I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– books find me when I need them. And this one is the epitome of that theory.
I recently found myself at an airshow and at that airshow I met a boy (man). And that boy (works for the Blue Angels) wants to be a fighter pilot. But I know all about pilots. Pilots are (more often than not) cocksure garbage. So I was reticent. More on that later…
That being said I love a fighter pilot romance series. I do. I am obsessed with fighter jets and my life is a quest to see just how close I can be to a jet on any given day. Which was what brought me to the Owensboro airshow watching an F22 Raptor take to the skies. The memory of that particular experience is not something that will leave me anytime soon. So when I was scrolling though my kindle and saw “Into the Fire”—a book I’d bought on a whim some weeks ago and saw the Raptor on the cover, I couldn’t resist. I know I would have enjoyed the book prior to my airshow experience, but the “insider” knowledge about the planes the story is centered around made it even better. Not to mention, my Hallmark-esque meetcute with a member of the Blue Angels. I was more than ready for this book. Thus the universe slid it into my lap.
Ellie recently began her job as the Youth Director for Langley Air Force Base. She’s not looking for romance and she’s been warned away from the fighter pilots, so when she meets Captain Kent “Smallville” Clarkson, she’s not keen to start something with him. However, it’s obvious he doesn’t fit the pilot stigma. He’s sweet, but awkward. He has none of the swagger of a fighter jock. So Ellie finds herself falling for him, despite the warnings. While Ellie is trying not to get too involved with Kent, she ends up way too involved in a terrorist plot to sabotage F22 Raptors that has already killed one pilot from the 28th Fighter Squadron and injured another . Kent is forced to make an impossible choice between the safety of the nation and safety of the woman he’d come to love. They’ll be lucky if they all make it out alive.
“It had been like walking a tightrope. Being attentive but not too attentive, calling enough to keep the relationship alive, but not enough to let him know how much she liked him. A terrible tug of war that left her hurt and confused, and always thinking she had done the wrong thing. Been too enthusiastic, too smothering, or too aloof. Ellie had found herself in a hopeless game of “Whoever Cares the Least Wins,” always trying to show that she wasn’t more invested in the relationship than he was. Apparently, Ellie had lost.”
Where was I? Reticent, right? Yes. So when reading this book, I was pulling a lot of parallels between myself and Ellie and fortunately have (so far) been able to draw parallels between that boy(man) and Kent. I love it when you can read a book and say “It’s me. That’s exactly how I feel.” When someone else can put into words what you’re feeling but can’t properly express, it makes you feel so valid. I have a bad habit of writing off romance novels as hollow entertainment, but it is often between those pages where I find a lot of myself and my feelings. This book is no exception. I think I would have found the book relatable had it been about cowboys, or businessmen, or some other profession, but the fact that it was about fighter pilots really brought it home. Plus it gave me another opportunity to “be close” to jets, even if they were fictional and on the page and not in the air.
I would definitely recommend this book–it’s a quick feel good read with a little bit of whodunit. If I’m honest, I would recommend the sequel “Out of The Blue” even more. The story in that one is more intense, even if it requires more suspension of disbelief.
And for clarification purposes I have to mention that the F22 Raptor is not part of the Blue Angels. The Airforce has an F22 demo team similar to the Navy’s Blue Angels demo team that is made up of F18 Super Hornets (and one C130J if you’re getting technical). They just happened to be at the same show.
I selected this book for my “pandemic” BINGO square.