Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Fireman who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard

Captain Brody has been badly burned by his ex-wife. When he orders Ryan, his star fireman, to participate in a bachelor auction, little does he know he’s the one who will lose his heart.

Melissa McGuire is a brainy local news producer trying to get her career back on track. She can’t believe she’s being set up by her grandmother, who bid on a date with a fireman at the auction. She prefers the artsy type, not the tough, commanding , though clearly attractive, fire chief.

And yet, they can’t resist each other, especially once her ambitious news anchor assigns her the “Thanksgiving with the Firefighters” news special. Add in her grandmother’s matchmaking and the combined efforts of Captain Brody’s crew…can Brody help being the first bachelor to succumb to love, and the crazy rollercoaster ride of the Curse?

This book had a lot of potential, but unfortunately,  my most hated of hated instrument of internal conflict between the hero and heroine -- the Big Misunderstanding -- makes its presence known in the final third of the book, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth.  

Melissa McGuire is a news producer who's moved back to San Gabriel from Los Angeles to live with her ailing albeit feisty grandmother, Nelly.  It's Nelly's idea actually to set Melissa up on a date with one of the "Bachelor Firemen."  Nelly's got a lot on her mind, and she doesn't want to have to worry about Melissa's future any longer.  

Captain Harry Brody is not the man Nelly picked for the job, but she thinks he'll do nicely once she sees the sparks pinging between he and her granddaughter.  When Nelly fears all hope is lost, she devises a plan to reunite Brody and Melissa.  

Now, if the book were entirely about Melissa and Brody's chemistry and irritation and eventual romance with one another, I would rate a little higher.  Nelly is a charmer of a secondary character, and while Melissa and her father have issues stemming from Melissa's childhood, we see that he's certainly making an effort to make amends with her.  But plunk down three very unlikeable secondary characters, two in the final third of the book, who are there, I assume, to make Melissa and Brody's respective lives miserable, and that's pushing the limits of my imagination. 

The Fireman Who Loved Me could have been a solid and enjoyable romance.  Sadly, it fell flat for me thanks to secondary characters and of course the Big Misunderstand.   

(A very special thank you to Avon and Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC of The Fireman Who Loved Me.)

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