Things You Save in a Fire – Review


Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for a review copy!

Why can’t all books be as good as this one?


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 excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

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 handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

This was my first book by Katherine Center and now I wish I had every book of hers to read, if only to prolong the reading high I have at this moment. This book will be at the top of my list of favorites for the year. I loved absolutely everything about this story and cannot think of a single flaw. It was the type of book I seek with every book I read — it captured my attention from the very first page, I fell in love with the characters, and never wanted the story to end. Check, check, check!

I was a little nervous about this book, considering Cassie, the main character, was a female firefighter. I was sure this book would be a politically charged feminist manifesto with equal parts of female oppression and male-bashing. To my pleasant surprise, this book toed the line between both genders, representing both in a fair and honest manner. While Cassie, at times, faced some opposition, she was still allowed to be a strong woman and show what she was made of. The men in the firehouse were as masculine as I hoped they would be and pranksters all. As a woman, it’s probably odd that I would enjoy the ball-busting men are in this profession are known for, but it’s some of my favorite humor and I was glad to see Katherine Center’s accurate portrayal. It added some laugh out loud moments and was made the story even more enjoyable to read. I loved watching Cassie rise to every occasion and represent herself well. She showed iotas of character growth and is one of my new favorite heroines. I loved that she never needed to be saved and was allowed to flourish in her own time with the help of the love from those around her.

This book offered so many heartwarming moments, action, great quotes, and things to reflect upon. The easy-going characters, especially Owen, were an absolute delight to read about. It’s probably entirely too predictable to say I relished in the steaminess between Cassie and Owen, but this was the exact amount of romantic tension I look for. Their chemistry was perfect!

I particularly loved how much the story encouraged forgiveness, even when people didn’t deserve it. This tugged on my heartstrings in the best possible way and ended with all the warm fuzzies I needed. The book hangover is real and I’m afraid no other books in 2019 will hold a candle to this one. I highly recommend picking up Things You Save in a Fire on August 13th.

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase on Amazon.


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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    I enjoyed it! 👍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was soooo good!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MrsDMVH says:

    Like you this was my first book by her to read and I’m kicking myself for not reading her other books before!!! This was such a great 5 star read!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here! I just was able to pick up How to Walk Away from my library! I’m so excited to start it soon. It’s seems like this book is a huge hit for everyone.


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