The books I have read by Susan Andersen in the past have always been like a cup of luke-warm tea. Good, but it could be better.
So I was surprised that I could not put down Burning Up. It had some great features: a girl with a bad reputation, a small town, a fireman, a close and supportive family, interesting living situations, sass, a little mystery, and a kid. I love all of those things in a romance, and wowzers with so many I was happy as a clam. But you probably know that those themes alone don't make a good story, the writer has to do a good job at pulling them all together and Susan Andersen certainly does.
For the first half of the book itreminded me a bit of Susan Elizabeth Phillip's 'It Had To Be You'. I quite like the plot of both of these books so I was not at all bothered by the similarities. I'd actually say, in many ways, this book is stronger than Phillip's 'It Had to Be You'. This is a more dynamic story with more characters to love.
There were so many things to love about this story I am having trouble sharing without spoiling.
I will say this. I have read Andersen's novels in the past and have never been so excited and pleased by her stories so I haven't read everything she's written. But after this book I am going to revist what she has published and read some more of her works! She has completely won me over as a supporter (and biggest fan of this particular novel - I am getting a t-shirt made, mark my words).
Bottom Line: The hot cover is foreshadowing. This book is a steamer. It's also really well crafted with strong, rich characters and a great setting. Trust me, you'll enjoy this story.