The intensity of this book gripped me right from the first chapter. We have the main characters, who are struggling with some pretty major issues, but we also have the stories of some of the secondary characters that are SO GOOD! Eric's interactions with Chad son Declan will melt your heart - he's such a great guy! This is a story of love, loss and new beginnings and if you enjoy characters you can really connect with, you need to read this. I really enjoyed the dual pov and the chance to get in Eric's head was probably my favorite part. The brotherhood between Eric and the other guys from his firehouse felt real. LM is a very descriptive writer and there were some scenes I could hardly breath through! Be ready with the tissues. There were some parts of the story that felt a bit too technical. The conversations on the radio were difficult to follow at times but I'm wondering if that was done to make it feel more realistic?? The ending came on too quickly and I was disappointed at where it ended. I could have easily read three more chapters. Will there be a sequel? Perhaps the stories of some of the other firemen? Overall I give this a 4.5. I definitely will be looking for book 2. (I'm totally obsessed with firefighters now btw)
When Firefighter Eric Freeman adopted the baby he rescued from a fire, he didn’t know he would lose his wife a year later. Charged with caring for his daughter, and grappling with the loss of his childhood sweetheart, Eric falls into a life with little happiness. As a widower, he adapts to the loneliness until he meets Reed Jennison in a counselling session. Can Eric let go of the memories, or will guilt demand he keep his wedding ring on?
Reed has just moved from the Motor City and is looking for a slower pace. Traverse City Michigan offers the perfect venue to settle down until she’s faced with a life altering decision after discovering her long-term boyfriend has been having an affair. Will Reed hand the pieces of her heart to Eric or will she give in to the sadness and leave the small town she’s grown to love?
With the sound of my breath in my ear, and the crackling of the fire ripping into the frame of the house, we jogged in single file along the east side. Following an uneven stone path beside the two-story Victorian, framed on one side by ten-foot cedar shrubs, Chad used the Halligan to pry the crooked gate open. Most of the older homes on this street had smaller setback distances, some less than four feet apart. If the cedar hedge caught, the blaze could spread to the house next door, and possibly to the rest of the street.
Chad glanced up at the hedges as we jogged past, and bumped the icy fronds with his fist.
As we rounded the house, it was as though we’d stepped into another time, another world. The wind was carrying the smoke west, across the street, and the backyard grass, frozen under a thin layer of ice, glistened like a field of diamonds in the light of the moon, the night still and calm. A baby stroller sat abandoned on the stone patio, one of the wheels warped and damaged, and a man’s jean jacket, stiff with ice, lay forgotten across a wooden chair. Cigarette butts littered the patio, and a can intended to catch used filters was overflowing with burnt tips.
Possible ignition source—unattended cigarette.
“Windows,” Chad yelled, his voice muffled through the face mask of the SCBA.
I nodded and scanned the back of the house.
Two windows on C exposure. One was a bedroom. The other was either another bedroom or bathroom. One window at level one. Could be the kitchen. No sign of flame or smoke on this side.
“Rescue one is at a door on C exposure,” Chad scanned the doorway as he talked into the radio. “Permission to enter. Over.”
“Copy that, rescue one. You are clear to enter. Maintain radio contact. Out.”
We crept to the door, sizing it up as we advanced, and Chad stood to the left of the handle. It was solid metal, the jam the same, with no windows we could use to gain entry. Using the flattened end of his bar, Chad shocked the door and it shuddered but held. Gesturing me forward, I placed my bar down and gripped my axe with two hands as I knelt on one knee, ready if he needed more force to pry the door open. He struck the door three more times before the jam loosened enough for him to wedge the hooked end of the Halligan in the space. There was no sign of flame or smoke from the quarter-inch gap, and his teeth clenched when he nodded at me.
“Hit,” he yelled, and I swung and struck the bar with the blunt end of the axe. My arms vibrated with the impact of metal on metal. “Hit,” he cried again, and my arms swelled as I hefted the axe over my shoulder and struck the Halligan on the blunt end. “Hit.” With this strike, the bar sank into the space and stuck. “Drive it!” I took a breath and swung four times without stopping until he yelled, “Stop!”
With one firm heave, the door swung open, the jam a battered mess, and only a trickle of smoke swirled over our heads and into the night sky.
Falling to his knees, Chad laid down on his stomach outside the door and used his flashlight to scan the darkened room beyond. He crawled into the house on his hands and knees and I followed. Blane and Mike stayed on the stone patio, ready to enter at the first sign of distress.
We shuffled into a kitchen, and a preliminary scan revealed the room clear of smoke. A flickering red line rimmed a door across the room, giving life to the fire raging beyond. The fire in the living room was well underway and would have spread to the kitchen if the doorway had been open. Despite this barrier, we had maybe less than two minutes to search the upper level for occupants and get them out safely.
After clearing the kitchen, Chad gestured to the stairwell to the right of the rear door and I followed as he crawled along the linoleum and up the wooden stairs. As we climbed, the sound of an approaching siren grew louder, and blue lights flashed on the wall of the tight stairwell. Chad paused at the top of the stairs, hand held up in a gesture to halt, and pointed to the area of his ear under his helmet.
I paused, body rigid and slick with sweat, when a sound sent a shiver of ice down my spine.
A baby crying.
This is my 2nd book from this author, and I must say, she has a way with words
Thank you to L.M. Kennedy for the opportunity to read this one before the official release. There may be spoilers so read my review of this sweet romance at your own risk. Also, this is an honest review after an emotional roller coaster of a story. This is a story of romance between two characters who've not had an easy time of it in love. A man who's heart has barely healed after over a decade of being alone, spending most of his energy putting a brave front up to raise his young daughter. A woman, betrayed by someone who cared but not enough to be honest with himself or those around him. Brought together by chance, this romance proves that love can blossom under difficult circumstances and after great tragedy. The Firefighters. Just wow. If I didn't appreciate what they do for us before reading this book, I certainly do now. The author is able to describe what at first might seem as the mundane, in such a way, that your attention is captured with no small amount of fascination. Emotion. Again - just wow. My heart was broken midway through. Had to set the book aside for a good cry. Without an obvious spoiler, let me say that there is a point in which the author brings out the big guns and I was absolutely gutted. After were more sad moments, angry moments, life renewed moments that will filled with love... Great book - once again, thanks to L.M. Kennedy for the opportunity to read this before the release
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review. This book was intense in the feels. There was so much going on that made my heart clench but I couldn’t stop reading it. Eric is a firefighter who lost his wife to cancer fourteen years ago. Before her death they struggled with fertility and adopted a little girl that he saved in a fire. He had been raising her on his own while struggling with the guilt of not being able to save his wife. Reed is a therapist who moved from the big city to take over a small practice. She buys a home with her boyfriend and slowly begins to realize things aren’t right in their relationship. They eventually part ways as Reed and Eric begin a friendship. Here’s what I loved about the story: it is very descriptive and realistic of life as a first responder, including the emotional hang ups. The brotherhood that is built is stronger than many other careers will find. What I didn’t like: some of the dialogue was overly formal and the ending was very abrupt. I actually had to keep swiping to make sure I didn’t miss something. I’m wondering it this means it’ll turn into a sequel? I also didn’t particularly care for the infertility/miscarriage story line as it’s something I experience in real life and is a sore topic. All in all this was a very enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it and I’ll be looking forward to reading this author’s work again
LOVED IT!! ** possible spoilers** New found obsession is firefighters!! God the emotions, in parts of this book they were so intense it had my heart racing and tears rolling down my face!! The guilt Eric was feeling written well and didn’t brush over him losing his wife and moving on, the author made it feel real. Reeds feelings too were written great, moving from a large city with the hustle and bustle of city life to a much quieter place doesn’t help reeds feeling of loneliness. The building relationship between reed and Eric builds slowly which felt more life like and I actually enjoyed reading about a guy who wasn’t a big alpha bad guy! He was a normal guy who had known heartbreak and loss The ending snuck up out of nowhere though, so I am hoping *fingers crossed* that there will be more from this author!
This is the first book i’ve read about a firefighter that truly dives into the life of a firefighter, the brotherhood that comes along with it, and how quickly things can go wrong. This story is about two people, Eric and Reed, who have been through some seriously challenging situations in their lives. While their relationship starts off slowly it felt so real, they need each other to heal and you can truly feel that through L.M. Kennedy’s words. While the love story was beautiful; the story is full of sadness, at one point I burst out into tears while reading - when you get to that part you’ll know what i’m talking about. One thing I feel like I should mention is the fact that the ending seemed a bit rushed to me, but that being said, I would 100% read more from this author in the future. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for a deeply moving love story between two people who find it when they need it most.