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After the Fire by Kathryn Shay
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After the Fire is the first in the Hidden Cove Firefighters series by Kathryn Shay. I read this because I needed a book with a “fire” theme :)

There are 5 Malvaso siblings – 3 of which are firefighters. The story opens on a massive structure fire where all three are hurt and end up in the hospital. Following the fire, all 3 decide to make changes in their lives – Mitch, the eldest, decides to finally deal with his dysfunctional marriage and rebellious teenage children; Jenn decides to have a baby; and Zach, the bad boy of the family, decides to turn his life around and become a better man.

The book is a good read but slow. You expect the siblings to begin implementing their decisions but it takes a long time to get any of those changes going. The book follows all three siblings – and other characters – so there are a lot of different storylines/romances going on concurrently. That was a different and interesting style.

Rating: 3.5 Stars ( )
  bhabeck | Dec 24, 2016 |
I cannot believe I have never heard of this series before. I could not put this book down and cant wait to read all the rest in this series.

This book is about 3 members of the Malvaso family who work for the fire department. There are 5 siblings total and the other two are in the book but its Mitch, Jen and Zach's story/POV we get in this book. At the beginning of the book many lives are lost in a fire and the three Malvaso siblings who barely made it out alive make a pact they are going to make changes in there lives. The firefighting scenes in the book are very realistic and had me on the edge of my seat more than once.

Mitch, the oldest, has been married for over 20 years to a woman he no longer loves but for the sake of his children he stayed and tried to make it work. His wife is not the most stable person and makes everyone's lives a living hell including the kids. Mitch has alot of guilt over his kids. They both have gotten out of handle behaviorally and he knows he is partly to blame because he hasnt been around much due to his job. It's very evident that he loves his kids and is now trying to be a better parent and that his kids also love him and know that there mother isn't motherly material.

Megan Hale moved to Hidden Cove for a couple reason's after both her father and her husband death's in the line of duty she decides she needs a change and goes back to where her father has a cabin and lots a land on a lake to start something her father was very passionate about and involved in before his death. She wants to start a camp for children and families of police and firemen who have died in the line of duty. She meets Mitch and his kids and in no time Mitch wants in on the Camp. As there have been lots of reviews on this I dont think this is a spoiler but Mitch is married through the whole book and neither Mitch nor Megan will be cheater's. That didnt stop them from falling in love but they stayed true to there morals until Mitch finally got his legal separation. And boy was that a shocker how he was finally able to get that. Even though these two arent able to act on there feelings through most of the book that didnt take anything away from the "romance"

Grady and Jen have been friends since they were 5 years old. They have been there for each other through every divorce and emotional trauma. Not alot was said about Jen's marriages but Grady's ended in horrible tragedy that he just couldnt get over. After having the close call with the fire Jen decides she wants a baby. She is 37 and wants Grady to be the father (via artificial insemination). Grady agrees with having a baby with Jen but his one stipulation is they do it naturally. This was a great friends to lovers romance. There were alot of bumps along the way due to many demons Grady had to put to rest from his past but once that happened..........

Zack had been married and has 2 sons. But Zack's demons made him seek solace in many many affairs while he was married. His wife finally divorced him and was moving on with her life when Zack finally saw the error's of his ways and wanted a second chance but it was to late. He did decide to step up and be a father to his sons but it was heartbreaking to watch Zack constantly have to deal with the repercussion of his past even though he brought it all on himself.

There are two other siblings that have been estranged from these three since childhood. They POV's arent in the book but the conflict comes to a head at the end.

The next book in the series is Zack's where I am hoping he finally gets his HEA.. ( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
After the Fire is an intense gritty account of the lives of the Malvaso family. Out of a family of 5 kids, 3 work out of the same firehouse & have a unique bond. The others, Connie & Paul, have nothing to do with firefighting & have always felt there was a line dividing them from the other 3.

Kathryn Shay's intense research shows through in every area of this book. The fire scenes are gritty & emotional. The characters are complex & well developed. The plot line is realistic but with enough twists to keep you guessing. As with any intense drama, there is foul language & sex scenes but it is easy to skim over that & catch the substance of the plot. This is not your pretty contemporary HEA but is a great book. I loved it! ( )
  Pam50627 | Sep 14, 2016 |
I found this book on Amazon during a free promotion. I mainly downloaded it because of the firefighter aspect. I did not expect the depth that I found.

Shay's portrayal of firefighter life, along with the detailed and real relationships made me feel as if I was watching a show, rather than just reading.

There were some slightly confusing moments and some areas that need a little more review, but over all I am extremely impressed.

I initially wanted to give 4 stars (4.5 but rounded down) how ever, in the almost 24 hours since I finished reading the book I can not stop thinking about the characters and how much I want to read the next book, just so I can get a glimps of them again.

For that, I will round up instead and give a rare 5. ( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
I'm really not sure what compelled me to finish this one. The writing was dry and plagued with info dumps about firefighting. I got totally lost spending equal amounts of time in five characters' heads watching two pairs of them get HEAs and the odd one out get therapy. Not at all interested in the rest of the series. ( )
  Ridley_ | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Book description
Detective Megan Hale has come to Hidden Cove to begin a new life. What she's leaving behind are painful memories--of her father and husband, both policemen killed in the line of duty. What lies ahead for Megan is a dream--to start a summer camp for the orphaned children of firefighters and police officers.

Firefighter Mitch Malvaso vowed to change his life after excaping an inferno--by promising to be a better husband in a marriage-gone-bad. Instead, he finds his newfound peace in Megan's selfless plan, and a deep respect that turns to unspoken love. As they work together on the camp and cross paths in their respective roles as police officer and firefighter, the attraction between them grows; so does the fear that theirs is a love never meant to be--unless they can find the courage to face the past and embrace a passionate future of endless possibilities.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425193047, Mass Market Paperback)

Detective Megan Hale comes to Hidden Cove, leaving behind painful memories of her policeman husband killed in the line of duty. But when she meets fireman Mitch Malvaso, Megan's heart is set ablaze-even if it knows the risks.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Kathryn Shay spent five years riding fire trucks with a large city fire department, eating in their firehouses and interviewing hundreds of America's Bravest. Read the novels that resulted from her intense relationship with firefighters! "Inspiring and emotionally invigorating..a true hero's tale." RT Book Reviews Three firefighters from the Malvaso family are trapped in a burning building and almost lose their lives. After they are rescued, they decide to change the way they've been living. Mitch, the eldest, wants to make some decisions about his dysfunctional marriage and spend more time with his kids. Jenn decides to have a baby--with her best friend, Grady. And Zach, the bad boy of the group, vows to make up for his past sins and become a better man. "This powerful, emotionally realistic book is the first of Shay's new trilogy about the men and women who put their lives on the line every day and how that dedication and commitment affect all those around them. Poignant and compelling, this novel reinforces Shay's well-earned reputation as a first-rate storyteller." Shelley Mosley, American Library Association. "A superb contemporary romance that grabs you in the prologue and won't let go until you've read the final page. Bravo, Ms. Shay!" The Romance Readers Connection… (more)

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