Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

A review copy of this book was provided by St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been a long time since a book has made me emotional enough to actually cry while I read it. Sure, lots of books have made me feel sad and empathize with characters, but very few make me emotional enough to keep thinking about the book long after finishing it. This book packs an emotional punch – and rings especially true to the realities of what being a woman working in a male dominated field can be like. Things You Save in a Fire is much deeper than the contemporary romance it appears to be at the surface: it’s a dark and emotional look at the lasting impacts of trauma and forgiveness.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

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