Lieutenant Jackson Donovan is a firefighter in Ft. Lauderdale who encounters a resident in a building that’s fast being consumed with smoke. She’s reluctant to be rescued because she’s trying to save her own business equipment. Becks Benning is a tattoo artist and just can’t afford to have her tools go up in smoke, literally. When the smoke clears, she’s stunned to see who just rescued her…years ago her 12-year old self had a major crush on Jackson. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember her at all.
This story turned out to be much more than I’d expected, in a very, very good way. I only selected the audiobook because of my history with the author and I couldn’t be happier for the surprise. Jackson is one of three boys who were rescued from a burning house by Josh Donovan. They were homeless boys not related by blood but by their circumstances. That firefighter adopted them and all of the boys are now firefighters. There was so much devoted to insights about the realities of homeless children on their own in the streets, opting to live there instead of staying in the foster care system.
Then there’s the developing relationship between Jackson and Becks. She’s embraced her past, which includes a lot of lows with the highs and Jackson was one of them. He, however, has chosen to focus only on his life that began when he was rescued by his father. It’s closed him off somewhat, disconnecting emotionally from most things. Of course that gets in their way and the path to his own rescue was well crafted.
I enjoyed everything about this story, including Becks profession. I don’t pretend to understand the fascination with body ink but I got much closer, really appreciating what it has come to represent in terms of personal expression. It’s really defined well through the character. This series also finely portrays alternative family structures, so much so that I was wistful about not having opted to foster older children. I learned so much here and got to enjoy a wonderful romance. And, the narrator delivered a good performance, especially with Becks, though I wasn’t crazy about her interpretation of Jackson. It wasn’t bad, just a bit exaggerated. Otherwise, I was very happy with my choice to listen to this story. I’m excited about the prospects of the two stories to come.
- Release Date: May 7, 2019
- Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
- Narrator: Lynn Barrington
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 40 minutes
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
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(Thanks to Tantor Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)