If you are feeling the need for a real-life hero fix, After The Fire is a great book. It is filled with hunky American heroes: firefighters and police officers. The story centers on a family of three firefighters, two brothers and a sister. You first meet them during a particularly devastating fire where they are all injured in some way and 10 of their fellow firefighters are killed. Mitch, Jenn and Zach Malvasco all had a sort of epiphany that day and they all decided to go for what they really wanted in life and to change the things that are wrong in their lives. Jenn wants a baby, Mitch wants out of his marriage to his self centered wife and Zach, well heís been the consummate bad boy, he wants to be a better person and maybe mend a few bridges along the way.
Megan Hale is the drop dead beautiful detective who has just transferred to Hidden Cove from NYC. Her husband, a cop, had been killed in the line of duty several years ago and just in the past few months her father was also gunned down in a drug raid gone bad. Hidden Cove seemed to be a good place to heal her spirit and the chief there was her fatherís best friend. Megan had worked with her dad at a camp for kids and wants to start one in Hidden Cove, especially for the kids of the firefighters that had been killed. She approaches Mitch about the idea and the sparks start to fly between the two of them. Mitch isnít looking for a replacement for his wife, Megan isnít looking either, but they connect in a way they never expected.
This story kept my interest the whole way through. I wanted to know what came next. I wanted to know how everyone was going to work out their problems, and everyone in this story had some issue to resolve. Jenn wasnít married and needed a father for the baby she wanted. Zach had been married and really wanted his ex back and Mitch has to get out of his marriage and has to find a way to keep his kids too. This is as good a contemporary novel as I have ever read. I really liked this book and will be buying the next in the series.
Debbie Olson, December 2003
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