I have read a lot of books lately that are really good and that I feel I can wholeheartedly recommend. The Firefighter's New Family is definitely one of those books. It is the second in a series, but stands alone as well. It is a contemporary romance from the Love Inspired line and is packed with emotion.
Ashley Kern and Devon Murphy are brought together when Ashley is injured. Devon comes to her aid and they begin a friendship that grows into more. Devon and Ashley are both parents to young children, and the children have a pivotal role in the book. Sometimes I feel that children can take over a story if the author is not careful. That is not the case with this book. The children are important and Devon must deal with custody issues with his ex-wife, but the central theme of this book is the developing relationship between the two main characters. The children, and their parents' love for them enhances the story.
A relationship between Ashley and Devon could be doomed from the start. Ashley's first husband, a soldier, died in Afghanistan. She can't comprehend putting her heart in danger of losing another love. Falling for a firefighter was not part of her plans. The author does a great job of exploring these characters' feelings and of examining the fear that is stopping Ashley from grabbing hold of love.
I loved Ashley and Devon's heartwarming and inspiring story. Gail Gaymer Martin does an excellent job blending many social issues into Ashley and Devon's story that they struggle with. Ashley whose husband died in the war has trouble dealing with Devon's high risk job as a firefighter. Devon is dealing with being divorced, custody issues and not being told his ex wife is mentally ill. I liked The Firefighter's New Family better than Her Valentine Hero, Ashley's sister Neeley's story because it was filled with many social issues that drew me in making me feel a part of the story. I can't wait for the third book in the Sister series.
It's funny sometimes the way God works. Two neighbors who were meant to be together are finally brought together by a terrible storm. We may never have such a dramatic experience like this in our own lives, but it is amazing how God brings us through the storms in life and if we allow ourselves, we come out on the other end very blessed. That is what I took away from The Firefighter's New Family. While I really enjoyed the story, as I always do, I enjoyed the comforting message that Gail has delivered in such a beautiful way.
One of the things that Gail's books always allow me to do is to really think about God's love for His children. Even when it looks like things will never be good again, God proves to us that it will be and sometimes even better.
I have been reading Gail's books for a few years now and I have been noticing that each book seems to have more depth than the one before. The romance and love stories are always nice, simple stories, but the message is deep and that makes for a terrific combination. Ashley and Devon were such likeable characters, but I really felt like their children stole the show. They made for a nice family with a lot of warmth. I think Gail must love children because they are always so charming her in stories.
If you are looking for a nice, simple love story, The Firefighter's New Family is the book you are looking for. If you want an excellent Christian message that will fill you with the comfort of God's love, this book is also the book you are looking for. I love all of Gail's books and I love to see that her books keep getting better and better. We still have one more book in this series and I can't wait to read it. I can't wait to see new love blossom and to see more of God's love in action.
The single mom storyline has been done, a lot. In "The Firefighter's New Family" (January 2014) we get a single mom and a single dad, which means twice the kids running through the story. But Gail Gaymer Martin took a familiar plot and made it fresh and fun. I read all of Gail's books and this one is not only one of my favorite GGM books but it's one of my favorite Love Inspired titles.
The characters take this book from a typical to top book. They're the kind that you're thinking about long after you put the book down.
Devon is a full-time firefighter and part-time dad. He's a hero to his community but can he be his daughter Kaylee's hero when she needs him the most?
Devon won my heart with his internal struggles and his external actions. He's not a cookie cutter hero.
I also appreciated that unlike most single parents in Christian romances, Devon has an ex-spouse who is still alive. The way Devon and Ashley interact with her helped me respect them even more.
When I first met Ashley in her sister Neely's book, "Her Valentine Hero" (February 2013), I really didn't like her very much. Ashley was fragile and kind of selfish as she struggled with the death of her husband, being a widow at a young age, and raising her son Joey without a father figure.
By the time we meet Ashley again in this book she has healed some and has found her faith and her backbone. Ashley's kind, dependable, coolheaded, and the kind of friend most would love to have.
While Ashely is eager to be Devon's friend she's reluctant to love him. She can accept almost anything about him, except his job. She lost her first husband to duty and honor and she's dtermined not go put herself or her son in that position again.
Devon and Ashley don't experience a lot of fireworks in their relationship but there are a lot of obstacles that could blow up their budding romance. I enjoyed the respect and friendship that grows between the two as they both come to the place where they can trust and love again.
The kids, Joey and Kaylee, really are cute. I didn't skip their scenes as I sometimes do in these types of books. They sound and act like real kids and I'd actually like to hang out with them. Kaylee's honest questions made me want to hug her.
It was nice to catch up with Neeley and Jon and Ashley's (from "Her Valentine Hero.")
This is a stand alone book but it's worth getting Ashley's back story and finding out how Neeley won her happily ever after.
Buy this book and share it with a friend or donate it to a library. It's too good to keep to yourself.
*I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A tornado brings Devon into Ashley's life. Joey, her young son finds safety in Devon. Ashley had a tree fall on her causing her to have surgery on her leg.
She only lives 3 houses down from Devon. So Devon helps her out as much as he can. Since I have a knee replacement and ankle fusion, I know how hard it is to maneuver with a cast. It is a struggle.
Then their is Kaylee, Devon' daughter, product of his ex-wife and she is bipolar. Devon had no idea of her condition when he married her. My daughter has a friend who is bipolar and description is very real. It is hard sometimes.
Kaylee is one year older than Joey (or a few months anyway).
Ashley had lost her first husband as he was killed in war. So she had issues where Devon's job was concerned.
Life is never a guarantee. And as Gail wrote in story it is like a puzzle at times.
Romance wins out. Kaylee gets to live full time with her Dad and visit her Mom. Custody issues are always hard on a family.