Consumed (Firefighters #1) – J.R. Ward

conum

two star

Genre: Romance 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 416
Release Date: October 2, 2018

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann 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 . . .

Consumed was my first J.R. Ward novel. I didn’t necessarily have high expectations, but I did expect to enjoy it since she’s a fairly prolific writer and the synopsis for Consumed is exciting. Unfortunately, Consumed is a boring story with bland characters that reads like a first draft (I did read an ARC so maybe that will change in the final copy).

The main reason Consumed reads like a first draft is because of the lack of direction in terms of the plot. The synopsis paints the picture of an arson mystery within a romance. I expected Consumed to mirror what Lisa Renee Jones did with If I Were You where the romance is the main focus at the expense of the mystery. Unfortunately, Consumed focuses on everything and anything. There were moments when I wasn’t sure if Anne and Danny were the main characters since Ward spends a lot of time on other characters, presumably to set them up for their own novel in the future.

Throughout Consumed, there are so many pop culture references that never land and always feel out of place. They all feel and had me rolling my eyes or cringing at their ridiculousness.

I rated the novel two stars instead of one because there is a good romantic mystery novel buried under all the useless plot and character development that ultimately goes nowhere. I will definitely not be reading the sequel and I don’t think I’ll read another Ward novel.

 

*** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Have you read Consumed? What did you think?

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