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Through Fire (Portland, ME, #3)
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Through Fire

(Portland ME #3)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Violence corroded her…

Obedience defiled her…

Fear kept her chained…

Freedom is hard to embrace when she’s never learned to trust. Yet in the span of a second, she grabs a single opportunity and runs toward it. Straight into the sanctuary of a pub at the end of a wharf.

She doesn’t understand the concept of friendship. She’s never felt the connection of a relationship.
Kindle Edition, 365 pages
Published July 19th 2016
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  275 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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~Nichole~  Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
Diving back into this series always makes me feel like I'm visiting friends. The characters are vibrant and full of life. Tim was a character that bugged me a little in the previous story because he was a day late and a dollar short and found himself trying to cause drama with Viv and Ike. So that all worked out and it's his turn for a HEA. It took me probably 30% to warm up to Tim since I don't really care for comparisons to my heroines to other women. I had to sort of shake off my own personal ...more
Mindy Lou's Book Review
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Beautiful. That's the one word that immediately comes to mind everytime I finish a Freya Barker novel. I have never read an author who writes about the abuse woman suffer in such a real and raw way and still be so beautifully written. I usually steer clear of tragic stories. I much prefer the fun and happy love stories. There are few authors that I change that rule for and Freya Barker is on the top of that list. I dive head first at any opportunity to read her stories knowing she will make me c ...more
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 01-signed
Throughout the entire Portland, ME series, I’ve found myself completely captivated by the stories that Freya Barker has shared with all of us. Through Fire is an exceptional tale of overcoming the worst circumstances and believing that you are truly worthy of having something beautiful, even if all you’ve ever known is ugly.

We’ve gotten to know Tim now fairly well over the last few books – I sort of already knew he’d be this perfect, protective alpha man who would fall fast and love hard.

Ruby h
Sheri Bishop
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bravo, Freya Barker, bravo!! I can't believe this book. I've read every book you've written and I can honestly say no other heroine and hero has touched my heart like Ruby and Tim. With all Ruby has been through, she is a brave and resilient woman who is afraid to open her heart and trust but does it anyway. She realizes she can't become mired in the past but she needs to move forward and not paint everyone with the same brush. Ruby has become my favorite heroine from your Portland ME series and ...more
Drue DePompei-Hoffman
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I officially have a new author to stalk. The blurb of this book had my inner reader perked right from the get go and the book did not disappoint.

I found my heart breaking and soaring for Ruby. And I really loved the group of friends who stick it out with each other through thick and thin.

I’m headed off now to grab the other books in this series and read them. While this is a series I didn’t have a problem reading it as a stand alone at all.
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Whatever shape or size you come in doesn't change all the beauty that's you.

Sometimes I don't like Pam, particularly when her arguments start to make sense. But most of the time I appreciate her brutal honesty - I just prefer it directed at someone else.

I will spend the rest of my life erasing every single mark, every single touch, every single gaze any other man has ever left on you, until all you can remember is me.

...the strongest bonds are forged by fire. You have my heart, R
~Steph K~
I have to say that this is definitely one of my favorite series. I was wondering who might be next to be written about and Tim and Ruby did not disappoint. While I wasn't sure that Tim would be the right person to see Ruby through what she was going through, that feeling didn't last very long, as I learned how caring and compassionate Tim really was.

What do I love most about this book and series? Well for me, it always feel like I get a story, with real people, who react like most people would i
♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡ the Romance Bibiliophile ♡

I am not sure how Freya Barker is developing her plot ideas but they seem to get more and more intense ( if that is even possible).

The “Portland ME” series is now launching its third book with “Through Fire” and it seems that it will only be getting “worse”

And with worse I do not mean the “bad kind” of worse – I know I am not making much sense #believe me I know. But its really difficult to explain the concept of this series.

Even though they are all standalones and could be read alone – I can on
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well I’m here again Mrs Late as Usual, middle name procrastination.

So late that many reviews have been written for the books in the Portland ME series, some beautifully eloquent and many emotional and descriptive. There is very little I can add, nothing I will say better but here’s the thing, when it’s an author who has given me the hours of pleasure that Freya Barker has, then I kind of have to get the fuck over myself and make an effort (eventually!) whether eloquent or not because reviews he
Sandy Nikolas
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really hard

This story of Ruby and Tim is so hard. They have to go through so much. I really enjoy this author and am still working on her back fill. Freya writes great words with all encompassing story telling.
Once again a beautifully told story by Freya Barker which will tear you up inside as we meet another amazingly strong woman with a cruel and painful past.

This story is yet another difficult but rewarding read as we witness the pain and suffering Ruby has experienced over 30 years at the hands of traffickers. After witnessing the death of her parents at the age of 14, Ruby is taken to be “trained” and prepared for the prostitution rings run by gangs. From there her life ends as she knows it. No
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes you have to struggle through the bad before you can truly enjoy the good stuff."

Through Fire is the 3rd book in the Portland, ME series which I have come to associate with a few specific characteristics: fierce women who have a core of pure steel to survive some pretty ferocious trials in life, alpha males with hearts of gold providing their safe port in the storm, and a group of friends who leave judgment at the door and provide cheerleading support, a shoulder to cry on, a quiet par
Cathy Geha
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Intense, emotional and at times heartbreaking this is a book you will not be able to put down once you pick it up. I should also add that it is heartwarming and provides some smiles in spite of dealing with a disturbing issue the world needs to address – seeing it through Ruby’s eyes is difficult but definitely worth doing.

The Skipper is a pub that has seen at least three women in need come through the doors – and – it has managed to provide support, friendship and love while seeing these

This is the first book I have read by Ms. Barker, and it was such a beautiful and compelling introduction to her work. TF is completely enthralling and held me in its grip from start to finish. It's a story of hope, of redemption, of's a story of love, of overcoming your circumstances, and building a life you deserve.

Although Through Fire is the 3rd book in Freya Barker's Portland ME series, it can be read as a standalone. I have not read the first 2, From Dust and Cruel Water, but
Joanne T
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy mother of God! Seriously, there is no way to sum up this story otherwise. Freya Barker has done it once again – I am completely blown away! I seriously bow down to her superior storytelling and writing skills.

Ruby, our heroine, is broken. There is no other way to describe her, or what she’s endured for nearly thirty years. After months of seeing her at the Skipper, Tim finally opens his eyes and takes notice of the short curvy bartender. He sees through that broken shell to discover a real
Nancy Huddleston
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Where do you start when Through Fire, a Portland, ME, novel, blows you away on so many levels. I became a fan of Freya Barker with her Cedar Tree series. I was hooked and sucked into the lives of the people in From Dust and Cruel Water. Through Fire took me on an unexpected journey of emotional discovery. I needed tissues from page one. The ability to bring a world of cruelty and hopelessness to life. Then to show us that there is a better tomorrow if you just embrace the possibility. Freya Bark ...more
Renee Entress
4.5 star

I was pulled right into this story. The story has laughs, twists & turns, secrets, betrayal, abuse, and heartbreak.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first
From Dust (Portland ME #1)
Cruel Water (Portland ME #2)

This is Ruby and Tim’s story. Ruby has a horrible past and is keeping secrets as she is ashamed. Now her secrets might save another. Can she let the secret out? Will she trust the person reaching out for her? Or will the past make her even m
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Freya Barker does it again with this heart wrenching tale from her "Portland, Maine" series. Be sure to have a box of tissues on hand when reading because you'll need them. Full of heart, hope, pain, anguish, and redemption. This book will grab your heart and throw it in a blender. But, despite the emotional turmoil this book will subject the reader to, you will come out of it feeling restored and hopeful. Some things had to be forged THROUGH FIRE to reveal their true form. Definitely recommend. ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-romance
Freya Barker's Portland series is phenomenal. The main character in this volume, Ruby, is a survivor. She has escaped the unimaginable in this unlikely sanctuary...a pub called the Skipper. Ruby is not his type, but he finds increasingly drawn to this quiet mysterious woman. As always the characters are gritty and genuine, the suspense elements are well conceived and the writing is fantastic. A must read!!
Isabelle Morebooksthanlivros

3.5 stars




Surprising plot; amazing characters; emotional read!!!

Up to the moment I ran, my life had been decided on by others; when to eat, when to sleep, what to wear, how to behave. by Ruby

Ruby is on a path to discovery. She is searching for freedom. She is seeking her inner warrior and is getting ready to fight her own demons. But she isn't looking for love. In fact, man is not on the top of her priorities. How could she love someone, if she doesn't even know how to acce

A Klue
At 40%, I realized I could finish this book, but was no longer sure I wanted to. This author’s writing flowed, even though I’m not a fan of constantly switching back and forth between main characters POV, and I even liked the great supporting cast of characters. I simply felt the heroine’s past of being forced into prostitution at the age of 14, and having been involved in that world, basically treated like a slave, until almost her mid-40’s was more than I wanted to wrap my mind around, especia ...more
Fiction  Vixens Blog
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first time reading anything by Freya Barker ,but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this touching story. Freya Barker has given us a story that will draw us in and keep us there from start to finish, and then will leave us wanting more from this author. This author has such a way of weaving a story, that deals with people and making them feel so real to us. They have histories that just seems to haunt them ,and seems to come back and rears it ugly head from time to time. I love the ...more
Karen Hrdlicka
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A little over a year ago, I read my first book by Freya Barker. As soon as I read the first Cedar Tree book I couldn't read the rest of the series fast enough. Her writing style and realism has made her one of my very favorite writers. Ms. Barker tackles the hard stuff in a manner that reflects not only grace but respect for the topic and her characters. Her characters are beautifully imperfect and real, like people in our real lives. The beauty of her writing is in the care she uses peeling bac ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for me and all are for the story.

Since I discovered Freya Barker's story I am a fan. I like the fact that the plots have a real life situation behind them. I was glad to hear that some people get their HEA in life and maybe in their love life.

This story is as emotional as the others or even more because it involves human trafficking. I am horrified to imagine what some humans can do to little girls and how people in general, women in particular, are exploited, sexually and otherwise.
RelentlessBookChic Ramblings & Reviews
This was my first book by Freya Barker and I have to say it is a hidden gem. I really loved the storyline, the message in the story, the subsidiary characters and the main characters. This earns a solid 4 Stars from me!

I had no idea what I was going into when I started this book, I hadn’t read the synopsis or the previous books in the series but I was almost instantly drawn in from the first page and found myself invested in Ruby’s story. There is a message of survival, second chances, friendshi
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Sadly this one just didn't pull me in like the previous books in this series. I liked Ruby, I felt for all Ruby survived, and she was a rational strong heroine. I liked Tim, I was slightly concerned after some of his behavior in Ike and Viv's book but I ended up adoring him. But I just didn't feel the intensity of them as a couple like I did the other couples. I think that may be due to so many other factors taking away from them. It seemed like every time you "turned" the page they were apart f ...more
Wendy Hodges
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Free copy for an honest review.
This is a great book, the first I have read by this author and I will definitely be reading more by her. Ruby is in her Forties and has spent her life being used and abused since the age of 14, having finally got away she is trying to start her life the way she wants. Reading this story broke my heart, these poor children forced into a life they have no choice over. Human sex trafficking is something that seems to be escalating in real life, authorities have a hard
Aimee Shannon
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Through Fire is the 3rd book in the Portland series written by Freya Barker. Freya has another series, Cedar Tree, which is also excellent. But the Portland series is beyond expectations for any books.

This book deals with a very difficult subject. I'm not going to get into it, as you need to just read the book and be immersed in Freya's world. But, I will say the subject matter is treated with appropriate respect for it's gravity and not lightly brushed aside. As always for me, the star of Freya
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
What would you do if your hope was taken away? How would you survive? Ruby is a survivor and for 20+ years found herself living in hell. When the opportunity presents itself to finally get away, she runs. She is working to build a new life, taken in by Pam at a shelter. With Pam’s guidance she gets a job at a local pub and the owner, Viv, rents her an apartment. For the first time in her life she is able to make her own decisions yet, she still lives with a fear that they will come for her. Tim ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This series is by far one of my favourite series…EVER…and once again the author has blown me away.

Through Fire is a story about an extremely serious subject…and sadly…one that is all too prevalent in today’s times. But this is a story with hope and heart and one that proves that we must always know and believe that we ARE worth more than we think we deserve.

Ruby is a character I loved from the first page. She has been through an experience which is too awful to comprehend. At first vulnerable an
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Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about 'real' people; with characters who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills, and some hot, sizzling sex in their lives.

Recipient of the 2019 Best Book We've Read All Year Award for "Covering Ollie", the 2015 RomCon Reader’s Choice Award

Other books in the series

Portland ME (4 books)
  • From Dust (Portland ME, #1)
  • Cruel Water (Portland ME, #2)
  • Still Air (Portland, ME, #4)