In Kate Meader’s latest sizzling installment in the Hot in Chicago series, SPARKING THE FIRE, out Tuesday from Pocket Books, brooding Wyatt gets a second chance at lust (and maybe even love) with a woman from his past. Kate joins us on the blog today to talk second chance romances and why we just can’t get enough of ‘em!

What do we love about second chance romances? The idea that love can get another shot, and not just be left to chance? The notion that the gods have favored these people again, and this time, it’s make or break?

What I love is that the second time around, the lovers have had experiences that frame their newfound connection. Maybe life’s dealt them a bad hand over the years (well, I guess you shouldn’t have broken up in the first place, huh?) and now they’re older, wiser, perhaps even a little jaded.

Take my favorite reunited lovers romance: Jane Austen’s Persuasion. As a young girl, Anne Elliot was engaged to a dashing naval officer, but she bowed to her family’s pressure to throw him aside. Years later, he’s back, has made his fortune on the high seas, and is harboring a grudge. Because he’s still crazy about her, of course. But he’s resentful that she listened to her family instead of her heart, and it’ll take a lot of smoldering glances across ballrooms and over candle-lit suppers for these two to seize their second chance. He’s older and more cautious. She’s no longer in that first flush of youth—a wizened 27 year old, no less—and resigned to a life as an old maid. He needs to get over that chip on his shoulder and she needs to be brave. What I love about this and so many second-chance romances is that you know this HEA will stick. Love might have burned out the first time around, but these wiser versions have the maturity to make it work.

Know what else I love about this book? Persuasion has the most romantic declaration in all fiction:

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope . . . I have loved none but you.”

Gives me goosebumps every single time.

In SPARKING THE FIRE, the final Hot in Chicago book (sheds tears), Firefighter Wyatt Fox is thrust into the path of a former flame, Molly Cade. Now a famous actor, Molly knew Wyatt only as the nameless lover who rocked her world five years ago. Now they’re working together on a movie and those old feelings—and plenty of new ones—bring up a rollercoaster of emotion. Can they take that second shot at love, despite all the obstacles? Wyatt certainly thinks so:

“Falling in love with you was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Falling is easy. Staying that way is hard. But I’ve been choosing hard all my life, so why the hell would the life I make with the woman who completes me be any different? I love you like a madman. You’re the air I breathe, my next heartbeat, and I’m never letting go.”

Oh, Wyatt. You can fall in love with me any time.