From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's a total pro at other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie's old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren't exactly thrilled to have a "lady" on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn't seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can't think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping...and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
Katherine Center's Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.
Customer ReviewsSee All
When your past & future collide
Cassie is a 20-something firefighter in Austin, Texas. She has climbed the ranks with her fearless, yet level-headed approach to being a firefighter. Originally destined for medical school, she first became and EMT and then moved on to being a paramedic when she realized how much this suited her personality. She’s tiny but powerful. And her mannerisms make her a perfect fit for the firehouse.
When presented with an award from the city for a heroic effort, she is face to face with someone from her past. Her reaction changes the course of her life. Cassie is confronted with things that she can’t treat the same way she could in the past. What was once easy is now hard. Cassie is forced to learn many lessons about herself and forgiveness along the way.
I didn’t quite know how to categorize this book as I read it. At times it felt like a romance novel, but then it would detour off into contemporary fiction or suspense. It is a book that can’t be simply classified into one genre or another. It is about family and love and life and the wrenches that are often thrown our way just when we think we have it all figured out. It was a great read. I didn’t expect to love it the way I did, or to quite fall in love with Cassie the way I did. Katherine Center made Cassie real not so much with her bravery, but with her more fallible characteristics. In fact, there is a lot of human frailty in this book. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.
Healing and Forgiveness 💙
This was such a beautiful story of forgiveness and healing. Katherine Center truly has a gift for transporting the reader into the story and getting you invested in the characters. I felt so many emotions while reading this book. Some moments were exhilarating, while others were sweet and tender. There were also painful and gut wrenching scenes that left me holding my heart.
Cassie was a fantastic heroine. I loved her drive, tenacity, and confidence. Her struggles to overcome the stigma and prejudices of being a female firefighter only made me root harder for her. Events in her past (that may be a trigger for some) hardened her heart, but I loved how she slowly opened up and began to live again. Her journey to let go of all the anger and forgiving others (and herself) was so powerful. I appreciated that the romantic relationship in the story was just as important as the friendships and familial relationships. Every part was vital in Cassie's journey.
The rookie pretty much left me with a goofy grin on my face every time he was on the page. (The Poo-huahua!!!) I loved his friendship with Cassie and how they each trusted and healed each other. Their chemistry and connection jumped off the page and built up so beautifully and naturally. The supporting cast of characters were also a treat and all of the fire station pranks added some wonderful lighthearted moments. My favorite was probably the ladder and rooftop ;) I also loved getting a glimpse into the inner workings and dynamics of being a firefighter.
I thought the more serious moments were balanced so well with the sweet and silly ones. It made this book unputdownable to me. The epilogue had me smiling ear to ear (even the bittersweet parts) and I cannot wait to read more from Katherine Center!
*Note: There is a bridge novella called The Girl in the Plane that ties this book to How to Walk Away. It is Cassie's POV of the events that open How to Walk Away. Both books can be read as standalones.
*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*