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Fast Paced and Fun, but the ending pissed me off

Forged in Fire  - Trish McCallan

This review was originally posted on amazon on March 7, 2012:


Spoiler-free plot summary:

Beth Brown is not the kind of woman who is particularly spontaneous, and she's not the sort of woman who attracts badass, hardbodied warriors. Nonetheless, when Beth has a disturbing dream that appears to be coming true, and that includes the hijacking and slaughter of an entire airplane full of passengers, Beth gets into her car and drives to the airport just to assure herself that there isn't anything to worry about. Once she arrives at the gate, she catches the eye of Zane Winter, the above-mentioned badass, hardbodied Navy SEAL warrior.

Zane Winter is one of the men in her dream who has been slaughtered by the hijackers. Zane Winter also has some special abilities of foresight himself, and he knows that something bad is going to happen -- something that he, with the help of Beth, needs to stop. The fact that he is convinced that Beth is his soul mate is supremely inconvenient timing. It's up to Zane to get he and Beth through a day that is steeped in violence and death to the otherside, where he can make her his.


What did I like about this book? Well, it is a fast-paced read. I finished it in about two hours, and it definitely sucked me in and kept me turning the pages. The romance is on the back burner for most of the book, however, because there is alot, and I mean alot, of crazy, violent, kidnapping, terrorist drama in this book. It felt a lot like a season of 24, with a very romantic subplot.

There were two areas that left me disappointed, though. First, this book holds itself out as a paranormal romance. It's not really PNR. The paranormal aspect of the book is extremely limited, and doesn't add much to the plot at all. I would consider this book to be a straight contemporary romance, and the "paranormal" stuff could be removed without losing much of the story. Beth's "dream" does pay a very important part in the book, but it would have been possible for the author to put Beth in the same position of knowledge without having to go through the whole "dream" aspect. Fundamentally, I thought that the paranormal aspects actually weakened the story.

The second thing that I have a major problem with was the ending. This book ended with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, and frankly it made me mad. There is an important character who's life is literally hanging by a thread and that storyline is left unresolved and unanswered. Going back to my 24 analogy, if the book started at 7:00 a.m., Jack Bauer time, it ended at 8:30 p.m. I absolutely hate it when authors do this. In my opinion, this is a cheap, annoying way to ensure that readers will buy your next book. I would've bought the next book anyway, because I liked the story, I enjoyed the characters, and I was sucked in. It wasn't necessary to leave one of the characters in surgery to entice me. And now, because I hate to reward what I consider to be bad behavior, I am considering giving up on the series. Because I have no confidence that she won't do the same thing with the next book, and what's going to happen if she gets bored with the books and decides not to finish them at all.

So, overall, I would've given this book 4 stars. It was a 4 star read for me right up to the end. The ending completely blew it for me.




Since I posted this review, I have not continued with the series. I don't intend to. My irritation at the ending coupled with the delay between finishing the first book and the publication of the second caused me to completely sour on the author and the story.