First book in what I hope will be a long series.

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I had not read anything by J.R. Ward before Consumed, but now I know what I have been missing. The story opens with responders speeding to a warehouse fire and takes you through all of the heat and destruction that comes along with this job.

Anne Ashburn, one of the firefighters, makes a bad decision and becomes trapped in a collapse, resulting in the loss of her hand. Unable to continue as a firefighter, she re-trains to become an arson investigator. Looking into another warehouse fire, she discovers a pattern that involves the real estate holdings of a politically connected developer.

While Anne settles into her new position, firefighter Danny Maguire has troubles of his own. It was Danny who saved Anne by severing her hand. While he has feelings for her, he can not get over the act that ended her career. He is now taking more chances, endangering himself and his fellow workers.

Ward gets your adrenaline pumping as she puts you right in the center of the action. Her firefighters know that their lives depend on their fellow workers and the stress takes its toll on her characters. While Anne and Danny’s relationship is on again-off again, there is one relationship that developed through the book that I totally enjoyed. On her first investigation, Anne finds a dog that suffered abuse. Taken in by Anne and named Soot, he goes from fearful of everyone to the office mascot and finally becomes a hero.

This book is the first in Ward’s new series. While it centers on Anne and Danny, it also introduces a number of characters whose stories will follow. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to future volumes in this series.