Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was expecting this to be like The Search, which I enjoyed but felt was weighed down by the research. The S&R details in The Search were interesting, but I didn’t need a master class in Sit & Stay 101 before even meeting the hero. It’s obvious an insane amount of research went into Chasing Fire, as well, but it adds flavor and intensity without slowing the story down.
I figured out the “villain” fairly early but, of course, had to read through to the end to make sure I was right. And the hero is charming, funny, smart, tough, very real and a little bit alpha. He doesn’t break new ground, but if you like Nora’s heroes, you’ll like Gull. (A romance hero named Gulliver. Really.) Like with The Search, though, the hero and heroine get together early in the book and have no real, compelling conflict. I think it’s a testament to the author’s amazing storytelling ability that, despite the lack of strong conflict between the characters and an external plot I’d figured out, I was compelled to ignore my to-do list until I’d finished the book yesterday.
What really elevated this book for me was Rowan, the heroine. I’m very hero-centered and very rarely think “Wow, I love this heroine”. I loved Rowan. She was tough without being unbending. In charge without being cold or too abrasive. I loved her relationships with the people around her, other than one scene in which I strongly disliked her reaction to something regarding her father. She was secure in her sexuality, was smart, and had a good sense of humor. I admired and respected her.
As with High Noon, I was occasionally struck by random bits of dialogue that were very “In Death” flavored and didn’t quite ring true coming from these characters, but a little carry-over’s probably to be expected after being the voice of Eve and Roarke for 33 or so titles.
Overall, Nora’s single title romantic suspense novels have been my least favorite of her books (even though I’ve enjoyed them), as I seem to prefer her contemporaries and the In Death series, but this one stands out for me. I definitely recommend it.
Thanks for the review.