Book Review: Nora Roberts’ Chasing Fire

Posted August 30, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Nora Roberts’ Chasing Fire

Nora Robert


Nora Roberts

in Hardcover edition that was published by Penguin on April 12, 2011 and has 472 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Irish Hearts, Montana Sky, Carnal Innocence, Playing the Odds, Second Nature, One Summer, Serena * Caine, Daniel * Ian, Rebellion, Alan * Grant, The Witness, The Search, Time and Again, Shadow Spell, Blood Magick, The Next Always, The Last Boyfriend, The Perfect Hope, Irish Rebel

A standalone story about forestry firefighters who jump into the midst of a forest fire to turn it back on itself. The couple focus is on Rowan Tripp and Gulliver Curry.

My Take

Oh, I did enjoy this! Yes, Roberts did romanticize the work of a smoke jumper but she also did excellent work of conveying the work of being a smoke jumper. The toll it takes on the body. The summer lifestyle as well as the emotional hardships. The passion for tackling such a difficult and dangerous job with an inside look behind the scene.

It started off beautifully with the cracks and jibes as the returning team rips off each other and throughout the season — y’all can just feel the love and laugh along with them.

Roberts created a lovely group of unique characters with positive interactions and a strong protective instinct for each other. One would have expected that when Roberts inserted the doubts about fellow teammates, it would have been more devastating. Instead, it’s simply a dip of doubt without enough time for it to sink in and play with our minds.

The primary story is of the drive, the passion, the life they lead as the men and women wait for the next fire to break out. The strategy of fighting the fire, predicting where she’ll turn and advance, planning how to use your people to best effect whether it’s in the firefight itself or simply prepping for the next one. This particular group is based in Missoula, Montana — the Zulies.

The jab in the story is Jim Brayner. Last season he died when his chute veered off into a burning tree. It’s not until this season that evidence appears that Jim may not have been “right”. Then it’s harassment, assault, and murders.

The romance is in Gull’s pursuit of Rowan as well as Iron Man’s descent into love.

The Story

Fire jumping is the thrill for Rowan Tripp. It’s in her blood, thanks to her dad, a legend in the field. The only negative is the memory of the partner she lost last year. A loss that only firms up her rule to never hook up with a fellow smoke jumper.

It’s a confident rookie who is looking to change her mind, and dark events will come to his aid.

The Characters

A confident, intelligent Rowan “Swede” Tripp loves her life. She really comes alive during firefighting season while working as a personal trainer and yoga instructor in the winter. She only has one rule in the summer — don’t date a member of her team.

Lucas “Iron Man” Tripp is famous in his field. Retired now, he gives lessons in parachuting and giving plane rides intent upon building something for Rowan when she finally retires from the field. Ella Frazier, a high school principal, is proving to be his savior and making Ro’ angrier than a roused hornet.

The romantic Gulliver Curry is a firefighter who’s decided he wants to try his hand at smoke jumping. A good man to have at your side, in the winter, he works at a kids’ arcade. Gull has no rules as Rowan soon learns.

The experienced men are Cards who fell in love, Trigger Gulch with his passion for cowboy boots, Matt Brayner, Jim’s brother, Janis “Elf” Petrie, Yangtree, Southern, and Gibbons while the new rookies (besides Gull) include “Chainsaw” Stovic, Dobie Karstain, a redneck from Kentucky, and Libby, a ski instructor with Michael “L.B.” Little Bear as the base manager.

Dolly Brakeman and her parents play a role: Dolly as the momma who starts up the ruckus and her parents who add color and confusion. Reverend Latterly has his own excuses to come up with.

The Cover and Title

The orange-toned cover is excellent. The impression of a forest stretching for miles. On fire with a plane dropping smoke jumpers into it.

The title is a fire jumper’s passion, Chasing Fire and winning the battle.