Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taking the Heat

Taking the Heat is a romance novel about a woman, Sophie, who is one of New York City's Bravest. I learned in reading that meant she is a firefighter. She meets Liam, a handsome widowed cook and co-owner of Bailey's Irish Pub. Liam's wife died three years previously leaving a grieving husband and two young sons. Liam is attracted to Sophie but he can't seem to deal with the danger she is constantly into with her career. Sophie is unsure about how she will measure up to the perfect and delicate Kitty whom everyone fondly remembers.

The back plot also involves Liam's family – including the fact that his sister is married to the Vice-President. This tends to get into the fantasy realm when she (and her husband) keep showing up with the Secret Service in tow. There is also some discomfort with the other members of the family, particularly the men, and Sophie's job. They honor firefighters but there is little hope that Liam and Sophie will be able to overcome their fears. In addition, all the males seem to have trouble with their significant others. One couple constantly have arguments, one cannot decide to get married as her job with the Secret Service often puts her in harms way, and the third is divorced and dating any red head he can find.

I liked the detailed description of working as a firefighter. Shay had obviously researched the life and profession of firefighting. I learned later on the internet that she spent months following a crew around. In fact, several of her books are about firefighters. The conflict between being a firefighter and having a family was well written. I also appreciated her honest look at being a female in this male-dominated field. The cover picture can in no way be a true representation of what Sophie should look like as she should be very muscled and strong in appearance. The woman on the cover looks like she would be knocked over by a strong wind. Shay repeated emphacizes how hard women in this field have to keep themselves in shape in order to do their job.

What did this book have to do with my faith? The book made me think about how my fears limit me in my life and in my faith. If I wasn't so afraid about taking risks or stepping out of my own comfort zone, I would probably be doing more for the Lord. I am trying to be more brave but I know I fall short in many areas. I speak and write often about other people allowing themselves to chicken out on what God is nudging them to do, yet I am the same kind of coward. Taking the Heat reminds me of taking risks in life, in relationships and in our careers. How much more does God want us to take risks in our lives of faith? I know the blessing would far out weigh the pitfalls. But I am still waiting to take that first step.

I recommend Taking the Heat. I especially liked the "realistic" views of relationships that you don't often find in romance books -- especially for those already married. 

Happy reading!


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