To begin, I must say that this was a pleasant read. I read more than 100 pages in half an hour. So I finished this book in like, one weekend.
Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren is the love story of Reyne Oldre and Logan McCabe (and book 6 in the Full Circle series), two people from two worlds who come together in Elk Horn Valley, Montana. They are both firefighters trying to get funding from the same people on different projects, and believe me, it is not love at first sight. After getting to know each other, the two begin to fall into a firestorm of love. Can Reyne face the past and battle the storm going on inside of her?
I had a feeling I would like this story but I knew it wouldn't be anything crazy good. There was nothing about the back-page blurb that really excited me. This book met my expectations, but easily could have been modified.
I recommend this book to young adults interested in Christian romantic fiction.
On the plus side, this book did have me a little attached. It started getting real good toward the climax. It made me smile, it made me cry, it made me think about my own life. Isn't that what a book is supposed to do? I could also relate to the book's protagonist, Reyne, very well. The whole time I was connecting her to Megara from Hercules in my mind: "No chance, no way, I won't say it, no, no!... At least out loud, I won't say I'm in love." I think she and Meg would be a great pair, bonding over being in denial even though both of their guys fell for them at pretty much first sight.
I do have a few complaints, since I think it is obvious "I won't say I'm in love" with this book. These are mainly little things. Let me start with the author's bio.
"Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than fourteen titles, including the novel The Bridge and the children's book God Gave Us You. She divides her time between writing, reading, praying, tending to her two small daughters, hanging out with friends, and finding moments to romance her husband, Tim."
Okay, maybe that's only 'cause I'm a teenager and maybe it's my fault that I was thinking that way. However, could you not, like... phrase that differently? That just sounds kind of... I don't know. Most authors would have just written "lives with her husband in Someplace, Somewhere" but hey, whatever floats your boat.
I felt like the characters weren't very diverse. They all seemed to have different versions of the same personality (with the exception of Reyne) in a way. All the girls sounded the same, all the guys seemed the same. It seemed like if they were all put in the same situation, they would all react the same way.
Now I may sound like I hate prayer or something, but it just seemed a little unrealistic. Like they almost always knew the answers to their prayers the minute they prayed them. And for most people---well, I really can only speak for myself---that's not the case. The answers aren't always clear-cut right then and there.
Another problem I had is that there was like, no one who wasn't a Christian. I'm proud to be one, don't get me wrong, but I would have loved to see someone convert or something. Maybe that happened in the past five books, but I highly doubt it. I would have loved to see someone struggling in their faith a little more than these characters. It would have made it a little more real to me.
I also thought Reyne was a little predictable. Was it me, or was she almost always crying or something? The child's been through a rough time, I'm sure that's just me and my lack of compassion for fictional characters (hence putting my own through Mordor).
I will have to give this one three-and-a-half stars because that is still a passing grade. I give it a low score, but the reason it is high enough to pass (I have a teacher's mindset...) is because it actually is something I would read again and I would even let others borrow it. I liked it, it's just not in my list of favorites.
P.S. Thank you, Waterbrook, for lending this book to me and not tracking me down because it has taken me forever to finish.
Only after I started reading Firestorm did I realize that I read the entire Full Circle series several years ago when it was first published. I didn't really remember the details of the story, though, so it was like reading it for the first time.
After enduring every smoke jumper's worst nightmare, Reyne became a fire researcher and vows to do everything in her power to prevent more deaths. When Logan is awarded the funding for his research projectÃ¢â¬âat the expense of hersÃ¢â¬âshe is furious. As they work together to complete the project, Reyne finds herself opening to this smoke jumper. Will Reyne be able to trust God to protect her heart and keep Logan safe?
Oh, what a great story! There was plenty of action as Reyne, Logan, and others fought fires throughout the summer. I was impressed by Bergren's research of the nature of forest fires and the technical side of fighting them. It really made for a fascinating story. The romance was so sweet, too, and I really empathized with Reyne's fears and desire to overcome them.
For those who have read the earlier books in the series, you'll be excited to reconnect with Beth and Rachel from earlier books. The friendship between the three women was a wonderful storyline too. While much of the book was fairly predictable (not necessarily a bad thing!), I will say there was one super unexpected twist in the book that left me in tears! Without giving anything away, I also liked that Bergren included the novella Sand Castles at the end of the book to close out the saga. It gave closure to a pretty significant loose end. I'm so glad I rediscovered this series! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for my fair and honest review.
When I hear "romance novel" the first thought that comes to my mind is a book filled with raunchy sex, inappropriate relationships, infidelity, etc. This book was not like that at all and I was so thankful!! I personally am more of a murder-mystery/true crime type of gal, and all my "knowledge" of romance novels comes from the 2 others I read years ago, whose titles I shall not mention, but they did not leave a good impression upon me. My mother-in-law on the other hand is obsessed with romance novels and has read some of the previous books by Ms. Bergren and highly recommended them to me, so I figured what the heck I would give them on last try. I am so grateful that I did.
From a Christian point of view the author did a fabulous job of mixing some of the basic elements you would find in a romance novel while still representing her faith in God without coming across as uptight and preachy. I loved the conflicts within the story that kept our heroin, Reyne, and our hero, Logan, discovering each other on new levels and facing life's difficulties together. The romance, intrigue, conflict, sexual temptation and tension, and Christian morals and values were represented well and flowed easily within the plot, making the story believable and easy to fall into. The Characters were well rounded and the author did a wonderful job of developing characters that drew you into their lives and let you feel like you know them beyond there love interest. You also find beautifully written support characters that you fall in love with and they take you on a marvelous journey right along with our heroin and hero as well.
Got you attention yet? Want a little peak inside the story itself? Just keep reading.....
"As a smoke jumper, Reyne Oldre--friend to Rachel Tanner and Beth Morgan (Refuge)--once led a team of courageous firefighters into a blaze that ended in unspeakable tragedy. Now crippled by fear, she conducts fire research from a safe distance, determined not to risk that kind of pain again. But when the flames of love begin to flicker between her and smoke jumper Logan McCabe, Reyne must face the fearsome storms from her past and battle the raging Firestorm that burns in her soul."
Due to more mature situations I would not recommended this book for anyone younger than High-school age and up.
You can read more reviews by me here:http://pirategrl1014.blogspot.com/2012/07/firestorm.html
Firestorm is a great read about a smoke jumper who lived through a horrible experience and although staying in the same field, changed careers to one that was less in-the-midst-of- things and more on the side lines. The book starts out at the scene of a huge fire and immediately grabs your interest. There are actually three story lines; the action/adventure portion would be all the fires that are dealt with during which it is quite exciting to learn how the firefighters respond and deal with all the various factors involved with trying to control a huge forest fire. The second would be the love story portion where the main character, Reyne, reluctantly falls in love with another smoke jumper, Logan, whom she didn't even like when she first met. Reyne has to deal with some ghosts from her past before she can truly give her heart to Logan - her ghosts are not so much people as they are the experience of losing fellow workers to the same profession Logan is great at, loves and doesn't want to give up. The third would be a close friendship between Reyne and three other women and the love and caring that they share through a loss as well. Throughout the books not only does their friendship grow, but so does that of their spouses as they all work together to help each other through a variety of situations.
There is some of everything in this book, action, love and caring. As with most love stories, that portion is a little over the top as far as the devotion of Logan to Reyne, but I very much enjoyed the action and overall flow of the book. Although this is book six in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I have not read the previous five - it appears that the series is in following the changing lives of the characters, not the story.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
For me it's so rare to have a book grab me by the heartstrings so strong that my emotions are complete bond to it like I have found in the latest novel by Lisa Tawn Bergren in Firestorm. When it can make me sigh at just the right moments and cry at the saddest ones, then in my opinion, the writer is truly using her God-given talents. Oh she completely had me in this one every step of the way in the characters lives that she so eloquently created.
In this Full Circle Series, Firestorm is book 6. In never having read any of the previous 5, I was a bit optimistic that I would feel left out. NOT the case at all. This one can be read as a stand alone but I feel after finishing this one, I would DEFINITELY go back and inhale the other 5 to get to know the characters more and because Lisa's writing is so well crafted for the reader.
In Firestorm, we are taken immediately into a fire where our main character, Reyne Oldre is leading a team of women firefighters in a task to help curb what is known as the Oxbow fire. By digging trenches into the fireline, they are hoping that they will create a break to keep the fire from spreading. As they fight to reach the other team in the middle, the winds suddenly change and the fire roars to new heights. Racing for shelter in a nearby meadow, Reyne and her team try to cover themselves with fire retardant tents to help protect themselves from being overcome by the heat and flames. They will have to ride this one out in the mouth of the dragon. When it is all over, Reyne discovers that her team has suffered losses, losses that she will be forever bound to when she loses 4 of her team members.
Now she struggles with that fear from her past as she begins working with a handsome smoke jumper, Logan McCabe. She worries if God will help her deal with the fear of the unknown when she finds herself being drawn into first a friendship and then to a romance with Logan. Knowing the hazards of the job, Reyne wants Logan to opt for a management position to keep him out of the line of fire, but Logan tries to remind Reyne his fate isn't something either of them can control. She must learn to put aside her feelings and learn to trust God in whatever the outcome will be. Along the way, Reyne has to amazing friends, Rachel and Beth who show her through their unconditional love just what God can do in her own life.
I received Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review and LOVED ever single moment of this one. I literally read it in a matter of hours because I simply could not leave either character hanging without knowing how this would end. Lisa keeps the reader challenged in very real-world ways with both of her character so the reader can relate to dealing with worry and fear that you may never see the love of your life again being you both are engaged in a life-or-death job. I think that is where she gains the biggest advantage in hooking her readers. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and now am off to purchase the other 5 books in this series. For those of you that love firefighters, a bit of romance and a great Christian message, then I know you will absolutely be in love with this one as much as I am.