10.18.2018

ARC Review: CONSUMED by J.R. Ward

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

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★★★★☆


It all goes down at Fire Station 499. Through the prequels leading up to Consumed, we learned of Anne and Danny circling each other for the entire two years she's been with the company. An explosive night of passion between the two has Danny more sure than ever that he wants a shot with her and Anne is still resistant to totally giving in to his charms. One job, one fire, changes everything. Between them and for them. One job changes Anne's career trajectory and sets Danny on a path of self-destruction. One job is at the head of a mystery and no one's life will be the same again.

What I wasn't fond of:
🔥 Anne - she was entirely too vile to stomach. She aggravated me to no end and right when I thought there would be a redeeming moment from her, she said something to further piss me off.
... is this the reason Dad cheated on you?
I get being disillusioned by a parent, but to put the blame on her mother, the woman who suffered so horribly, was disgraceful. Luckily she became a better person towards the end, however, most of the book she needed a good throat punch.
🔥 Just Anne.

What I liked:
🔥 The writing - so different from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and yet still so easy to become captivated by.
🔥 Danny, of course. He was the bad boy of Company 499 and although I found him to be pretty immature at times, I loved his heart. He felt everything and his pain absolutely ravaged him. He took unnecessary risks at work and it was all tied to the anguish he felt over the part he played in Anne's dilemma. I loved him for how open he was when it came to being with Anne and how he was immediately trying to protect her even though she wasn't his at the start. He was a hero in every sense of the word and I enjoyed watching him in action.
🔥 The bath scene. Read the book to find out!
🔥 The side stories involving the side characters. Not only did they get their own POVs, they also got some lead time, especially Anne's brother, Tom. I can't wait to read a book about him and from the many hints in this one, that book is definitely going to be told. He carried a huge burden, trying to ensure the safety of all the firefighters in the different houses and having to play the political game. He didn't really have much of a life outside of the job. I'm eager to see how this changes.
🔥 When Tom put Anne in her place. It may not have been at the most appropriate time, but he said exactly what I would have given the chance. "You never will be like me and not because you're a woman. It's because you've got a chip on your shoulder that makes you impossible to reason with or trust on the job." PREACH!!
🔥 The suspenseful storyline that was supposed to be this book's entire premise. Amidst the drama that was Moose and his nightmare of a wife, I was constantly tangling between several feelings - do I laugh, continue to gasp in shock, yell at Anne to realize exactly who the 'bad guy' was, shake Anne so she'll stop being a dolt and give Danny what he needs, sit back and enjoy how everything unravels... Good times.

I don't know who the next book will be about (please be Tom), but I'll definitely be reading it. Ward never disappoints and has left me infatuated with her fleet of heroes determined to fight fires and fall into fiery passion. I'm hoping to see Danny again.

Release: 10.02.2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Multiple POV - 3rd person
Heat: 3
Standalone - Firefighters #1

My reviews of the prequels:

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