This was a sweet, feel good story. I really liked the main pairing of two firefighters who fall for each other even though it’s a terrible idea career-wise (especially for the woman). I also loved hearing about life in a fire station — the behind-the-scenes information about the training and the politics (at this at this fictional station near Boston) and the situations they encounter was really interesting.
“That’s the thing I always love best about the human race: How we pick ourselves back up over and over and just keep on going.”
Cassie uproots her entire life to go help her estranged mother, who has begun to lose her vision. This means leaving her tight-knit fire station in Texas, where she’s well-respected and admired, to begin work in Boston at a station that’s a little more…stuck in the old ways. The male firefighters there treat Cassie with respect while holding her at arm’s length and making her VERY aware that she’s the only woman — not letting her carry heavy things, opening doors for her, excluding her (nicely!) from basketball. And the station chief is very set in his ways, despite Cassie’s amazing ability to improve station life through grant writing and safety upgrades.
Cassie starts her job at the same time as another firefighter, known only as “the rookie” for quite a bit of the novel. “He was like a Latino firefighting Ken doll—so bizarrely perfect, he wasn’t even real.” She can’t avoid him, since she’s in charge of training him, and eventually they fall in love (bad idea). It’s a very cute set-up, and I liked both of the characters very much. Cassie’s history with her mother, as well as an assault that occurred when she was a teenager, are explored here as well.