Well, friends, I finally finished another ARC that’s been sitting for bit now, that I was somewhat dreading. I’m exhausted from the crazy couple days I had, but its invigorating to be finished with one book and on the verge of starting another. Maybe its just me, but I always feel like finishing a book thats been sitting around waiting for me to finally read it sets me up to be super excited about the next one.
Anyways, Consumed by J. R. Ward has been on my shelf ever since I somewhat mistakenly requested it. I sometimes have this tendency to skim over the synopsis of a novel because I am scared it’ll give too much away. When I was looking over the synopsis of this one, I must have not read into it very much (and the cover was gorgeous and had #1 New York Times Bestselling Author on it) so I went ahead and requested. Much to my chagrin, when the novel came in and I reread the synopsis I realized it was a romance novel, so I put it on my shelf and told myself that I had to read it sometime, but didn’t really want to. Here’s the synopsis from the official website to get a good idea of how this novel sounded super exciting at the time:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.
Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…
By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.
Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.
Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.
Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.
From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.
Basically I saw brotherhood, and fire investigator, and I got hooked, until I realized exactly what else the novel would have. But I buckled down and read it (and I am really really dang proud of that) and here’s my thoughts on it.
Things I didn’t enjoy:
1. Some parts were a little gorier than I was expecting for a romance novel. It almost felt to me like the author was trying to make Anne more manly, more fitting into the ‘boys club’ but feminism doesn’t mean a woman has to enjoy blood and gore. Or maybe I just haven’t read enough of books that mix thriller and romance together. Either way I was really actually shocked by what went down in some of the fires. Since I don’t want to spoil anything for someone who might really enjoy this novel, I’ll just say that if you have a vivid imagination and don’t want to imagine blood, and guts, and murders, (or you’re like me and don’t like the idea of a woman only being a firefighter if she can lift weights and belch with the men) lay off this and pick something else.
2. Some places were much too dramatic. I get it, a fire is a fire. Adrenaline pumping, heart racing. And many of the firefighters might be adrenaline junkies, and the readers definitely want their own hearts racing. But other sections of the novel felt so dramatized. Perhaps I’m just an old cynic at the ripe old age of twenty, but the sections where the couples stare at each other and get hot and gooey really put me off. No one is that sappy. I guess I really should be paying better attention to the synopsis when requesting novels.
3. The grammar/spelling choices frustrated me to no end!!! I know that this is just an ARC, and that some of the mistakes were simply a result of being an unfinished version of the book, but it wasn’t those that annoyed me. I was more bothered by things that were the author’s choice. For example, “Annnnnnnnnnnnnd that was when the next fight started.” was how the author chose to end one of her chapters. Cringe.
Despite all these misgivings, Consumed had two things going for it.
1. Really clever and witty wording – one of the quotes that I absolutely loved from this book: “Her glass was not just half full. It was overflowing with rose-scented denial.” It was descriptions like that that really kept me going in the beginning.
2. Good thriller/ detective plot. I really had no clue what the end of the novel was going to look like. There were a lot of dead ends, and a lot of death threats. I think that if this novel were to have the dramatic romances removed, what would be left behind would be a great shell to start a 5 star thriller. Since that isn’t the case though, I’ll make due with the book I have in my hands now.
Would recommend to: someone who enjoys reading about hot firefighters and romance amidst thrills, or someone who likes dramatic, headstrong characters.
What are some pet peeves you have when you read? Are there genres that you really absolutely dislike?