Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Gallery Books
Released on October 2, 2018
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.
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.
Literary Pickers #73 speed boat
Romanceopoly #15 Taxi (pick a book from the recommendation list)
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