Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > Chasing Fire

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
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's review
May 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: romance, realistic-fiction, mystery, modern, audio, belton, natural-disaster
Read from May 16 to 31, 2011

I went into this book pretty skeptical. I'm not a fan of the romance genre in the first place because there usually isn't enough action to keep my attention. I chose this book on purpose because the romance had an interesting backdrop of a dangerous profession about which I didn't know much. The scenes fighting the fires were exciting. You could feel the adrenaline pumping and the sense of danger throughout the fight. At the end of each fight, the exhaustion and triumph were also palpable.
And the romance wasn't corny at all. It was well developed. Rowan didn't fight her attraction to Gull unnecessarily for countless pages. She tried to ignore it for a little while, but allowed him to convince her after some fairly decent logic. That and he's hot, smart, and good at his job.
The mystery could have been a bit more well developed. I was starting to suspect who it was long before the characters even got close. The reveal didn't even occur until the last or second to last chapter. Not enough time to wrap things up for me (I wanted another shower scene or something I guess). It just all wrapped up too quickly for me especially with the length of the build up.
Lot's of cursing including liberal and frequent usage of the f-word. Didn't bother me, but would definitely bother people not used to hearing it (switching from YA to adult it was a slight shock at first). There are several sex scenes all of which are between unmarried couples. The couples (at least the ones with on-screen sexy times) are destined for committed relationships. There are discussions of affairs, multiple partners, crude remarks about both men and women as well as mentions of inappropriate gestures. The actual sex scenes could have been more descriptive, but since I was listening to this in my car I was rather glad they weren't (would have been embarrassing to be pulled over or something during anything steamier). I did wonder what (other than probably some form of monthly/daily pill birth control) Rowan was relying on to avoid getting pregnant since they never talked about condoms. Guess condoms aren't sexy or romantic. As for violence, there are two murders (one is an accident maybe), arson on a grand scale, injuries from parachuting accidents, injuries from extreme fire fighting, a bar fight that is pretty epic and shots fired at people. Nothing is described in terribly gory detail, but it is described enough to have emotional impact.


I know that Yangtree's (audio edition so no idea about spelling) accident was tragic and supposed to strike a cord, but other than feeling for Rowan, Gull and the others, I wasn't really affected by it. I guess I didn't get attached to him the way I was to Dobbie, Libby, Janice and Cards. Had it been one of them I would have been sobbing. Was it bad writing, a bad choice of character for a pivotal event or just me missing the impact of the scene? I'm not sure, but it just didn't hit me.
I didn't like the ending. I'm going to contradict my opinion in my review of Graceling, but I just didn't want them to jump to marriage even though I was glad that Rowan did it rather than Gull. They've only known each other a couple of months. They haven't completed the season and found out whether they like each other during off-season yet, and this season was even more dramatic and traumatic than normal.
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Reading Progress

35.0% "I knew this the moment Rowan said she had a rule about not sleeping with other smoke jumpers, but it's even more obvious now that they're going to sleep together. It's just a matter of whether she breaks the rule or something happens that means one of them isn't a smoke jumper any more when they sleep together. I'm hoping for the rule breaking."

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