Review of Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Search and Rescue #2
Published on 7 June 2016 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers...and with the girl he's loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He'd die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she's managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

I received a copy of Fan the Flames from the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, in exchange for this review. If you’re just encountering my reviews for the first time, let’s get one thing straight, this doesn’t impact my reviews in the least. I’m way too opinionated for that.
Today’s review is all about Fan the Flames, the second book in Katie Ruggle’s Search and Rescue series, which takes place in the Rocky Mountains and it surrounds the good folks who comprise the search and rescue personnel of the small town of Simpson, Colorado. In this instalment, we’ve got firefighter-biker Ian Walsh and oddball gun shop owner Rory Sorenson and more firebug murder mystery and Rory and Ian’s own personal drama coming to the table.
The murder mystery story arc from Hold Your Breath is continued in Fan the Flames with Ian being framed for the murder of Lou's floater and Rory and Ian spend a lot of their time together trying to prove Ian's innocence. And trying to figure out what is going on with the repeated breaking and entering at her shop.
We know Ian from the series’ previous book, Hold Your Breath, but we’re just meeting Rory for the first time in Fan the Flames. And she is probably my favourite thing about Fan the Flames. She is the weirdest person ever. From her strange upbringing, her parents' mysterious demise, her love of closets, and I could truly wax poetic about this woman. Rory knows how to disassemble and reassemble any firearm on the market blindfolded but she has absolutely no clue what to do with the guy she's been in love with for the past thirteen years. Rory has two friends in the world, her german shepherd mix, Jack, and Ian, so I'm so excited for her when Lou just sort of forces her friendship on her like "we're friends now, you're just going to have to deal with it". We all need a friend like Lou, especially us awkward weirdlings.
Ian is the definite pursuer in this story. He knows he wants Rory, he's always wanted Rory, and now that he's seeing his Search and Rescue friends have a happily ever after, he's wanting his. He's both a member of Simpson's Fire Department and the motorcycle gang he grew up in, which places him in the oddest position, since he works side-by-side with law enforcement at times. Ian is a pretty sweet guy, in my opinion, but unlike Rory, we don't get a lot of his story. We meet his friends and his dad and see those interactions and we get all the emotions he has for Rory. But that's about it. I would have loved to have seen more backstory for him.
While I loved Rory and Ian's story, I felt things were relatively sedate, I think that's the word I'm hunting for. There's this sense of urgency lying underneath the entire story but it never truly comes to fruition. The real 'action' of the story is rushed and easily negated compared to Ms Ruggle's other works I've read. I did enjoy the takedown in this one, (heyyy) but, again, I kept waiting for the perilous theme music to start playing in my head and nothing. Nada. Zip. Unlike my other experiences with her writing, I was not on the edge of my seat during any part of this book.
I did, however, have several laugh out loud moments with the cast. I love that Rory and Lou become fast friends because every weirdling needs a bestie and I will go down with that friendship, y'all. Ian's best friend is 'Soup' (that's his firehouse name, not his actual name, but even I'm going to call him Soup for all eternity) and if Soup doesn't get a story of his own, I will be seriously disappointed.
Overall, I think I'm rating Fan the Flames as 3 stars, simply because of Rory and the sweetness of the romance. Outside of interacting with Rory, Ian's story was pretty bland and I really expected more for him. Also! sexytime flames, I'll award 2 flames. So if you're looking for something with some sex but not something overpowering the rest of the book, here you go! I have the rest of the series to check out so stay tuned for more reviews!
Memorable Quotes

"I remember seeing you for the first time at the grocery store when we were kids."
"In the three years we've been friends, haven't you ever wanted to be more?"
'Ian Walsh had the power to completely dismantle her safe life if she let him.'
"Who'd be afraid of kids and their stickiness and multitude of germs and their Children-of-the-Corn stares? Not me."
"I mean, a fireman and a motorcycle-riding, leather wearing badass? It's a dangerous excess of hotness. Our heads could've imploded from hotness overload."
"Yeah, well, if there are going to be explosions, I want to be there."

A fan of the old adage “write what you know”, Katie Ruggle lived in an off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains until her family lured her back to Minnesota. When she’s not writing, Katie rides horses, shoots guns (not while riding, although that would be awesome), cross-country skis (badly) and travels to warm places where she can scuba dive. A graduate of the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. A fan of anything that makes her feel like a bad-ass, she has trained in Krav Maga, boxing and gymnastics.
You can connect with Katie on her website, her Goodreads, her Facebook, or on her Twitter.

Other reviews I have written of Ms Ruggle's books include

As always, get your hands on a copy of Fan the Flames in a legal manner. And, if you're of a mind to and in a position where you're capable of doing so, please consider donating to Planned Parenthood because we need access to all the good Planned Parenthood does for women (and men, because they also see men) and I'm just really tired of how toxic this country has become towards healthcare for women and girls.

No comments

Post a Comment