Series: Hidden Cove Firefighters #1
Published by Berkley on November 4, 2003
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Detective Megan Hale comes to Hidden Cove, leaving behind painful memories of her policeman husband killed in the line of duty. But when she meets fireman Mitch Malvaso, Megan's heart is set ablaze-even if it knows the risks.
Free on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo at the time of this review.
I liked After the Fire but some things didn’t work for me. The setting of a fire department was very well done. The author did extensive research and it shows in the details. The back drop of the story is the work with the fires and rescues that happen. The actual scenes at the fire have some details but there is no resolution as to how or why the fires happened. There is also a joint charity project between the fire and police departments.
After the Fire is loosely based around a family of five adult children, the Malvaso family. Their father died as a firefighter when the oldest boy Mitch was sixteen. Three of the five children are now firefighters, two males and one female. They are somehow estranged from their siblings, another male (lawyer) and female (housewife).
It took me a long time to get even somewhat invested in the characters. It may have been the complexity of multiple characters and storylines, so I didn’t get enough of any of them. I need more dialog between characters than just hearing what they think or the details of what they are doing. It also felt like the “good” guys were a little too good to be true and the “bad” guys were a little too bad. The stereotypes were a bit over the top. So I didn’t find any of them very believable or likeable.
As a romance, there were multiple couples. So there are both happy and sad endings, which is completely realistic. After the Fire takes place over a period of several months, not quite a year, so that is enough time for some of the relationships to build, grow or change.
For a freebie, After the Fire is an okay , fairly light read. With so many characters, there is not one relationship in focus. Instead there are many couples; some getting together, some falling apart. So, it is not a fluffy, romantic book but if you enjoy realistic fire-fighting, you might like it.