THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE by Katherine Center

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From the publisher:





“Center gives readers a sharp and witty exploration of love and forgiveness that is at once insightful, entertaining, and thoroughly addictive.”

“An appealing heroine, a compelling love story, a tearjerking twist, and a thoroughly absorbing story. Another winner from Center.”

A spirited, independent heroine meets a smoking-hot fireman in Center’s smart romance… If you enjoyed ‘The Kiss Quotient,’ by Helen Hoang, read Things You Save in a Fire”’

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew―even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all―the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

There is a whole firefighter romance subgenre, but that generally means hot firemen. As in men. And while there are certainly hot firemen here, our heroine is also a firefighter, and she takes her job seriously. Extremely seriously. So when her estranged mother asks us to leave her beloved Austin job and move to Boston for her, Cassie’s first – and second – response is hell no. But then she receives an award for saving a bunch of kids from a school bus and wigs out on the councilman who gives her the award, who manages to grab her ass in the process. Apparently they have history. She flattens him and her options are to apologize or get out. With the help of her female boss, she finds a job near her mother and heads cross country.

The small fire station she joins is Boston Irish, over a hundred years old, and has never had a woman working there. Lots of changes in store for Cassie, and she is on her best behavior. But the other newbie, a rookie they call Rookie, is too hot for even Cassie to ignore. They are pranked and teased mercilessly, just for being new, so there is no way for them to pursue anything romantic or that would be unbearable. But when the Rookie begs her to be his date at his parents’ anniversary party, she caves and that everything they have kept buried comes to the surface.

There is a lot of information on the inner workings of fire stations, both new and old, and it is all presented in a way that is both informative yet completely entertaining. The characters are great, I really loved this feminist firefighter and how she deals with everything thrown at her. Her backstory was really good as well. There are some laugh out loud moments, and enough drama to really keep the pages turning. This is a terrific romance with enough depth to bring these characters to life and get the reader invested in them and their story.

There are lots of starred reviews for this and tons of praise, all of it well deserved. It isn’t often that a book lives up to its hype for me, so shout out to Mary Kay Andrews, who helped bring this book to my attention. Thanks, I loved it!

9/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE by Katherine Center. St. Martin’s Press (August 13, 2019). ISBN 978-1984805386. 336p.



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