This was my first J.R. Ward book so I had no idea what to expect from this. I had heard good things about her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so I decided to try this book, the first in a series, to see if I liked it and her writing style. She is also a very popular author at my library and I am trying to become more familiar with the authors and genres that fly off our shelves. Overall, I enjoyed the idea of the story but had some issues with the characters and the pace.
I enjoyed the action in the very first chapters and even though I know Anne and Danny would survive, based on the synopsis of the book, I was invested right away in the fire and the potential outcomes. I was very surprised when Anne lost her hand and how Danny was involved so I appreciated that the book had me invested in the characters right away. I also appreciate seeing a character with a disability as the main protagonist in a book. It’s very rare to see that and I was glad that Anne’s character wasn’t treated as a victim and seen as someone who faced a horrible event and survived.
My biggest issue was that I didn’t buy the love story between Anne and Danny. At the very beginning of the book we are told that a flirtation had just turned into something more but that’s it. There are no scenes showing them together that would make me believe they are unrequited lovers as Ward would like us to believe. We are supposed to believe that Anne and Danny love each other yet Danny sleeps with multiple women as a way to escape (clichéd) and Anne doesn’t believe Danny for one second when Moose tells her about some questionable things he may have done. If you are truly in love with someone, I think you would at least spend a few seconds deciding if you can trust them or some random friend that you haven’t seen in months. In fact, the whole of their relationship seems to be spent hurting each other and hiding their true feelings. I really wanted more of an idea as to why they fell in love in the first place.
Ward also decides to throw in a side story line about a suicidal, HIV positive fireman that came out of nowhere and then went nowhere. I didn’t find myself feeling anything for this character because there was no lead up and no back story to why I should. This is the first in a series so I can assume that some of the side characters will eventually get their own book but this particular plot line was not enjoyable and was a waste of the pages it was on.
Overall, this was a book that got me interested within in the first few pages but fizzled out as time went on. I wish the characters had been better written and that the love story was more believable.
Author: J.R. Ward
Rating: 2.5 Stars