Publisher: Rogue Pheonix Press
Blurb: When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community—even work with the woman who left him four years ago.
Professional sketch artist Abby Denton, still loves Mitch and hopes to regain his trust and respect by working with him. However, she fears when he discovers the truth about their daughter, he will never forgive her.
As they work together, Mitch once again falls in love with Abby, but this time he refuses to let her walk out of his life. Can they rekindle the love that burned between them and uncover the identity of the arsonist before he turns their dreams and the town to ashes?
Review: The cover and the prologue both grabbed my attention .Cover is a sizzler and the prologue is from an anonymous arsonist's view and he is incensed the firefighters don't think much of his fire. He'll show them.
Mitch Chambers is the arson specialist who is going to work with Abby Denton the sketch artist who just happens to be his ex- lover who left him for someone else several years ago. She has a big secret. When she left him, he didn't know she was expecting his baby. She went because she thought he would resent her and the child. After all, that was the reason her father blamed her. Abby still loves Mitch, but he was devastated by her betrayal.
To mix things up even more, Abby's brother Scott works at the fire station and he likes Mitch.
There are several love stories going on among minor characters. The head of the fire department and his wife Millie are having problems dealing with the loss of their daughter and it is affecting their marriage. Scott and Penny, a fire fighter also, have the eye for each other.
There are several areas of conflict in this story. Obviously, the anonymous arsonist is lighting more serious fires each time. He hates the growing relationship between Mitch and Abby. Meyers is a councilman who seems to be constantly confronting Mitch about the slowness of solving the fire problems and he thinks hiring Abby as an arson specialist is a waste of money. When Mitch responds, "She is the answer to our needs. I'll stake my job on it." Meyers has a look of triumph on his face when he responds,"You heard him. If she doesn't solve the case, he's out!"
Another conflict is between Mitch and Abby having to work together; then when Mitch realizes the child is his daughter, the "poo-poo" hits the fan. When she is served papers notifying her of a custody lawsuit, the situation looks hopeless for these star-crossed lovers.
Abby goes to see her father to settle their differences and is shocked to find him thinner and frail looking.
The arsonist is constantly in the story, either expressing his thoughts or phoning Mitch, and showing up at a fund-raiser.
I liked the writing in this story. The details are sometimes very painful; when Millie talks to Hank about losing their daughter and her fear of losing him, I wanted to cry with her. The description of her feelings makes the reader feel the fear and hurt she is going through. Fireman Steve has a big ego and wants to be the best at everything, the center of attention. Comments about him could fit a description of many people we know. Even the men in this story aren't afraid to show and talk about their love for their families. The dialogue was great, sometimes making me laugh and sometimes making me cry, but isn't that like?
I can't think of any thing I didn't like. It was a moving story that kept me turning the pages.
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