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Light My Fire    by Jane Graves order for
Light My Fire
by Jane Graves
Order:  USA  Can
Ivy, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Defense attorney Ethan Millner gets paid big bucks for his uncanny ability to read a jury, and then aim for the jugular when questioning prosecution witnesses or victims of the crime with which his clients are charged. It's little wonder that his talents are so highly sought after by criminals.

Ethan, firmly entrenched as his firm's 'golden boy', lives life in the fast lane. His particular talent also allows him to sense when his clients are lying to him. When he began his career he didn't care -- all that mattered was the rush of victory. But after winning a particularly brutal case that leaves a rape victim devastated, he feels empty and disgusted with himself. Though all he wants to do is run, he garners a reckless driving charge instead. His sentence -- forty hours of community service with a neighborhood crime watch.

Sandy DeMarco is well aware of Ethan Millner's 'cut throat' tactics. Her three cop brothers have all gone head-to-head with Millner in court and hate his guts. They aren't pleased when they discover that their sister is overseeing Millner's sentence and warn her about his 'bad-boy reputation'. Sandy reminds them that 'she's a big girl' who's quite capable of taking care of herself and determined to see this through. But the moment she meets Ethan Millner she knows she's in trouble because he's exactly the kind of man who has always secretly attracted her 'sensible girl' persona.

When her young employee is charged with the brutal murder of one of her neighbors, Sandy turns to Ethan for help. She manages to convince him to take the case pro bono. As she helps him build his defense, it doesn't take long for her to realize that Ethan is not the 'shark' that everyone sees. Ethan too, finds himself drawn to Sandy's kind and loving nature, and is blind-sided by the deep emotions she ignites in his heart. But just as they're both coming to terms with their love and the uncharted directions in which their hearts are taking them, a killer threatens their happiness.

Jane Graves creates not only an appealing and well written contemporary love story, she also interweaves a nifty murder mystery, one that had me guessing whodunit until nearly the end. Sandy's trusting nature and Ethan's sometimes caustic cynicism make for engaging and often humorous scenes until they both come to realize that they're perfect for each other. Light My Fire is a fun, satisfying and hot love story.

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