jenjn79's Reviews > Chasing Fire

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: author-nora-roberts, format-hardcover, published-2011, 2011, info-full, reviewed, genre-romance-suspense, stars-4, condition-new, bought-target
Recommended to jenjn79 by: favorite author
Read from April 12 to 15, 2011

I know I'm biased because I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan, but it's a rare day that she writes a book that I don't really enjoy. This year's hardcover release, "Chasing Fire," was no exception. I was hooked into this book pretty quick.

Series Note:
No series connections.

Fire season is approaching Missoula, Montana and smoke-jumper Rowan Tripp is returning to base to prepare for the physical demands to come. But this year, coming back isn't as easy after losing her jump partner the year before. Still Rowan knows how to focus on the tasks at hand. And one of those tasks is helping put a cast of rookies through the paces to see who will make the cut an who won't.

One of those rookies is Gulliver Curry, a California hotshot firefighter. Gull is instantly attracted to sexy, independent Rowan. But Rowan has a policy of never getting involved with fellow smoke-jumpers. So Gull will have to work extra hard to work his way in...not that he minds all that much. And when danger rears its head...when someone wants to start blaming Rowan and all the other smoke-jumpers for last year's tragic death...Gull plans to be right there at Rowan's side.

Hmm...where to start my review...

Like all of Nora Robert's recent books, this one takes a certain subject matter and jumps right into it full boar. It's someone NR excels at. She doesn't keep you on the periphery of the subject, she immerses you in it. Some readers don't care for that, and some, like me, enjoy it a great deal. I like to feel like I'm a part of the story and NR knows how to do that. So you really an excellent sense of all the nuances and the ambiance of the situation - the area, the job, the fire, the danger, the camaraderie. It was well done.

Though my one complaint in this area was the lingo...there is a lot of smoke-jumper terminology that I was lost on. I'm not sure if it's because it was explained once I it didn't catch in my head so later on I was confused or if NR just assumed we'd know enough to get it. Either way, there were times when the characters were fighting fires and I wasn't quite sure what exactly they were doing because the terminology lost me. It wasn't quite a minor issue, but nor was it a huge one, just something that could have been better but it didn't ruin the reading of the book for me.

Characters wise...I loved these two characters. Rowan is the epitome of a strong-minded, strong-willed and strong-bodied heroine. She's the kind of character you can look at and say 'I want to be like her.' I enjoyed reading about a heroine who wasn't a stupid whiny twit who worried about her nails. There was just something about Rowan that I really liked.

Then there's Gull...I loved Gull. What a fantastic hero he was. He's such an intriguing mix of Alpha and Beta hero. He's Alpha because he's a fit, bad ass firefighter who can kick some ass in a fight. And he's a beta because he very intelligent, loves to read, spouts off random stuff from books, uses reason like a weapon, and makes spreadsheets to understand things. It was a fascinating mix. You read about him and shake you head wondering, who is this guy and where did he come from? The way he could talk Rowan down when she was in a mood was great. There was nothing about him as a character I didn't like.

These two together had great chemistry. What starts as scratching an itch during a stressful time grows and changes into more as the book progresses. Gull is like the perfect foil for Rowan's hot-headed temper. He knew how to handle all her moods. And Rowan, with her wariness of relationships and commitment, was perfectly suited to Gull's quirky personality and reasonable way of handling her. They made a great pair and some of the dialogue between them was great.

There's also some time spent on a secondary romance between Rowan's father, Lucas, and a woman named Ella. It was sweet to read. I thought Rowan's reaction to the relationship was very natural and not unexpected. Maybe it was a little childish, but it was a very human reaction to a daughter seeing her father, a man who had never dated in her life since her mother ran off, suddenly falling in love.

Now, on the suspense angle of the was an interesting part of the story. I wouldn't say it is one of my favorite suspense plots from NR, but I liked it. Early on, I thought the identity of the bad guy was going to be way to obvious, but I was dead wrong on that count. I had another suspense, but all through the book I was never really sure who the bad guy was going to be...I lean one way or another, but I couldn't pinpoint it down till closer to the end. From a technical standpoint, there's no neon blink sign toward the bad guy, but it isn't too hard to guess.

I liked how the plot progressed, though. It takes a lot of twists and turns that have you trying to figure out how it all ties in together. It's not a high tension/anxiety plot, really, but there's enough tension there to keep you reading. And the resolution at the end is moderately intense and nicely written. So all around, the suspense plot was good, if not great.

My biggest complaint about the book would be that when the book ends, you don't know that outcome of what happened to a secondary character. It's left hanging and that really pissed me off. I had being left wondering what happened. Characters and stuff stick with me, so I want to know. Add to that the lack of an epilogue...which could have given an update on said character...and given the H/H a final scene that wasn't tied in with the big finale, and I had to bump down to 4-stars.

It was good book, though. I definitely liked it a lot and it was worth the hardcover price. For you Nora fans, this book is very much in line with her other recent if you liked them, you'd probably like this one, but if your one of those who is frustrated by the way her hardcover stories have gone over recent years, then you'll probably be frustrated by this book.
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Reading Progress

04/12 page 0
0.0% "New Nora! Yay!! Wish I didn't have to work and could just sit and read all day. Started 4/12/11."
04/12 page 47
10.0% "Good start. I'm digging the main characters and the set up. Now unfortunately I have to got to work and wait to read more till later :("
04/13 page 159
34.0% "I don't know that this will end up an NR fav but I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Rowan is a kick ass heroine."
04/13 page 208
44.0% "Hmm...interesting turn the suspense aspect has taken. Didn't quit expect that. Still enjoying the book I lot. I really like the H/H."
04/15 page 472
100.0% "What do authors have against writing epilogues these days??? Still 4-stars though. Finished 4/15/11."
07/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Amar Great review Isis!! And my thoughts exactly about Gull, where did this guy come from?! Looooved the mix of Alpha and Beta guy!

So I'm drawing a blank here, which secondary character were you left hanging about??

jenjn79 Yangtree...the last you here about him is that he's got a 50/50 chance of survival.

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