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REVIEW: Blaze by JoAnn Ross

Dear Ms. Ross:

BlazeI know that you have a number of fans and huge body of work. For some reason, I can’t recall ever reading you before. I bought your book because it was a story that someone recommended featuring southern gentleman. I had just finished a reread of Carnal Innocence was jonesing for a Tucker Longstreet redux. Your book does not feature a southern gentleman. The hero is a cocky, know it all, cowboy from Wyoming. Sheesh. Unless Wyoming has moved since I last looked, I thought it was more in the North West part of this country rather than the SOUTH.

Anyway. It's a short book and it really shows. The story opens with a lot of promise. The first four chapters are the best part of the story. They are devoted to Tess, a female firefighter, and Danny, her childhood love and fiancà©, who is also a firefighter. Since Danny isn't the hero, it is obvious what happens when Tess and Danny are called to a 3 alarm fire.

Danny is a rescue man –" the part of the firefighting team that goes in right away to save people. He's brave but not stupid. He recognizes that he has to call for help and does. He tries to save himself by crawling toward safety but when he reaches the stairs, they are gone. Ultimately, he dies but is able to tell Tess how much he loves her and how she made his life worthwhile over the walkie talkie. I get almost teary writing this part up.

From there, however, the story goes downhill. Gage, boot stomping, hip swaggering Wyoming cowboy shows up to investigate a fire. Here is one major inconsistency that made no sense at all and was never explained. Gage is on a leave of absence from the ATF but is allowed to participate in an investigation at every step of the way. He is at the crime scene. He is questioning witnesses. What right does he have to investigate a fire over which he has no jurisdiction? Make up an excuse but please explain this away. Even a luddite such as I know that certain procedures must be followed else evidence is considered to be tainted.

The book devolves into a sex romp between Tess and Gage and after about three days, they put aside their personal demons and are now desparately in love. PUHLEEASE. The love story between Tess and Daniel McGhee in the first four chapters was more touching than the rest of the book put together.

There were plot holes so big that Temeraire could have fallen in, there was no believability in the love story, the villian was an idiotic choice and all combined made this book a Huge disappointment (not to mention that this book was only 700 pages on my ebook reader which means it must have had HUGE whitespace in a regular mass market). You get a C- and promise from me to not read anymore of your books.

Best regards,


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

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