can assure you that this is a great addition to the series and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. -