Thursday, June 21, 2007

Daring Devotion by Elaine Overton

From the back cover:

Nights of passion

Detroit social worker Andrea Chenault has always believed she can live with the fear that every firefighter's wife knows. But as her long-awaited wedding day approaches, she's tormented by secret doubts. Because it's becoming clear that deadly fires are targeting the man she loves beyond all reason.

Days of fear

Calvin Brown is the bravest, strongest man she's ever known, and he's taken her to heights of passion she never knew existed. But as the circle of flames draws ever closer, Andrea wonders if even her overwhelming love for this man is strong enough to survive the terrible thought of a life without him . . .

I just noticed that the description said that Andrea is a social worker. She's actually a nurse. Of course I had to check the back of my book and yep, it's wrong.

I read the excerpt of this book and it sounded really good. The fact that the characters are committed to each other when the book starts makes for good reading.

The book opens up with Cal getting a promotion within his Firehouse. Andrea is having serious doubts about marrying him because she is already dreading the day that she’ll lose him to the fires he fights. As a nurse, she sees more firefighters die than the average person. Overton did a really good job of writing Andrea’s fears. On one hand she was completely in love with Cal. On the other hand, she didn’t think she was strong enough to be a firefighter’s wife. Gotta give the girl props for not turning a blind-eye to her fears. I could feel her inner struggle coming off the pages.

When Cal is injured in a fire after saving the life of a child, everything changes. Not only does it affect his relationship with Andrea, but it also affects his career. He starts having nightmares that he refuses to share with Andrea. He freezes up during a fire when he relives the fire he almost died in. Eventually he is diagnosed with PTSD, but he refuses to accept it.

So as Cal and Andrea get closer to their wedding day, Cal seems to be obsessed with the recent fires in abandoned warehouses while Andrea becomes more and more sure that she will be making a mistake if she marries him.Meanwhile, Cal is convinced that the man starting the fires is one of the guys in his firehouse. This guy is a weirdo who seems to be skulking around where he shouldn’t be. He also resents Cal for the promotion that he felt should be his. This is where the book started falling apart for me. Jeff was described in the beginning of the book as someone who felt he was passed over for a promotion and wanted to make Cal look bad. But later it came up that he had only been with that Firehouse for a few months. Why would he think he deserved the promotion? The way Overton made it sound was that Jeff and Cal were both serious front runners for the job. Then Cal sees him with accelerant, which obviously leads him to believe that Jeff is responsible for the fires. It’s a logical thought. In actuality, Jeff was trying to mess things up around the firehouse so Cal will look bad. Huh. Jeff eventually gets arrested, yada yada yada. As it turns out, the kid that Cal saved in the beginning of the book is the one that has started all the fires. See, this 8 year old kid is a pyromaniac. The way the kid is described in this book doesn’t fit him being a pyro. Cal knows him. There were no signs whatsoever. It's like on page 258 (or whatever it was) the author just decided, "Hey, Marco is going to be a pyro". Oh and what gets me is that it's Cal that figures it out. Like he hadn't just almost ruined a guy's career (whether the guy is stable remains to be seen). Also, the situation with Jeff was never resolved. We get insight on Jeff by reading from his POV, so the fact that there was so resolution made it seem as though part of the book was unfinished.

I also didn't feel that Andrea really faced her fears where Cal was concerned. She decided to take a leap of faith, but it was so sudden that it seemed like a letdown after all the build up from page 1. She doesn't really tell Cal how she feels about him being a firefighter or how she feels about the thought of being married to him. She's just privately hoping that almost dying in a fire will make him quit. After an intense beginning, the last part of the book just seemed rather shallow. I can't think of a better way to describe it. Andrea and Cal then go on to live happily-ever-after. The end.

2.5 out of 5 stars


Holly said...

Meh, so not interested. You ruined me for Firefighter books with those stupid Katheryn Shay books and Deirdre Martin. LOL

Love you.

Lori said...

Oh bummer. I thought for a while there this would be really good, cause I love me some firefighters. But, Holly's right, sounds meh.