Cover Image: Consumed


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Member Reviews

I absolutely love JR Ward. Her characters are well written and have depth. I am so looking forward to this new series.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
From the publisher --- 

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.

I have never read the Black Dagger Brotherhood books but I may need to after reading this I may just have to. I was totally engrossed in this book from page one and the story was an easy, quick and totally enjoyable read - I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!
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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.
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Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for giving me an ARC for an honest review! What a fabulous start to a new series by J.R. Ward!!!! From the beginning it was non-stop shocking action. Anne and Danny are the perfect couple - the chemistry between them is flammable!!! I love strong, kick-ass women and Anne definitely fits the bill!!! There is so much to love about this new series including Soot the dog...can't wait for the 2nd book!!!
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ARC Provided from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. 

Strong female lead, with an equally strong alpha male. 
Consumed, rocked me. Suspense, mystery, rediscoverey and just the right amount of romance. 
Consumed is the perfect start to what I'm sure is going to be an awesome series.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster.
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There is a two Part prequel to Consumed: The Wedding From Hell Part 1: The Rehearsal Dinner & The Wedding From Hell Part 2: The Reception. These are free e-books on amazon .com. Part 3 is a preview of Consumed.

Consumed is book one in the Firefighters series. Apparently each book can be read as a standalone. I am assuming that each book will focus on a different firefighter. I was expecting this book to be contemporary romance. But honestly I would not categorize it as a romance. Yes, there is romance in it. But it is so much more than that. There is a mystery that is a big focus of the story. This story is real and raw. And it will show you things about firefighting that are scary.

This book has a bunch of 3rd person POVs. The two main narrators are Anne and Danny, both firefighters. The series is set in New Brunswick, Massachusetts (45 minutes from Boston).

This is my first book by this author. And at first I had a difficult time connecting to all of the 3rd person narrators. Also it was a bit unusual to me that the main characters already knew each other. And that they were both firefighters.

The beginning of this book was so heavy and really scared me. There was a terrible fire and it was horrifying to read about it. And there was one thing that happened that freaked me out so much that I was not sure what type of book I was reading!.

This book was not what I was expecting at all. I am not a fan of multiple 3rd person POVs. It took me some time to get used to this style of storytelling. But I ended up enjoying this book a lot. This book was so much grittier and more intense than I could have imagined. And I really liked that there was a mystery aspect to the story. This part of the story was my favorite.

Most of the mystery is solved in this book. However, there is a part that is left unanswered that I am hoping might get resolved in subsequent books.

Overall, this was a very interesting book. The second half was definitely stronger for me. Especially once the mystery was the main focus of the story. Hopefully we will get to see more of Anne, Danny and the other characters in the next book.
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If there is one author I will drop everything to read… it’s J.R. Ward. I love her work and could not have been more excited to have the opportunity to get my greedy little hands on an advanced copy of her latest series. Pretty sure I squealed a little bit. Out loud. At work. Where there were people. I’m not even sorry.  I went home and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I almost called in sick the next day (reading doesn’t pay the bills and I’m out of sick days or I totally would have). I already want to read it again. Yes, I loved it that much!

The thing you need to remember when you pick up Consumed is that it’s new. It still has that “first in a series” smell. Which is awesome but when you already have a million books out people are going to go in expecting what they are used to. Dedicated readers are creatures of habit and don’t generally like change so you really have to go into this with a new mindset. This. Is. Not. BDB! Repeat that a few times and you should be ok. 

I devoured this book. (Notice that I did NOT say that I “consumed” it because I’m sure that cheesy statement has been well over-used already and I’m a little disappointed in that) Ward had me absolutely hooked from the very beginning with the thrill, danger, terror and heartbreak associated with fighting fires. I am always amazed at how easily a well detailed setting can transport me into a scene and I could almost feel the heat. Part of what I loved most about this book wasn’t the badass, disabled, female firefighter chick (seriously…I LOVED her!), it wasn’t the steamy firefighter guys, it was the fact that this “romance” book focused on so much more. This wasn’t just about Anne and Danny. This was about coming to terms with the realities of a highly dangerous career and how you can overcome it. This was about rebuilding relationships and starting fresh. Most importantly…this was about how important rescue dogs are! Ok, maybe that last one isn’t a major plot point to the story but I still think it’s a pretty big deal. 

I loved the characters. I thought they all had excellent chemistry together and it showed with how well the book flowed. I have decided that I want to work for Anne’s boss. I think he is kind of awesome. The pace was absolutely perfect and I found the length was great for bedtime reading…or, in my case, “I’m not sleeping until this is over but I have to work in the morning” reading. I also found that even though there was a bit of the Alpha male attitude I’ve gotten used to from Ward’s other books, I wasn’t overwhelmed with fictional testosterone on every page and that was a bit refreshing. Not that I mind the “Me Tarzan, me kick your ass for looking at Jane” trait a lot of the men in her books tend to have, but it is refreshing to see it toned down a bit in this case. I don’t think Anne really needs an ALPHA alpha male and I like Danny a little more on the reserved side. 

I could probably gush about this book for hours because I absolutely loved it and can NOT wait for the next installment to come out but I’m going to bring this to a close. Before I go though, I do have to make a point in saying how much I enjoyed Anne’s independence, her “can’t keep me down” outlook on life after the accident and the drive that kept her going above and beyond her call of duty. I also think Danny is just the perfect man in this book. He is pig-headed and stubborn but also willing to compromise, to change his point of view and is willing to be a partner rather than just a protector (chopping wood, anyone?) and that is just the perfect cocktail for a man. It helps that he is smoking hot but that’s just a side note. 

Oh, also, because no book is complete without a good mystery…try as I might I never would have saw that coming…Bravo!!

 I hope all J.R. Ward fans give this book a chance. I know I will reread it and can’t wait to get a copy for my shelves. I think anyone who loves a fast-paced, thrilling mystery with a touch of romance and some sexy scenes (not too many though…not that I ever had any issues with the sexiness) will love this book!

 All the thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a free copy of this book to read and review.
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This story follows Anne, an ex-firefighter trying to make her way in a new career, and Danny a firefighter known for taking risks and being a bit reckless, Anne, a woman consumed, is tracking an arsonist and ends up in a bit over her head. In a dangerous situation, Anne turns to her friend and past love Danny to help her track down the arsonist threatening her life.

The opening scene of this novel just pulls you right in. The reader gets drawn right into what it's like to be a firefighter about to run into the heart of a storm. I think the opening scene and the first few chapters were fantastic and a great way to sink your claws into the reader. The story begins on a high point in my opinion as you end up in the heart of a fire essentially. First you get a bit of a teaser of the dynamic between the two main characters and the next thing you know there's a bit of a situation happening. 

For me this was a fun and entertaining read. I felt that the plot was unique and not overly predictable. If I were to describe the style of the plot of would say its a thriller with some mystery aspects tied in and then some romance added on top. I definitely was not expecting the story to end as it did but feel that it was a fair and solid ending. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance with a thrill.
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Having never read anything by Ward before, I can't say I was salivating for this book but I was interested by the firefighter premise, particularly as we'd have a lady in the role instead of just arm candy for some brawny hero with a big hose, and so I was pretty happy when my 'wish' to review this book was granted by the publisher.

And by 2% (I'm not even kidding) I wanted to DNF.

Somehow I persevered and got through this book but I honestly don't know how. I didn't like a single thing about it; not the characters, the plot, the writing, nada. CONSUMED has a lot on the go, too, so you'd think some part of it would make for a win -- it's a sorta-second chance romance, it's a gritty dark edgy sorta-procedural, it has a Big Bad that may or may not play out in future Firefighters books, and plenty of damaged background characters to step up into the limelight for their own HEA. But holy god the stupid drama was relentless, nothing seemed to flow, I didn't find a single character sympathetic or intelligent or compelling and all the emotional angst was just.. nope.

While I'm usually fairly forgiving when it comes to authors I haven't read before, or for a 'first in a series', sometimes you just know it's not going to work out no matter where things go. And this is not a series I have any interest in continuing.
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I love JR Ward! Amazing author. This book was amazing in terms of context and getting connected with the characters. The downside is that some parts need to be rechecked. In the beginning there's a chapter that ends with her leaving the door unlocked but the next chapter talks about her having to check things more than once. This is also never addressed again in the book. Maybe take it out or add it again somewhere? Also someone needs to do a grammar and spelling check because it is noticeable in a lot of places. Just regular stuff like awkward sentences and misspelled words. Other than that I loved it and I love that JR Ward used a strong female character with a physical disability!!!
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I freely admit that I am a J.R. fan.  I’ve read all of her paranormal work, some of them only twice, some as many as a half dozen times.  So when I saw that this first book in her new series was available on Netgalley, I immediately put in a request and was delighted to receive an ARC.  Of course, this also meant that I had some very high expectations.  Thanks to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing this ARC.
I was well into the story before I really settled in and started to enjoy the read.  Consumed has all the right elements, and is quite obviously an introduction to what is likely going to be a long, on-going series.  The story is full of bold, brash men, strong women, and heart wrenching physical and mental anguish.  There’s crime, unhappy and dysfunctional relationships, budding friendships, betrayals.  Unfortunately, both the plot and Anne and Danny’s story almost get buried underneath all the side talk.
Central to the story is the relationship of Anne and Danny, she an ex-firefighter no longer able to lead the life she loves, he a top-of-the-line fireman who is consumed with guilt and is fighting internal demons.  The couple have history and a friendship that is cut short by a truly awful event.  This is the story of their coming back together as Anne tracks down the person or persons behind what she believes are a series of devastating arson fires.
The story highlights the incredible bravery of the men and woman who risk their lives on a daily basis, and describes vividly some of the situations firefighters must face.   The closeness that grows between team members is easy to see, even hidden as it is underneath constant bickering and an ‘who-cares’ attitude.  Ms. Ward highlights the devastating results of untreated PTSD, which brought an ache to my heart.  The twist at the end of the book was a definite surprise.
I appreciate that this is a “first-in-series” and that Ms. Ward obviously wants her readers to “meet and greet” the characters in this new series.  However, because of this, I found Consumed to be rather crowded, with several sub plots and POVS, which tended to squeeze Anne and Danny’s story into spaces in between.  There is very little that is easy about the story.  For the most part, the characters are angry, hurting, and struggling and Anne is not an easy protagonist to like.  There were times when I just wanted her to stop her mouth and engage her brain.
All in all, my reaction to Consumed is mixed.  Some of it I enjoyed, some I found myself skimming.  I really want to know these characters better and hope to do so as the series progresses.
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