Deborah Fletcher Mello ~~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Playing With Fire (Sultry Southern Nights)  
Deborah Fletcher Mello
Mass Market

     Lawrence Marshall, better known as Romeo and co-owner of the Playground, the hottest jazz and soul club in town, was proud of his accomplishments. Even though he didn’t know his daddy, he had been brought up right by his hardworking single mother, had earned a college degree, owned his own business, was doing well, and never mistreated any of his ladies. He hadn’t found that special woman yet, but it wasn’t due to lack of opportunities. Every woman in town wouldn’t mind getting some of Romeo. He was good-looking, financially secure and a true gentleman. In fact, not many men could boast that none of their ex-girlfriends carried a grudge against them. Everybody loved Romeo, men and women alike. Then came the day that his perfect world got even better…Piano Man walked into his bar and Taryn Williams walked into his life.
     Taryn was a natural voluptuous beauty with a sereneness about her that immediately got Romeo’s attention. She was not trying to call attention to herself like so many of the women in his place, but just sat quietly off to the side listening to the music and moving her head to the rhythm. Taryn had never been to the Playground before; one of her co-workers had asked her to join her for a night out. As president of sales and marketing for a national design chain, Taryn worked hard, spending most of her time travelling the globe looking for product to boost her company’s bottom line. She loved her job and wasn’t the least bit lonely. But when she walked into the Playground and spotted Romeo, something in her came alive like never before. Then her friend had had an emergency and couldn’t make it, leaving Taryn sitting alone…but not for long.
     Playing With Fire is not a romance. It’s a love story, one of those timeless love stories that will resonant with the reader years after it’s been read for the first time. Romeo and Taryn’s story is beautifully written in the rich, deep South, black dialect, and brings all the heritage and culture that goes with it into the life of the reader with ease. The secondary storyline of Piano Man will bring tears to your eyes and the skill of Ms. Mello’s writing will have you actually hear the music brought to life by Piano Man. This book will make you cry at the bad times and rejoice at the good times, then go back and re-read the story just to experience it all over again.
Lani Roberts