All Fired Up: A Contemporary Romance by Dylan Newton

Although I loved How Sweet It Is, which is also set in the fictional town of Wellsville in western New York and starred Imani’s friends Kate and Drake, I think All Fired Up is even better! This book includes plenty of fun and laugh-out-loud moments from Imani’s wise-cracking grandmother and her card-playing, whiskey-drinking friends to her foul-mouthed African gray parrot named Lancelot who steals every scene he’s in. Yet, it’s a book that deals unflinchingly with difficult issues including mental health problems and grief and loss. The characters are so well crafted I feel like I know them well. Zander, especially, is one of the most endearing romantic heroes ever. Although he’s a tough, alpha male, strong, capable of handling anything life throws at him and helps Imani over and over, he’s also sensitive, artistic, understanding, and never acts like a jerk.

Imani Lewis is the publicist for horror writer Drake Matthews, known as the Knight of Nightmares, and best friend to his wife, Kate Sweet. Imani has come to Wellsville for the summer to help out her grandmother, who needs knee surgery, and Kate, who is pregnant. Imani carries the weight of guilt over the loss of her mother sixteen years ago in a fire while Imani was away at dance camp. She believes if she had been home, she could have saved her mother. Now, she plans every detail of her life, determined not to make any more mistakes.

Zander Matthews is Drake’s younger brother and owner of three pottery studios. His motto is to enjoy the present to the fullest because there’s no guarantee of tomorrow. As a marine who served in Afghanistan, he knows how precarious life can be, and he’s determined not to miss out on anything by worrying about the future or fretting about the past.

Imani and Zander are deeply attracted to one another from the moment they meet. However, they are complete opposites, and their philosophies about life conflict. Imani and Zander both have a long journey and fundamental changes they must make before they can be right for each other.

All Fired Up releases on May 17, 2022 and is available for preorder. This book can be read as a stand-alone or as the sequel to How Sweet It Is. Both are spectacular reads, and I can’t wait for the next book from Dylan Newton! I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town where the library was her favorite hang-out. After over a decade working in corporate America, Dylan quit to pursue her passion: writing books. When she isn’t writing her next romantic comedy, Dylan is pursuing her own happily ever after with her high school sweetheart as they split time between Florida and Upstate New York with their two much cooler daughters and a tone-deaf cockatiel.

Visit Dylan at or on Facebook at

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Katherine Smits is a direct descendant of Susannah Martin, one of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials. Katherine grew up wanting to be a mermaid but discovered to her dismay this was not a viable career choice. Instead, she became a clinical social worker and helped veterans and their families. Now she brings social work training and experience to her stories of mermaids, mages and magical creatures. Within the context of fantasy and romance, her novels explore real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, and fears and phobias. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.

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