CONSUMED follows the life of Anne Ashburn following a horrible warehouse fire in which her best friend and one time lover, Danny Maguire, cut off her left hand in order to save her life. It traces their journey through the painful physical recover and even more painful psychological recovery from the PTSD and trauma of the fire.
This is more than the saga of two interconnected individuals trapped in what remains of a moment's tragic events. It is the story of everyone who works at station 499 of the New Brunswick Fire Department. Each firefighter carries within their own pain, trauma, and hurts, suicidal memories of what should have been, what was, and what might have been. For both Anne and Danny the journey involves focusing attention on the pains that originated from family dysfunctions and loss. Anne especially is forced to redefine herself personally in terms of who she is and what her career might be, as well as her legacy as the daughter of the sainted Tom Ashburn, Sr. -- a saint with a tainted halo. Healing only comes for Anne when she gains new insight into her father, her mother, and her brother. Along the way, Anne and Danny begin to redefine who they are with respect to each other as well.
I found this an incredibly engaging book. This is the first book by J. R. Ward that I have read and I was impressed with the amount of research she needed to do in order to make this a gripping and believable account of life as in fire department. As a writer she has my admiration. The first eight chapters were so gripping that I literally could not put the book down. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the book!