Thursday, May 26, 2011

LINE OF FIRE by Jo Davis

Publisher: Signet
Date published: May 2010
ISBN: 978-0451229786
Romantic Suspense
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by: Publisher

They call Tommy Skyler “the kid” but he’s not too keen on the nick name. A Brad Pitt look-a-like, Tommy has lived more life than his youthful looks let on. A painful secret, a lost life among lost lives, Tommy hurts but doesn’t have anyone he can turn to about the worst loss of all. The one ray of hope, of sunshine, is nurse Shea Ford. While he has played the field and dated every kind of girl imaginable, it’s Shea he can’t get out of his mind, or heart.

Shea has her share of secrets too. One so painful it’s kept her away from Tommy. She sees him as the embodiment of every kind of wrong for her. Still, she can’t help but wonder…should she give him a chance. Instead, she hooks up with a staid, predictable and totally mundane guy named Forrest who says all the right things, does all the right things and offers her all the right things–which aren’t the emotional rollercoaster she’d have with Tommy.

And then Tommy is hurt.

Called out to a suspicious building collapse, the men and woman of Station Five head out. It’s Tommy who is lowered several stories to rescue a worker holding on for his life. As Tommy gets to the worker’s side, the terrified man doesn’t listen to Tommy’s words, but reaches out to grab on to him. In a death-defying rescue, Tommy manages to bring both himself and the man safely down. Once down though, he begins to succumb to his own injuries. It is when he is brought into the ER, Shea begins to realize what a truly good man Tommy is.

A bigger problem, however, looms. Someone wants Tommy out of the way–permanently.

LINE OF FIRE is the fourth book in Jo Davis’ sizzling hot Firefighters of Station Five series. I’ve been waiting for Tommy’s’ story because I have a weakness for blond haired, blue eyed guys. Always have and I suspect always will. There’s just something very appealing about him. I liked the way Ms. Davis showed his regrets, his sadness over what was lost to him (or given up for a greater good as the case may be) and how he worked through it toward another goal. I’m not sure I could have been as forgiving as he was, toward the man who almost gets him killed. That’s one of the facets of this multi-level character that makes him particularly appealing.

I understand Shea’s motivations and what she went through with her own losses. How does one overcome the loss of a child? I don’t think anyone ever does. What bothered me about Shea was, she’s a nurse, an ER nurse and yet in each situation where her nursing skills would have come in handy, she becomes a bystander, looking to someone else to come to the rescue and provide medical aid. Even Tommy, who is a firefighter and becoming a paramedic, doesn’t take medical control over a situation until other resources are available.

And, while this will probably make me a most reviled reviewer, I have to wonder if there is an unwritten rule, that every romantic suspense written these days has to have someone with a family member in Iraq or Afghanistan die, not just tragically, but in the most gruesome of circumstances, to make the book viable. In the early 2000’s virtually every romantic suspense had to have someone die, in the September 11 attacks; now it is in the Iraq or Afghanistan actions. I don’t diminish the losses of the families who have had family members killed there, and I certainly do not diminish what the returning service people are experiencing. But in most cases, the inclusions of these deaths, described in particularly brutal detail, do not add to the story. They become drama for the sake of drama and do not move the story along.

That said Ms. Davis writes a particularly chilling ending. One that had me dropping my jaw and going immediately to make sure I have the next book in the series ready to read. It’s going to be a good one.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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