here. This story picks up the lives of two of the characters that were introduced in the first book. Luke Vermontez not only lost his father, the captain, in the tragic blaze of the homeless shelter from the last book, but he was seriously injured and almost lost his own life. After a year of multiple surgeries and intense and painful rehab, Luke is still holding onto the dream of getting back to his job as a firefighter. But with progress not going as fast as he would hope he has fought frustration and depression over the last year as he feels useless and lost in his life.
Jenna Morgan's husband was one of the firefighters who died in the blaze a year ago. In the last book she had pulled herself away from her friend Brynne, who's mistake started the fire. But as the year passes Jenna faces mounting debt and a realization that she has been living a lie in more ways than one. All her secrets are making getting her life on track nearly impossible and she finds herself moving in with her very wealthy in-laws. When her and Luke's lives intersect and Luke starts to make clear that he wants more than a friendship Jenna must come to terms with everything she has so carefully tried to keep hidden.
While not as intense as the first book in the series, this was still a good read. I especially liked the arc of Luke's story. A very dedicated rookie firefighter, his dream was to walk in his dad's footsteps. I was drawn into his emotions and struggles as he not only had to deal with his dad's death, but his own guilty feelings concerning surviving the fire and his painful recovery and loss of purpose. Then as he became closer to Jenna he was also fighting feelings of guilt as Jenna's deceased husband was his best buddy at the firehall. I loved how the author really brought forth all the emotional and psychological mountains that an injured first responder might face. Jenna's story was at times frustrating due to her attitudes and the secrets she was keeping driving a lot of her decisions. I wanted to root for her but also wanted to shake her at times. But her story also was interesting as she did show some growth. I found this story well written and one that engaged my emotions.