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’m the type of reader that prefers to read a series in order, even if it is stated that a book can be read as a standalone, but there are times where I make an exception to the rule and Into the Fire ended up being one of those exceptions. The cover caught my eye, but the description peaked my curiosity since the main character was of Native American heritage and a chef, and the world he grew up in appeared to play a large role in the development of the main characters and their relationship. So I decided to give it a go and found it to be a sweet and enjoyable read with likeable characters and a well written and respectful view of life on the reservation.
Both Piper and Tai are really likeable characters. Tai has worked his way up the ranks to be a top rated chef and has used his experience and success to help others of his tribe achieve more, but keeps it on the down low. He is standoffish with most people, but with those he loves and cares for he gives them all of his heart and soul. Piper is that endearing mix of sweet, determined and compassionate. She wants to make the world a better place, but isn’t one to charge ahead without learning everything she can about the issue first, something that comes in handy as a journalist.
Piper and Tai’s relationship starts off on shaky ground but once Tai gets a glimpse of Piper’s heart and integrity he relents and from that point their relationship gets going. In some respects they become close quite quickly, but considering how closely they are working together and the circumstances behind it, it worked. They get to learn why they have become the people they are and find that they have similar goals in life. The bumps in their road to their HEA all make sense and the amount of angst involved wasn’t over the top.
The funny thing with this book is that as much as I liked both Tai and Piper and enjoyed how their relationship evolved, it was their relationships and interactions with the members of the Queche tribe that held my interest the most. I liked how their struggles and lives were presented and the honesty and respect behind it. My favorite relationship was the one that formed between Piper and Bradley and I adored Eyota!
This was my first book by Claire Boston and I enjoyed her writing style and voice. The romance aspect fell firmly on the sweet side of the coin where the intimacy between the couple is stated, but not told in explicit detail which didn’t take away from the relationship in anyway. The flow of the story is done well and, as I’ve already stated, I really enjoyed how the issues indigenous peoples face, the love of their culture and the hope that many of them have for a brighter future was presented.
The Bottom Line: This was a sweet, quick and enjoyable read and can be read as a standalone without feeling as if you’ve missed anything if you haven’t read the previous books in the series.
~ ARC provided by Momentum Books - Moonlight via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Claire Boston is the best-selling author of The Texan Quartet. In 2014 she was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Award as Favourite New Romance Author.
Her debut contemporary romance novel, What Goes on Tour caught the attention of Momentum’s Joel Naoum when her first scene was read aloud at the Romance Writers’ of Australia (RWA) conference in 2013. This led to a four book contract for The Texan Quartet series.
Claire is proactive in organising social gatherings and educational opportunities for local authors. She is an active volunteer for RWA, as a mentor for aspiring authors and the reader judge coordinator.
When Claire’s not writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.
Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.