Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Playing with Fire by J.J. Cook (Review and Giveaway!)

Playing with Fire
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (January 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252451
E-Book File Size: 2197 KB

About the Book


Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers in the world—as well as at least one ghost and a hotbed of secrets…


Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.

Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames…

My Review

As Fire Chief Stella Griffin continues her investigation into the mysterious death of the previous fire chief, Eric Gamlyn – who happens to be haunting her cabin, she gets a few unexpected visitors. Her parents arrive in Sweet Pepper, along with Stella’s ex-boyfriend. The plan is to convince Stella to leave her temporary fire chief job and return to Chicago where she has a job, friends and family waiting. Stella, however, isn’t ready to make a decision. She loves Sweet Pepper and has grown close to her very own ghost, Eric. She doesn’t want to leave, but she’s not ready to turn her back on her old life either.

When Deputy Chum makes a shocking confession to Stella, on his way out of town to his own retirement, she starts getting closer to the truth. Then, tragedy strikes. Chum is murdered leaving even more questions unanswered, not to mention some of the most influential people in town scrambling to cover their tracks – including Stella’s wealthy grandfather.

The author does an excellent job of showing us the camaraderie between the members of the fire brigade as they all get closer with each book and becoming a family of their own. The dialogue throughout the book is snappy, witty and laced with humor especially between Stella and Eric. There is a ton of chemistry between these two, even though one of them is a ghost. It doesn’t matter, the sparks fly between them.

This series has become one of my top favorite cozy series. Stella is one of the best heroines to come around in a long time. I fell in love with her in both the first book in the series and in the following novella. I love her even more after this book.

It was edge-of-the-seat reading for me as I tried to figure things out along with Stella. I read through this book quickly and I just can’t get enough of it. I want more and I want more right now! I was so sad to finish this book and now have to wait for the next one to be released. Hopefully it won’t be too long a wait.

For reading challenges:
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 E-Book Reading Challenge
Where are you reading? challenge (Tennessee)
Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies 2014

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

J.J. Cook’s first mystery, That Old Flame of Mine, became an instant bestseller in 2013. Playing with Fire is the second book in that series. They write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.


Purchase Links

Amazon                Book World             B&N

Tour Participants

January 6 – Dr. Pepper Diva – Review
January 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review – Guest Post
January 8- Queen of All She Reads – Review – Guest Post
January 8 – My Recent Favorite books - Review
January 9 – readalot blog - Review
January 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review – Interview
January 12 –Christa Reads and Writes – Review
January 13 – Community Bookstop – Review
January 14- Girl Lost In a Book – Review
January 15 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
January 16 – dru’s book musing – Guest Post
January 16 – Bea’s Book Nook - Review
January 17 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog – Review
January 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review
January 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review – Interview

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The dialogue was snappy and well done and I enjoyed the story. I'm looking forward to the next one also.

  2. Thanks for hosting us here today!

  3. Thank you for hosting this great giveaway, Yvonne. I will add it to my blog's sidebar for my readers.

  4. Ooo, I love paranormal cozies. I'm curious about the chemistry between Stella and ghostly Eric!

  5. I am so looking forward to reading this!

  6. I really enjoy reading cozy mysteries. This series sounds really good. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  7. thank you for the giveaway!!!
    congrats & continued success to JJ!!

  8. What a fantastic read this is going to be.

  9. I'd love to read this! It sounds really good!


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