Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.
But there’s also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive firefighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan’s blood: her father is a legend in the field. She’s been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.
Fortunately, this year’s rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry’s one of the best. He’s also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kids’ arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas “Iron Man” Tripp, yet he’s instantly more fascinated by his hero’s daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn’t hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn’t make a good case to be an exception to the rule.
Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year’s tragedy. Rowan knows she can’t complicate things with Gull - any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn’t find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.
©2011 Nora Roberts (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I write, I read, I listen
compelling, evocative, Gulliver
I've read a lot of Nora Roberts' novels and many of them blend together for me, which means that they were less than compelling or memorable. Not bad, mind you. Just not exceptional in any way.
A couple of her novels have stood out for me, and this I think is the one that I like best. I certainly admire Roberts' ability to make the perilous world of fire jumpers come into focus. A lot of research went into this, but (and this is the hard part) she never indulges the temptation to simply show off what she learned -- Roberts provides just enough detail to get a real sense of how physically and mentally challenging fire jumping is. I got a good idea of the current technology and how it's used, and maybe most important, I began to understand the mindset and priorities that would drive an otherwise sensible and intelligent human being to jump out of a plane into a raging fire.
The primary romance is exceptionally good. Rowan, a veteran fire jumper, and Gulliver, a rookie. I find I can't resist the urge to use the totally predictable descriptive phrase: they generate tremendous heat.
Rowan tells Gulliver the truth.
The scenes between Rowan and her father were very well done. She realizes that he has been lonely, and that she doesn't want him to be lonely, no matter how much change scares her.
Tremendously interesting, and an alpha-hero who tempers near perfection with a good dose of self-awareness.
I really enjoyed this book - and Rebecca Lowman did an excellent job of the narration. Interesting storyline - and Roberts drew interesting and enjoyable characters. Great mix of mystery/suspense and romance. Totally enjoyable listen, didn't want to stop till the last chapter was complete!
I am a big Nora Roberts fan but have not been thrilled with her last couple of books - this one is excellent. The story was very interesting and learning all about fire jumpers made me appreciate fire fighters even more. This story was very well written with well thought out characters that were fully developed. The narrator did a fantastic job...I will listen to this one again...5 stars!!
I have been waiting for this one to come out and it was definitely worth the wait!! It was a wonderful combination of suspense and romance and I especially enjoyed the double romance that brewed throughout the story. I really enjoyed watching the way the relationship between a father and daughter can change without destroying it and that people need to accept these changes so everyone can be happy. Even old foggies like me need love too. Great job!!!
Reading this gave me a new interesting insight into someone. The very feisty, independent Rowan is a Missoula .smoke Jumper. It follows Nora Roberts formula of happy independent woman meets the man of our dreams. The use em for sex toughness of Rowan as she performs a job that makes most men cringe is coarse, funny and a leader. Gulliver is a green rookie jumper. I used to skydive and relive the thrill of it with her. My spouse fought forest fires. I now have a great respect for the job he did in the years of our marriage. I translated each leg hardening move these dedicated Federal employees do to a personal growth in love of the man with whom I have shared my last 34 years. My own Gull.
I am a huge Nora Roberts fan but this book was just okay. She used a LOT of descriptive imagery for the fire and other scenic sites which when used sparingly is good but was definitely overkill in this book. A lot of foul language...Narrator was okay. Overall book was not a favorite of mine...I should have taken the other reader reviews to heart and saved the credit.
I don't know, I haven't read the print version
I liked most of the characters except the main one. She was childish and hot-tempered and seemed immature for where she has gotten in life. I've known a lot of fire fighters and was surprised at her behavior. I was appalled at her incredible immaturity regarding her dad's relationship. I still liked it overall but if you don't want to hear a lot of detail about firefighting, you won't like it.
I really liked Gull :)
I liked the narrator a lot, actually. She did a good job of distinguishing between voices, she didn't do the overly emotional whining that sometimes narrators do that ruins a story for me.
I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan, and I loved this book. It's right up there at the top of my list of NR favorites. I found the subject of the Missoula Smokejumpers ("Zulies") fascinating and the story was filled with interesting and realistic characters. Roberts did a great job of mixing mystery and romance into the unique and dangerous world of the smokejumpers.
Rowan Tripp is a strong, independent female character, and if her or any of her fellow smokejumpers' language gets a bit colorful at times (as some readers have objected to), it's only when appropriate to the story and, well, they're smokejumpers, not librarians.
Rebecca Rowan is excellent as narrator, and listening to her is part of the reason I enjoyed the book so much. I wasn't sure how I'd like a woman doing so many male voices, but it was no problem. I hope she does more of Nora Roberts' books in the future.
I really wanted to rate this 3 ?? stars ??? the book was entertaining but not my all time favorite Roberts books. The story is about smoke jumpers in Missoula. It centers on 1 woman in the group, Rowan Tripp and her relationship with the hot rookie, Gulliver. There are times I found the female characters rather crass but I guess they needed to be since the jumped out of planes to put fires out. Like many of Roberts books .. there is lot of hot romance and some suspense. For me the mystery person was quite obvious.
I thought Rebecca Lowman did a good job narrating the book but at time could not distinguish 1 character from another ??? especially the male characters
"intersteing and exciting romance"
I've liked all of the Nora Roberts books I've listened to so far . But some are still better than others . This one is one of the better ones, typical of NR, she has reseached a lot of background , this time about smoke jumpers, which makes the exciting story interesting too .
Already a good book by a great author. Has been made more so by wonderful narrator.
"A good holiday listen"
Not the greatest literature ever but a really good deck chair listen - keeps you listening
this book was about 5 hours longer than it needed to be. my least favourite Nora Roberts book so far!
"Poor narration and bad performance"
Story was good BUT it was ruined by the poor narration of the story and bad performance of the characters.
Disappointed with the whole audio book. This is a first for me as I have until now enjoyed very much each of the Nora Roberts audio books.
There was nothing to dislike about this book it was all action of one kind of another, fires, murder and intrigue it is all in this book a really exceptional who did it.
Should have been good, the topic was interesting but lit no sparks for me
The performance was good though
"Loved this !"
One of her best I couldn't put the book down . Thriller and romance in one perfect . Fantastic read . Well done
Really enjoyed this one
Brilliant story line
Great characters , had me hook all the way through. Didn't want it to end
This book kept me interested. It is so detailed and the narrator made it seem real and personal. I felt as if I was right there with the characters. It kept me wanting to sit and listen, leaving my housework all but forgotten. At times I would get a tingle down my back when the fires where being described. A gripping and enjoyable book. I highly recommend this book for easy and exciting listening.
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