Geri’s Review: Consumed by JR Ward

CONSUMED
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: JR Ward
Release Date: October 2, 2018

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 

This book has a lot of the elements I usually go gaga for. It has a competent but prickly stubborn heroine, a compelling but flawed hero, and a cast of interesting secondary characters. Unfortunately, it failed to capture my attention. I found myself struggling to finish each chapter that I wish I just DNF’d it. But this was a JR Ward book! So I kept reading, hoping that things will turn around but it didn’t happen. And so here we are.

So why did I struggle with this? I can give you three reasons why.

One. The slow-moving plot. And when I say slow, I meant SLOOOOWW. Not just the romantic element, which I’ll go into later, I’m talking here the overall plot. It was drawn out and bloated and it finished the same way. And the suspense element that was promised in the blurb didn’t materialize until after way past 50% in the book.

If you guys don’t know yet, there are two prequel novellas that were released for free prior this book. It pretty much sets up the events in this book and it gives readers an idea of why Danny and Anne’s relationship is the way it is in this book. After reading the prequels, I had assumed that since much of their past were already set up, this book would pick up the threads of their story and run with it.

Uhhh, that’s not exactly what happened because instead of running with it, this book walked… okay, that’s not exactly right, it’s more like crawled. In circles. Twice. To get to the point.

And what is the point? I’m still not quite sure really because even the resolution was meh. By the time, Anne and Danny got their act together, I was over it. I was over their romance. I was over the whole thing. I just didn’t really care anymore. Which brings us to my second point.

Two. The romance was lackluster. The romance aspect of this book was something I was looking forward to since reading the prequels. The first two novellas did a good job setting up Anne and Danny’s relationship from the get go. Unfortunately, the romance in Consumed did not live up to its promise.

Listen, I love me some slow burn romances as much as the next reader, but how can it be a slow burn when there’s no heat between the two character? Whatever chemistry they had, they left it in the prequels. Like the overall plot, the romantic conflict felt drawn out too. There wasn’t really any progress in Danny and Anne’s relationship. The push and pull worked for about a second but then it just started to get annoying. Just when you think there’s positive development in the relationship, it goes back to zero again because of their stubbornness, pride, miscommunication or misunderstanding. It’s exhausting.

And last but not the least, Consumed had too many POVs I didn’t really care for. Sometimes, multiple POVs can serve the story well. JR Ward certainly has done it successfully in the past. But it failed here mainly because those POVs didn’t really move the plot or show us anything about Anne or Danny, the two characters I do care about. The other POVs felt like fillers. It added pages to the book but not necessarily the story. By the time, the plot got going and our characters got their act together, I just lost interest.

Consumed had a lot of great elements going for it but it was bogged down by the pacing, the lackluster romance and the multiple POVs that I didn’t really care for.

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