We’re so excited that we got to sit down and chat with author Kate Meader about Melting Point, her latest title in the Hot in Chicago series. *fans self* Trust, this series is crazy hot and not to be missed. We’ve got our thoughts on Melting Point to share with you, but first, here’s what Kate had to say during our interview.
Thrilled to be here!
This book was a blast to write. In fact, it’s the quickest book I’ve ever written (5 weeks, which is really fast for me) because the characters were so clear in my head. Usually I sweat the words onto the page, but not with this one.
Let’s start with Gage, who’s a cocky, out-and-proud firefighter, working with his four foster siblings at Engine 6 in Chicago. The Dempsey family motto is “fire is stronger than blood” so the foster family connection, the idea that they were chosen to be a unit by their late foster father, Sean, instills this fierce loyalty in all of them. Gage is an eternal optimist, a bit of a playboy, and the peacekeeper in a family of hotheads. One of the other characters christens him “Baby Thor” so I think you have an idea of just how gorgeous he is. Brady is his complete opposite—dark, broody, tortured by a past in the Marines he can’t shake. He just doesn’t get why someone like Gage—young, hot, the sun in every room—would be interested in him.
Their romance was introduced as a subplot in the first book, Flirting with Fire, and I had planned to arc it over three longer novels with an m/f as the main couple, Gage and Brady as the secondary romance. But Gage really jumped off the page and readers of that book responded to him so positively. I had so many requests from people wondering when Gage and Brady would get their own book, that my publishers and I decided to tell their story in the novella and finish it up there. I should stress that I’ve written Melting Point in such a way that it’s a standalone. You might enjoy reading some of that background in the first book, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the boys.
I’m a big Chicago Fire fan, but of course, that wouldn’t have been enough. I actually have a friend who is a fire captain in the Chicago Fire Department, so he answered a ton of questions and let me hang with him and his crew for a day. I didn’t get to go out on any runs, most of which are paramedic calls and not fires these days, but I did speak with the firefighters about their day-to-day and listened in on dispatch calls. I also got to see the hose drying tower (oh, yeah) and worked in a dirty joke about it in one of the books. I couldn’t not do it. One of the things I learned is that CFD firefighters are awesome cooks, so I had Gage be the station’s chef. He and Brady share a love of food and cooking, and that’s part of their bond.
The tag line on my website is: Fun. Romantic. Smoking Hot. So let’s go with that (Yes, I know it’s four words.)
Oh, that’s an awesome question! Hmm, I was thinking about some of my favorite characters from m/m romances and Joey Miller from Collision Course by KA Mitchell comes to mind. He’s an optimist like Gage and I think they would have some pretty awesome conversations—and would drive Aaron (Joey’s guy) and Brady crazy with their unrelenting cheer.
I’ll choose one of my own: Eli Cooper, hotshot mayor of Chicago, who is also Brady’s best friend and former Marine buddy. In the first book of the Hot in Chicago series, Flirting with Fire, Eli comes across as a chauvinistic asshat; in Melting Point, he’s the catalyst for Brady and Gage getting together; and by the time Playing with Fire rolls around in September, you’ll see another side to him altogether. He’s not above gaming the system and telling a few little lies to get what he wants, and he’ll meet his match in Alex Dempsey, Gage’s foster sister and the only female firefighter at Engine 6. Sparks, they will be flying!
The Hot in Chicago series will finish up in 2016 with Wyatt’s story, the last unattached Dempsey foster sibling. I’ve just released a book with Entangled Brazen called Even the Score. This is an enemies-to-lovers story featuring a struggling actress and the Texan tycoon who’s wedding she halted a year ago after she told the bride, “Run!” It’s a super sexy read, and first in my Tall, Dark, and Texan series.
Well, I didn’t know what question was missing from my life until you asked that great one about introducing one of my characters to one in another book. But maybe people should be more interested in my candy preferences. What’s my favorite candy bar? Twix, of course. Biscuit, caramel, chocolate – you can’t beat it!
***About Kate Meader***
Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boon thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.
***About Melting Point***
Melting Point by Kate Meader
Also by this author: Playing with Fire, Taking the Score, Sparking the Fire
Series: Hot in Chicago #1.5
Also in this series: Playing with Fire, Sparking the Fire
Published by Pocket Star on August 31, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Character(s): Chefs & Cooks, Firefighters
Goodreads Buy the Book
Firefighter Gage Simpson has it all: the job of his dreams, the family of his heart, and no shortage of hot guys lining up to share his bed. “Fun and easy” is his motto—and it’s kept him sunny through a painful upbringing and steered him away from trouble. But when trouble comes knocking in the form of a sexy, scarred, tattooed chef with a harrowing past and zero communication skills, Gage can’t help but be drawn to the flame.
Brady Smith isn’t fun. And easy isn’t in his vocabulary. When cocky Gage swaggers into his restaurant kitchen, the former Marine-turned-five-star-chef is blindsided by the firefighter’s beauty. Then confused that this golden guy with the sparkling blue eyes and the body of a god might be interested in him. As desire flares and temperatures rise, Gage and Brady will have to figure out if the heat between them is just a temporary flash—or the beginning of something real.
Erin So. Yeah. Fire fighters are hot, right? And chef’s … they’re hot, too, aren’t they? And what happens when you mix the two, throw in some hilarious banter, add hotter than hot sex, and a bit of angst just to shake things up? Well, you get the wickedly entertaining Melting Point by Kate Meader. I have to tell you, I did not know what to expect when I picked this book up, having never read anything by this author before, but I’m here to say that it FAR exceeded my expectations. This book is part of a series, Hot in Chicago, but you certainly can read this as a standalone.
Gage Simpson and Brady Smith were hot, sexy, and utterly engaging both together and by themselves. I enjoyed both immensely. Gage—snarky and flamboyantly and proudly gay who is so totally over the top conceited you can’t help but adore him and Brady—broody, gruff, but oh so vulnerable, these two are the epitome of opposites attracting. They were fun and the sexy times were definitely steamy, but the quiet moments, when Gage lets Brady see the real him, and when Brady lets his guard down so Gage can see the man beneath the scars and tattoos, that’s when Melting Point hit the mark.
Gage chuckled. “Plenty of stuff throws me, such as you playing hard to get. That really pissed me off.”
“I wasn’t.” They just didn’t make sense together.
Gage made a sound of annoyance as if he knew exactly how Brady completed that sentence in his head. “I’m cheerful because the alternative is to see obstacles everywhere and expect people will hurt you. I choose to live in full color. I choose to say hey there to the hotties, fuck off to the haters, tell lovers how I want it, and people how it shall be. Now, how about you tell me why you really can’t sleep?”
The guy already had looks, charm, and a cock Brady wanted to suck on like an everlasting gobstopper. Did he have to be well-adjusted, too?
Brady could remain silent. He’d gone years without voicing his pain, a lifetime of containment. When Gage asked if he could stay the night, he could have said no. But with this man, he wanted to try.
All. The. Swoons.
These two, I’m telling y’all, are swoony and sexy as all get out, and just really, wickedly fun from beginning to end. I loved this book. The writing, the banter, the sexy times … all of it was done SO well. (I just wish it would have been longer!) I want more of these two and I’m definitely checking out the rest of the series. *whispers* Eli the mayor looks mighty delicious and I can’t wait for his story!