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Trial By Fire: The Firefighters of Station Five Mass Market Paperback – Aug 5 2008
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"A story that crackles with sensuality and action." -- Linda Castillo
About the Author
Christine Wicker was raised in Oklahoma, Texas, and other parts of the South. Her mother's grandfather was an itinerant Baptist preacher, and her dad's father was a Kentucky coal miner. During her seventeen years at the Dallas Morning News, she was a feature writer, columnist, and religion reporter. She is the author of several books, including the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town That Talks to the Dead.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
TRIAL BY FIRE was a surprisingly great read full of action and suspense, smoking hot love scenes and a complex yet tortured hero. The multi-layered plot kept me guessing throughout and the antagonist was genuinely evil. However the first few chapters are really silly and after having it pounded into my head every few pages just exactly how good looking, muscular, strong and enormous (6'6 240) Howard is and listening to internal dialogue with the words "Shazaaam and Ka-pow" I then had to wipe away the tears of laughter at having his man-bits described as among other things; a divining rod and renegade (there is also mention of Mt St Helen's) before resigning myself to just sitting back and enjoying a complete cheese-fest.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Howard doesn't quite understand the intense attraction he feels for the pretty little blonde the moment he lays eyes on her. Sure, she's beautiful, but that doesn't explain the sudden possessiveness he feels for her before he even learns her name! Still, he is determined to go with the flow and see exactly where this attraction takes them.
But a murdering arsonist has other plans for them, and when it becomes clear that the villain has targeted Howard, he'll do anything to keep Kat safe.
When an ARC of TRIAL BY FIRE landed in my mailbox for review, I had not yet heard of this book nor its author, Jo Davis, but I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis of the story. Who doesn't love a hot (forgive the pun) firefighter as a romance hero? No woman I know, that's for sure!
I began reading it late one Saturday evening, thinking I would read just a few chapters before going to sleep. I didn't stop until I turned the last page at 4:00 AM! I literally could not put this book down.
I'll admit it right up front - I fell for Howard immediately. This man is such a wonderful combination of sweet vulnerability and dominant lover, that he won my heart from the start. I had no problem understanding why Kat would be drawn to him. His childhood trauma made me weep for him, and the strength he has used to become the man he is now despite that troubled past made me admire him. No matter what he has been through, this is still a man who would go into a burning building to save an elderly woman's cat.
I'd be jealous of Kat if I didn't like her so darn much. This schoolteacher is exactly the kind of woman Howard needs, showing him understanding without pity, and bringing a joy and lightness to his life that he has been missing for far too long.
As is wont to happen when a couple has faced a life or death situation, they move quickly through their courtship, not wanting to waste a moment, which affords us readers some rather delicious love scenes without too much delay. And I can tell you this, the love scenes are as smoking hot as the house fires that Howard's stationhouse deals with.
But that isn't all that this story is about. Through it all, Jo Davis weaves an intricate, multi-layered suspense plot. The author lays the puzzle pieces logically throughout the story, and those who are good with a mystery are likely to deduce the end before the big reveal finally happens (I did!) However, the answers aren't too obvious, so there is still some uncertainty as to whether or not the readers' hypothesis will be correct until the author spills all at the end. Whether you guess the twists or not, they are still riveting.
I am happy to report that TRIAL BY FIRE is only the first book in a brand new series by Jo Davis, aptly titled THE FIREFIGHTERS OF STATION FIVE. Of course, this means we are introduced to some very intriguing supporting characters that I am aching to see the sequels for!
For a poignant and steamy romance with a great dose of suspense, be sure to pick up a copy of TRIAL BY FIRE: THE FIREFIGHTERS OF STATION FIVE, BOOK 1 as soon as it hits the bookstores!
**Courtesy of Wild on Books**
Howard is a firefighter. His parents died when he was 4, but before then he was beaten badly by his father. A loving couple then adopted and raised him. Kat is a school teacher picking up mail and checking on the house of a friend who is out of town. A serial killer/arsonist sets the house on fire which is how Kat and Howard meet. They are immediately attracted to each other. The killer repeats his killing and arson, leaving notes for Howard with each crime.
I liked the writing style and the characters. It was fun to read about Kat who was charmingly open and sincere. When Howard called her for the first time to ask her out, he was nervous and said "I was wondering, that is, I thought maybe you'd like to" she answered "Absolutely!" before he could even finish the question.
I did not like the victim theme. I prefer stories with the hero or heroine having some control over the events in their lives. I want them to have some cleverness, smarts, abilities or other skills to fight the bad guys. Throughout this entire story they were helplessly reacting to repeated violence. The only reason they survived was due to luck. I also did not like Howard's action in the final crisis described in Spoiler below.
Story length: 320 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 9. 1 scene includes rear door activity. Total number of sex scene pages: 32. Setting: current day Sugarland (fictional city) and Clarksville, Tennessee. Copyright: 2008. Genre: romantic suspense.
To date I've read one other book by Jo Davis. My 4 star review of "When Alex Was Bad" Copyright 2009 was posted 8-31-09.
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF READING THE BOOK, THEN DO NOT READ BELOW. IT GIVES AWAY SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE STORY.
The bad guy handcuffed the girl to a bed and set fire to the drapes. Howard fights the bad guy and knocks him unconscious. Howard can't find the handcuff key and struggles for some moments to break the headboard to take the girl out of the house. The bad guy regains consciousness, grabs his gun and shoots Howard. This was weak. Howard should have taken the gun not left it near the bad guy. At a minimum Howard could have shot a hole in the wood to get the handcuffs free of the bed. I think the author should have come up with something better.
Katherine McKenna has given up on trying to be the perfect size eight. Striving to be what she isn't is no longer important to Kat, she is content with her curves - until she comes face to face with the fire fighter whose arms she passed out in when he first came on the scene of the fire that she called in. Waking up and looking into the eyes of this magnificent man, Kat knows that she might not be wise but she can't help but wish for something more and so she teases this huge man and seeing his eyes blaze with passion for her makes her yearn for him all the more.
Kat and Howard can't deny their attraction to each other and while they both think their relationship is too good to be true, the passion between them is hot enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. One thing dampens the love they are beginning to feel for each other - it seems an arsonist is on the loose in their small town and that vile fire setter has targeted Howard in his evil schemes.
I had the privilege of meeting Jo Davis last year at a book signing in Texas. When she told me of a new series she was writing concerning fire fighters I kept that thought in my mind and knew without a doubt I had to read and review her first release, Trial by Fire. Talk about combustible. Howard Paxton was a man after my own heart. He was loyal to his friends and loving towards his family. He was good looking and while he knew it, he didn't use it to his advantage. He was tired of one-night stands and was looking for more in a relationship. Those reasons alone endeared him to me but it was his treatment and subsequent love for Kat that made me fall head over heels in love with him. Kat was used to coming up short in the man department. Howard proved to her just how wrong she was. He loved her curves, he loved her personality, and deep down he loved Kat exactly the way she was and to him, she was perfect.
Jo Davis set the trap, baited the hook, and completely reeled me in with Trial by Fire. Heady sexual tension, heart-warming romance, and combustible love scenes just added fuel to the fire and I am now a huge fan of Jo Davis' writing. Trial by Fire is definitely a book worth reading more than once and I have no choice but to Joyfully Recommend Trial by Fire, it was simply outstanding!
reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
TRIAL BY FIRE was a surprisingly great read full of action and suspense, smoking hot love scenes and a complex yet tortured hero. The multi-layered plot kept me guessing throughout and the antagonist was genuinely evil. However the first few chapters are really silly and after having it pounded into my head every few pages just exactly how good looking, muscular, strong and enormous (6'6 240) Howard is and listening to internal dialogue with the words "Shazaaam and Ka-pow" I then had to wipe away the tears of laughter at having his man-bits described as among other things; a divining rod and renegade (there is also mention of Mt St Helen's) before resigning myself to just sitting back and enjoying a complete cheese-fest.
However it's at this point that author Jo Davis confused me by writing a great story with an actual plot. Somehow she's managed a perfect mixture of corny fun with thrilling action and heartbreaking post traumatic stress. It's also obvious that Davis has done her homework here and spent time within a fire hall and with real firefighters because her technical descriptions as well as those of life in the `house' and the feeling of brotherhood among the men are spot on. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kat and Howard and loved the fact that Kat embraced her curves and had no desire to be a size 2. Her struggle to get Howard to open up about his nightmares and abusive past without shutting down and pushing her away were well done and their relationship as a whole was believable.
My only real problem was with Howard's abrupt change in character whenever he got his freak on. Outside of the bedroom he never swears and is a giant teddy bear of a man however get him between the sheets, against a wall or in the hot tub and he turns into a sexual dominant with a nasty mouth.
Thankfully we have also been introduced to the other hard-bodied men of station 5 and I can't wait to read their stories. UNDER FIRE, is next up in this scorching new series. Cheers.