Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted April 4, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 39 Comments

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Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward
Consumed

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three-flames

Series: Firefighters #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Gallery Books
Released on October 2, 2018
Pages: 409
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift
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The Delight

The world of firefighters both at the firehouse, at the scene, and in their private high pressure, dangerous lives engulfed me.  Consumed introduced it all and delivered a high impact first in series that has me eager for all the other stories and the ongoing investigation into deep-seated corruption.

Review

Consumed introduced a whole cast of characters including two fierce hot-head firefighters, Anne Ashburn and Danny McGuire.  Anne’s got firefighting in the blood with following her deceased father and older brother into the career.  She’s fighting more than flames when she does her job as she thinks she has to prove herself to a man who is gone and as a woman on the crew.

Danny has his own reasons for being a maverick on the job, but then one fire and Anne nearly being killed and Danny having to take a drastic measure to save her life nearly crushes them both.  Danny can’t get past his guilt and Anne is angry at life.  She has to start over as a fire investigator and it takes some good hard shakes from other people to snap her out of her anger and bitterness to see that she’s more than firefighter and has a job to do.  Someone’s setting these fires and doesn’t shy away from murder to hide their criminal tracks.  She’s not less of a woman, either, and can take what Danny has been offering and still wants if she can silence the voices that insist she’s better alone.

I have to say that it took me several chapters to start enjoying this book.  Anne and Danny both had major chips on their shoulders and were jerks, frankly.  It was telling that when Anne is in the hospital and her brother bluntly tore a strip off her, I was applauding him rather than upset that he picked that time to call her on her crap.  And, then her new boss had to give her a verbal boot in the butt about getting over herself and taking her job seriously.  She did.  I stuck with her and applauded her after that.  Danny took longer, but straightened out over time, too.

Their romance had to take back seat to getting their heads on straight and then there is some drama from a woman who was not good with ‘no’ and was married to Danny’s best friend.  But, I liked the way the attraction built and their relationship was balanced out with all the other story threads including Anne dealing with her issues with her mom, brother, and deceased dad, Danny dealing with his dead brother being gone and guilt, and then of course the suspense that involves arson and stolen goods and maybe more.

In the background of Anne and Danny’s story, is Tom’s story.  Tom is Anne’s older brother and fire chief so he deals with the political end of things, too.  I liked him from the start.  He’s blunt, oblivious, and does what he has to do for his firehouses and fire teams even if he isn’t well liked.  His antagonistic attraction with the mayor is going to be fun as that story progresses.

The arson suspense thread  for the warehouse fires is solved in this book, but the big players and what is still not uncovered are at large and have me eager to see the future conflict as the law and fire teams work the ongoing investigation.  This group has a strong feel of the warrior camaraderie that her paranormal romance series excels at and fans will find familiar and welcome when they feel it here in this series.

Reading Order Tip:  While this is book one and it does give enough details for the reader to get into the book, there is still a feel that Danny and Anne are in the middle of something even at the start of the book and there are things between them and that situation with Moose and his wife Deirdre.  It feels that way because there is something and that something is fleshed out in the three prequel novellas.  Do yourself a solid and start there if you want to get the better experience with this book.

All in all, we have another winner from this author and I can’t wait to see where things go as the series progresses.  Those who enjoy spicy romantic suspense with strong alpha characters and the firefighter world should give a look see to this one.

Challenges Met

Literary Pickers #73 speed boat
Romanceopoly #15 Taxi (pick a book from the recommendation list)

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Di @ Book Reviews by Di
Guest

I actually haven’t read anything by JR Ward before but I keep wanting to. I don’t think I would start with this one though as I think the Black Dagger series might be more my style. I do like that you grew to enjoy characters that initially annoyed you though and I probably would have been applauding too! 🙂 I especially love friendships and camaraderie so I think that while they are present here you also mentioned them in Black Dagger so I will definitely try to move that one up the TBR a little! Thanks

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think that’s a good plan, Di. I don’t think I’d have done well with this one if I hadn’t felt the flavor of the BDB series. Those are so great, especially the first ones. I’m envious that you still have them to enjoy for the first time. 🙂

Cynthia
Guest

I have never read this author before but Sophia, you wrote an awesome review! Thanks for sharing.

Sophia Rose
Guest

She’s got a very unique style, but I enjoy it in certain moods. 🙂

Thanks, Cynthia! 🙂

ShootingStarsMag
Guest

I’m glad the MC’s finally got better as you went along. It wouldn’t be fun if they were jerks the whole time! LOL Thanks for sharing. I’ve never read Ward, but I’ve heard good things.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Haha! No kidding. It took a bit, but they straightened out their business. Her style is different from the usual. Hope you get the chance some time, Lauren.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

That definitely sounds like you need to start from the beginning. I haven’t red this series yet.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Sometimes, the prequel isn’t necessary. With this one, definitely. Hope you like it if you get the chance, Mary.

Shari
Admin

I think the prequels are still free. That’s how I read them a few months ago. I am currently listening to this on audio book and almost stopped. If Sophia hadn’t sent in this review, I might not have continued. Still listening to it….it’s long.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

I agree about the prequels. This was good. I keep watching for the next book 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I’m ready for book two. I wonder if it will be her brother’s book. 🙂

Shari
Admin

I am going back to Readers on the River in September 2019. I think the next book in the series is supposed to be around that time. I got Sophia a signed copy of this book 🙂 Her autograph line was nuts. The signing started at 1:00. You had to have a ticket to know when you could get in line. I got in line around 7:00 pm and signed books around 8:00 pm. I heard she was there till 11:00pm signing. J.R. Ward is hilarious. I loved when she kept talking about firemen and their hoses. I posted some… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

You are my book hero for standing in line for that signature. That book is gorgeous and I display it prominently on my shelf. 🙂
I loved watching your vids on FB of Ward. She is definitely larger than life.

Melliane
Guest

Oh I did read it when it was released and really enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Now, we wait for the second book. 🙂

Rachel
Guest

Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one too! I agree about the prequel novellas. They really add to the story giving a foundation you wouldn’t have otherwise. I can’t wait for the next in the series. I still haven’t seen any info added for another book so I’m not sure when it’s coming.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, the novellas make a big difference. I know… its a bummer not to have a cover or release date yet. 🙂

Nadene
Guest

I have the novellas, I just need to get them. I read several of the books in the BDB series, so I am familiar with her style. Great review, Sophia.

Sophia Rose
Guest

You are prepped and ready for this one, then, Nadene. 🙂

Shari
Admin

I started this on one of my drives to see my mom. It might take me a few weeks to get through because her books are huge. If I hadn’t talked to you about it, I probably would have given up. I loved the hero in the prequels, but wasn’t a fan of the heroine. Now that I am a year into the book, I am starting to feel something other than anger for the heroine, but the hero is pissing me off. Without you, this would have ended in the DNF pile.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It really did take a heck of a long time for them to get their acts together. I’ve found myself mad at her BDB characters before and seen them straighten out so I kept at it. Yeah, he took too long to turn around. Grrr.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

I’m glad that you ended up enjoying this one despite the slow start and both main characters being jerks with chips on their shoulders. I like when attraction builds between two characters, it makes it seem more authentic. Great Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL, they were quite the deserving pair and definitely self-centered for a long time, but it was great when they woke up and got over it. I did like that the romance took its time as a result of it all.
Thanks, Lindy!

Romance Reader
Guest

Thank you for this review. You made it sound so interesting.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Glad to hear it. 🙂

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict
Guest

I loved this book. Anne and Danny were definitely hard headed. Deirdre drove me insane. She was crazy!

The camaraderie of the firehouse does remind me a lot of the Brothers and I think Ward really knows how to write those relationships.

I’m glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did. I can’t wait for more!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh yes, I think we are onto another good series, Tanya. 🙂

Carole rae
Guest

Another good review for this….mmmmm

Sophia Rose
Guest

Haha! Giving you one to think about.

Karen
Guest

I had read mixed reviews for this but I wonder if it’s because people didn’t realize there were prequel novellas.

I haven’t read anything by her in years. Maybe I need a jumpstart with a new series.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, this one doesn’t surprise me that it has mixed views. Both main characters are a tough sell for a long time and then there is all the history that is left out because its in the novellas. I would also say that its for those who enjoy this writing style which is unique, too.

So, sure, maybe give it a try and see if it works for you. It has a similar flavor to the BDB.

ROP
Guest

I have a girlfriend who years ago told me she was going to marry a firefighter. She got close and married a state trooper instead(lol), and they’ve been happily married for about 12 years now. I like when Ms. Ward branches off into other genres, and despite being a fan, it’s hard for to get into a book when it takes a long time to develop the story, or the characters aren’t likeable. I’ll probably pick this one up to add to my collection, but it may sit on the pile a little while. Love your review and happy Saturday!… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, she did get close since both careers are emergency responders. 🙂

Yeah, this one will have to be when you’re in the mood for this pair’s shenanigans. LOL

Jen
Guest

Nice Review. I fell out of love with BDB/JR back a couple years ago and so I never tried her contemporary stuff. I probably should!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Thanks, Jen! I know a lot of people have dropped off with BDB. I’ve enjoyed her contemporary books. Her other series is very different from this one. This has a BDB feel to it while that one had more a family saga/fiction tone.

Lola
Guest

Sounds like both characters have some issues they have to overcome. Too bad they act like jerks at first, I can see why it took you a while to get to like the story because of that. That is great she straightens herself out soon. It’s nice the romance takes some time to build. And that sounds interesting with the suspense storyline going on too. The fire fighting scene sounds like it makes for an interesting backdrop for this series.

Sophia Rose
Guest

They really did, Lola. I didn’t like them and thought they were stuck on themselves, but then they worked through it. I thought it was wise of the author to hold off on the romance until they got over their problems. Can’t wait for the next book.

JoLee @ Wickedly Delicious Book Blog
Guest

Miss reading her BDB series. Thanks for the heads up where to start. I have been looking for a good Fire Fighter series.

Sophia Rose
Guest

This will feel like BDB, but a different setting for the brothers (and sisters). 🙂