“The haunting groans of the barn as it was devoured almost sounded like a cry for help. The death wails of a structure engulfed in flames were eerily similar to the cries of a human being. Those were the shrieks and screams that tormented his sleep.”
Gavin McGuire is the fire chief in Old Brookfield. His job is his life. Due to an unfortunate event when he was younger he has dedicated his life to the fire department in his home town. Gavin has two problems which change how his life is going. One, someone is setting suspicious fires in Old Brookfield and his former girlfriend, the love of his life, has returned home.
Jordan McKenna left town fifteen years ago without saying goodbye to anyone. Now she has returned to Old Brookfield with her two daughters, Lily and Grace. When Gavin sees her again, old feelings and questions rise to the surface. Jordan leads Gavin to believe that she has returned home because her father is very ill. That is not the only reason. Her ex-husband Ted was abusive and after years of putting up with his abuse, she found the courage to leave and took the girls back to her home town to start over.
Both Gavin and Jordan have many demons they must put to rest before they can try to start over again. Gavin watched a boyhood friend die in a fire and another friend must now live with scars from the same fire. He suffers from the guilt that he could have done something to save his friend. Gavin is afraid to begin a relationship with Jordan because he is afraid that one day he might go to work and never return. He didn’t want to do that to Jordan and the girls. Gavin knew that Jordan’s father was abusive, but he had no idea how bad it actually was for Jordan and that was the reason she left. Jordan’s father has dementia and is dying. She is conflicted. He is dying, yet she needs to get a lot of things off of her chest before he does.
Finally seeing him, he doesn’t recognize her, he is no longer the evil, abusive man she remembers but a sick, old man. Before he dies, they make their peace. As this conflict is going on between the two of them, Gavin must still find out who is setting fires around town before someone ends up dead.
This is the first book in a new series by author Sara Humphreys. It will focus on the McGuire brothers and the women that capture their hearts. This is Gavin, the eldest McGuire brother, and Jordan’s story. I was drawn in immediately in the prologue with the description of the sounds of a fire expressed by Gavin. Anyone who has been around a fire of a wooden structure would agree with Gavin’s description. We find possible reasons for why Jordan’s father was abusive, even though there was no excuse for it and how Jordan must forgive him in the hopes of moving on with her life. The secondary characters in this story are fantastic. Maddy, Jordan’s oldest friend, is a business woman who is a realtor and owns a flower shop. She finds a place for Jordan and the girls to live and a job for Jordan in the flower shop. Maddy has been dating Rick, a fireman who works with Gavin, for years, but he refuses to make a serious commitment to her. He is married to the job, and not her. It is a dead end relationship. Unfortunately, a tragedy befalls Rick, causing Maddy to make some changes in her life. This story also has a twist. Who was starting the fires in town and why? Just when you think you have it figured out, you are redirected. I loved this story and the author did not disappoint. I always know that when I read a story by Sara Humphreys, I am guaranteed an excellent read. I can’t wait until the next McGuire brother story. I highly recommend this book.
~ JANET ~