Apprentice witch Catalina Gato is prohibited from assuming her human form in front of her new employer without his express permission. Since he doesn’t know he’s a warlock, he can’t give it, leaving her in a familiar’s limbo. To make matters worse, she’s barred from leaving his house, and her attempts to enlighten him of his true nature results in burnt notes, charred walls, and exploding laptops.
On All Hallows’ Eve, she gets one night of freedom. Deciding some no-strings-attached sex might take the edge off the intense attraction she feels for her clueless boss, she signs up for Madame Eve’s service. When she meets her masked mystery date at the Castillo Capital, she realizes she might have gotten much more than she bargained for.
After being gifted a one-night stand from his annoying best friend, attorney Leo Difuoco reluctantly ventures to the Castillo Capital to celebrate Halloween. When he meets his oddly familiar green-eyed date in a Cat Woman costume, flames literally ignite, sparks magically fly, and life as he knows it changes forever.
Flirting with Fire is the first novella in this trilogy of stories from this author. Leo Difuoco is an attorney, a neat freak, and (unbeknownst to him) a warlock. He has recently come into an inheritance from his Great Aunt Nonna - her cat, and half of her house. The other half she left to the cat, with the stipulation that Leo take care of her. Leo was not raised with any knowledge that he is in any way magical, and thus does not pick up that the cat is not a cat. The cat is actually his Aunt Nonna’s familiar, a very human shape shifting witch named Catalina Gato. (Clever, I see what you did there)
Catalina is in a bit of a bind, because she was in a contract with Nonna as her familiar for five years. When Nonna passed, the contract passed to her heir, Leo. In the formal contract there are several clauses that most witches and warlocks immediately wave upon acceptance, as they are more traditional than practical anymore. These clauses are that the familiar has to remain in animal form whenever they are in proximity to the witch or wizard, that the familiar cannot leave the witch’s home without his or her permission, and that they only get one day off, which is Halloween. When Nonna died, the contract reverted back to it’s original form. Catalina has been stuck since then, six months ago. Warlocks (and I guess witches as well) are elementals in this world, they have access to the raw power of their element. A familiar is used to focus this power, to harness it into usable spells. Leo is a fire mage, although he doesn’t know it.
This story opens on Halloween. Catalina has tried over and over again to let Leo know what is going on, but everytime she tries the magic of the contract thwarts her. She has resigned herself to living as a cat whenever he is home for the rest of her contract, (18 months) because at the end she will get a huge bonus. Cat’s sister has set her up with a surprise for her one day off, a one night stand from a Madame Eve’s “dating” service. Leo has been set up with one as well, by his partner, Jackson Frost. It’s Halloween, so it’s a costume party. Cat’s sister, the wit, has set her up with a Catwoman outfit. She and Leo meet and have dinner there at Castillo Capital, the place set up by Madame Eve. On the way to their room (this is a one night stand after all, people) they get stuck in the elevator. Leo has spent all of this time trying to figure out why Catalina’s green eyes are so familiar, and she has been fighting with the idea of telling him. When they get stuck in the elevator she does magic in front of him and tells him what he is. He takes it better than I would have thought and they don’t make it to their room. At the end of it all they are together and Leo has accepted his heritage and magic.
All in all for a short little novella it was really cute - funnier than I thought it would be.