Joint review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/04/20/joint-review-the-fireman-who-loved-me-by-jennifer-bernard/
Lou: When I saw this title being spotlighted by Avon last year, I got really excited. The series was based upon Firemen heroes, and to top it off, it would be a contemporary romance. For the most part I enjoyed the hero and heroine in this book. There were some atypical and overused character types such as the bossy, nosy, and interfering Grandmother. But Melissa and Brody’s romance was so sweet, and I really enjoyed their characters so much that I put my annoyance of the Grandmother to one side. Unfortunately, other secondary characters and a weak plot towards the middle and ending of the book ruined my enjoyment, and therefore lowered the grade quite drastically for me.
MinnChica: Despite what May tells me on Twitter, I refuse to let my Firefighter fantasy be ruined. When I first saw this new contemporary romance series featuring firefighter heroes, I was immediately hooked. I, personally, really enjoyed the story. However, it did have a very light and airy feel to it. This would be a great beach read, something fun and not too serious and at times a little over the top, but one that I enjoyed from start to finish, especially the romance between Melissa and Brody. I thought it was fun and engaging from start to finish.
Has: I also felt the same way when I saw the book was available to review. Who could pass up a sexy and fun contemporary that involves firemen. But I totally agree with Lou about the side characters who I felt overshadowed the plot and the romance for me, although the romance between Brody and Melissa was fun and cute and that was the best factor of the book — along with the quirky tone and humour. However, at the halfway point, for me the side characters of Brody and Melissa’s exes reappearing spoiled the story for me and I felt that far too much time was spent on their shenanigans and plots than any development with Melissa and Brody.
Lou: I agree that for some this this book will be a fun read, but for me I often don’t get a lot of humour in books, and unless it’s done in a natural way, I find it very forced. This is what I felt with the humour in this book with the secondary characters, especially the news anchor Ella Joy, who Melissa worked for a producer.. Ella Joy I didn’t get as a character, and I don’t understand why we got snippets of her POV. She was rude, selfish, used people, treated them like crap, and put crudely, wanted to fuck her way to a career in LA. There was so much forced humour with the plot with Ella Joy and the news station that I felt Melissa and Brody’s romance suffered. And for me, the romance and relationship between Brody and Melissa was the strongest point in the book. Melissa and Brody had great character development, and I think their romance was then pushed along by the over the top characters and plot. I soon lost interest in the story, and really wanted to put the book down.
MinnChica: This is probably something we can all agree on: Ella Joy was a first rate beotch. From the first moment she stepped onto the page to the last moment she stepped off, I was not a fan. She was everything Lou said and more. At the same time, I understood what she added for Melissa’s character. It was sad to see Melissa struggle so much in the beginning of the book, and yet as we went on, the more of her character came out, the less she was willing to put up, and the more she really took the reigns of her life and career. When she was ready to give her big story to another news program, I wanted to cheer for Melissa. It was both great and annoying to see her growth: great she actually got there, and annoying it took her so long.
Has: I hated Ella Joy’s character. HATED. I wasn’t sure whether Melissa was frenemies or enemies and I totally got confused by the switches of tone between them. I also felt so much time was spent on that subplot with Ella Joy and with Melissa’s ex boyfriend which really spoiled the book for me because it shifted the tone of the book in a direction I didn’t like. Although I found this subplot was not as random as Brody’s ex who was just as unlikable as Ella, and that concluded way too conveniently. I wished more time was spent on developing the romance with Brody and Melissa instead of the forced obstacles which affected the plot and overall tone of the bool. But I do agree that Melissa standing up for herself at the end and taking control helped to save the book for me because I was this close to DNF.
Lou: I really liked Melissa and Brody as characters, and I was happy to see Melissa progress as a person throughout the novel. The scene in which she basically told everyone to fuck off was brilliant. Brody was the steady responsible fire captain, but his love scenes with Melissa were hot. I just wanted more of Melissa and Brody and less of Ella Joy and the news station. I also thought the subplot with Ryan and Ella Joy was a little weak and seemed forced also. I also hated the ending because it seemed a little frivolous, and I wanted more emotion in the scene between Melissa and her Grandmother. Despite the problems I had with this book, I would read this author again because I feel she has promise. All in all, I give The Fireman Who Loved Me a C.
MinnChica: I really liked the romance between Brody and Melissa. It was silly and a little over-the-top at times, but it was sweet and very sexy at other times. I loved Melissa’s scheming grandmother, despite her somewhat crazy ways. She was always also a little too much at times, but I adored her. She reminded me of my grandmothers. All in all I liked this book. It was definitely a romance book that needs to be read with a fun and joking manner, not to be taken too seriously. A lot of the situations were bigger than life and wilder than normal, but for me it was a fun and relaxing read, something that lifted my spirits with it’s craziness.
I give The Fireman Who Loved Me a B.
Has: I really felt that despite the issues I had with this book, The Fireman Who Loved Me had an engaging voice and a quirky tone and I agree with you all that I will probably will pick another book by this author. However, I felt this would have been a much stronger book, without the annoying side characters and everchanging tone of the plot. But the real gem of the story was the romance between Melissa and Brody, their loves scenes were sizzling as well as the tension and yes they should be wary of any doorways. Fun and zany albeit with flaws.
I give The Fireman Who Loved Me a C.