In this series Bella Andre tells the stories of a team of Hot Shot Forest Firefighters. The first book features the captain and then the successive books feature members of his team. During the first book one of the team, Connor, is badly injured during one of the forest fires and it is his story that is featured in book three.
Connor is a very injured character. Badly burned by the forest fire, he has been working extremely hard to regain his ability to function and hopefully making it back to Hot Shot active duty. This knowledge that he may be denied a place back on the team causes his wounds to go much deeper then just the physical, fueling anger and a sense of loss as the ability to have his dream career is threatened. It is in this state of mind that he escapes to his grandparents cabin to await the news of if he will be allowed to return to his job. His goal was to work on the cabin for the summer in an effort to stay busy while waiting for news and hopefully passing the time quicker. But upon arriving he finds that his grandparents have rented out the cabin to Ginger Sinclair. She is also running from her own demons. Recently divorced and determined to find herself she is on a journey of self-discovery and determined to embrace life. Given the towns limited resources and the cabins desperate need for repairs she reluctantly lets him move in.
The plot from here is pretty predictable so I won’t go on and on about it. But what is magical about this story is the emotional journey of healing that both characters go through. They are both struggling with completely different emotional wounds but they both manage to pull each other back from the edge. In thinking through the book, they definitely have some pretty unhealthy coping techniques and the book has some pretty rocky scenes due to the intense emotions they are both dealing with. But the huge hill that both characters need to climb couldn’t be overcome without them. For me this was a story of how love in real life is a journey. Love is wonderful and magical but not always perfect, as some books would have us believe. It takes work, trust and commitment to make the real Happily Ever After happen. Anything less then that is just a tale better left for a Disney movie. This story gets to the heart of what it takes to tear down the walls of the past and build something new and great together. It gives hope that the “happily ever after” is really possible and that the real bone deep true love is possible even for the most broken person. This is a beautiful story of rebirth and true ever-lasting love.
Although this isn’t the typical “Happy” Valentine’s read I hope that it inspires you to take the time either read this one or look into some of Bella Andre’s other works which aren’t quite as intense but equally magical. Please join us all week as we each in turn give props to the books that have moved us and make us think of the ultimate love.
Happy Valentine’s Week!