Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Chasing Fire

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood: her father is a legend in the field. She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.

Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best. He's also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kid's arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas "Iron Man" Tripp, yet he's instantly more fascinated by his hero's daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn't hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn't make a good case to be an exception to the rule.

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year's tragedy. Rowan knows she can't complicate things with Gull - any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn't find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.

My Thoughts:  Rowan has grown up with fire.  Her father was a fire jumper and now she jumps fires as well.  Last year, Rowan lost her jump partner.  She still has nightmares and thinks about him often but she comes back to jump fires again. 

Rowan meets Gull, one of the new recruits.  She has an instant attraction to him but has a strong rule never to get involved with anyone that she jumps with.  Gull, however, will not take no for an answer and continues to pursue Rowan. 

Then funny things start happening at the post.  The ready room gets trashed, equipment is not working right.  While jumping a fire, Rowan finds a body and things start to get dicey.  The last thing you want when fighting a raging fire is defective equipment or not being able to trust the ones you are with.  This is now what Rowan has to deal with.

I didn't know a lot about fire jumping but Nora Roberts did a great job explaining everything.  I almost wanted to go skydiving to see what the experience was really like after reading Roberts' descriptions of it.  Almost...but not quite.  Yep, I'm a chicken!  While Rowan and Gull were in the middle of a fire you could feel the heat and smell the smoke.  You could see the blackened areas where the fire has consumed everything and yet you could see the meadow of lupines on the other side where the fire didn't touch anything.

The mystery was good but not as suspenseful as some of Roberts' other books.  It wasn't a super huge part of the story.  The story mostly revolved around the jumps, Rowan and Gull's relationship and Rowan's father, Luke's relationship with his new girlfriend.

I thought Rowan was a strong, stubborn and brave character.  I thought she acted pretty childish when Lucas told her about his new relationship.  After all, she was a 20-something or 30-something woman who didn't even live at home all the time with her father and she expects him to not live his own life.  I was irritated then but she got over it.

All in all, it was a fast read with some good romance, great action and a little bit of mystery and suspense added in!

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