November 20, 2018 12:32 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I read a number of books in October that I enjoyed, but only one full-length novel made it to five stars. It’s the first book of a brand new series and the latest novel by one of my all-time favorite authors who I seem to keep featuring again and again. That’s because her books are just so darn good, I can’t help myself.:-) She writes about a very famous paranormal Brotherhood, but in this new contemporary series, she’s created a different sort of brotherhood made up of firefighters and other first responders. Anne and Danny, our hero and heroine, who are both firefighters, enjoyed a very steamy one-night stand in the two short prequel novellas, but the heroine had worked too hard to make it to where she was in a man’s world to give that up for a relationship. When this story opens, it’s been about three weeks since that fateful night, and there’s still an unrequited attractions simmering between them. Their station house is called out to fight a warehouse fire, during which Anne becomes trapped and Danny must make a gut-wrenching and life-altering decision in order to free her from the flames. From there we fast-forward ten months to see Anne reinventing herself as an arson investigator, where she’s looking into a string of warehouse fires that may be connected to the last fire she fought and which place her in the cross-hairs of a desperate arsonist.
Anne is a strong, independent heroine with some complex family dynamics. She wanted nothing more than to be like her firefighter father who was her hero, but he looked down on a woman going into that type of profession. Then when he died, a family secret was revealed which tarnished her memory of her father and placed her at odds with both her mother and her brother, so she relies on no one but herself. Because of this, she brings a lot of this baggage into her romance with Danny, holding him at arm’s length sometimes and allowing the past to unfairly color her perceptions of him at others. However, Anne is nothing if not strong and resilient in the face of a life-altering event, never letting it get her down. It’s a big change for her to go from fighting fires to investigating them when she’s used the adrenalin rush, but I admired her for throwing herself into her work with gusto. I love how she develops a soft spot for a stray dog and even more for her compassion toward a troubled Danny. Once she fully let’s him in, they share a tender love that I very much enjoyed.
Danny lost both his parents and his twin brother, so he’s alone in the world, except for his firefighter brethren. He’s also experienced more than his fair share of trauma on the job even before he’s forced to make an unthinkable decision to save Anne, the only woman he’s ever loved, from the clutches of a burning building. Danny had spent most of his adult life going from one woman to the next, until he met Anne and fell for her almost instantly. He’d hoped that the moment of passion they’d shared would extend for more than one night, but Anne was resistant to the idea. Then came near-death experiences for both of them from which it took months to recover. Now Danny is in an emotional downward spiral and seems to have a death-wish, taking unnecessary risks on the job. Underneath his tough firefighter exterior beats a tender heart that’s been deeply wounded by all the tragedy in his life. He’s just struggling to keep his head above water and not drown in his own emotions. He’s only ever truly had eyes for Anne, and she’s the only one who can pull him out of his funk. I love that he never tries to stifle her independent spirit. He also proves more than once that he’ll always have her back and will do anything to keep her safe.
This author has a real talent for making me care about her characters and the worlds she creates. She has set up a number of interesting supporting characters in Danny and Anne’s fellow firefighters and first responders, all of whom have the potential to make great main characters in future books and could conceivably keep the series going for quite a while. Anne and Danny were awesome characters who made me feel for them and each of their individual situations. I loved seeing them gradually come together and find some healing in their relationship, as well as seeing Anne mend her severed family ties. There were no easy answers or magic solutions for Danny’s tragic past, but I was heartened in knowing that he’s now working to put it behind him and look to a brighter future. It was an all-around wonderful read that definitely has me looking forward to the next book. That’s why I’m naming J. R. Ward’s Consumed as my October Book of the Month. If you enjoy contemporary suspense romance about family ties, both those by birth and those we choose, that’s wrapped up in a mystery, which leads to a reveal that you might not see coming (I certainly didn’t), then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.
Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.
Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, the best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.
From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.
Read my complete review of Consumed.
If you would like to win a copy of Consumed to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: J. R. Ward