Title: Into the Furnace
Author Name & Publisher: Geonn Cannon (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: November 1, 2015 – 208 pgs
Kelly Lake comes from a family of firefighters, but she still had to prove herself to her brothers and her father before they accepted her as one of their own. On her days off she tends bar at the firehouse hangout across the street and spends time trying to breathe life into a relationship she knows is doomed. Her life is cruising along just fine until the day her squad responds to a horrific arson that will cause her carefully orchestrated balancing act to come falling down around her. The blaze claims the lives of eleven people, half of them children, and the fire department takes the blame.
Kelly soon finds herself at the center of a media firestorm when she inadvertently becomes the poster girl for the incident. The trauma of the fire is compounded by her personal house of cards collapsing. Her relationship begins showing its cracks at the same time long-buried family secrets rear their ugly heads. Attacked from all angles, Kelly starts thinking the only place she’ll be safe is running headlong into the furnace.
Kelly Lake is a brilliant character. The tiny, unapologetic blonde is a kick-ass firefighter and a self-declared predatory bisexual. She has a hot temper, a foul mouth and she can carries 100lbs of kit into burning buildings. Can I please be Kelly when I grow up?
On many levels, this is a simple, familiar story. A character study of a very interesting woman. Within the space of a week, Kelly’s work life, family life and romantic life all implode on her. And this is the story of Kelly making her life work again.
This isn’t exactly a romance, though there is some romance and some sex. I actually love the fact that Kelly doesn’t need a romantic HEA to make everything better. Kelly makes things better for herself – with a little help from her friends.
I loved the detail with which Kelly’s job is explored. I love the camaraderie, the sense of family between the firefighters. I love Kelly’s sense of vocation and her passion for her work. I also enjoyed Kelly’s relationship with Courtney – though I wasn’t convinced by the sex or the attraction between the women.
A refreshing change from the needy women and knights on white chargers of the chick lit and m/f worlds, this is a great book about a strong woman who has made a fascinating life for herself. My only reservation is slightly clunky writing at the start of the story which made it a little difficult to get into. But by 25%, I was thoroughly engrossed.
I really enjoyed this main character. Kelly’s attitude towards life is not only refreshing, but it’s honest. I love how much she enjoyed her job, her sassy attitude towards the misogynists she runs in to and how she has her own family in the co-workers.
Despite Kelly’s life being upended, she is able to pull herself up by her boot straps and start anew. She used her network of friends, her brothers and even her mom, to some degree, to help figure out where she was going to begin again – where she needed to get to in order to continue on her path. Kelly was able to dust herself off, get back on track and even set right a few wrongs.
While this wasn’t a love story, and what love was included was more of a familial love than lovers, I enjoyed how Kelly was able to be herself. Her family life was less than ideal, but it seemed that her brothers were always there for her.
It did seem to end slightly abruptly for me, I was definitely looking for more of a conclusion, but hopefully that means that there will be more to come.
I’ll admit that I jumped at the chance to read this after having nabbed several other books by this author. Geonn’s way of weaving scenarios grabs my attention at its very core and drags me along for the ride. I fell in love with the main character in this book almost right away, finding her strength and drive wonderful. She had a depth and realism that had me rooting for her from the first chapter. The supporting cast of characters were all well developed and entertaining, meshing with her personality perfectly.
My only complaint was the social/personal interactions she had but that is my own issue since I think I go into everything I read expecting some type of romance. If you are interested in romance or some type of romantic connection, this one isn’t for you, there is none to be had. However, the personal battles, growth and development several members of the cast go through make it a wonderful read.