Things You Save in a Fire

Things You Save in a Fire

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 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 an...

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Title:Things You Save in a Fire
Author:Katherine Center
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Things You Save in a Fire Reviews

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    Cassie Hanwell is a firefighter with the Austin Fire Department. She is a very busy and independent woman. Her co-workers think she's lonely, but she tells them she’s happy with the way things are.

    Cassie is about to receive the Austin Fire Department’s Valor Award. She is the FIRST female to ever win this prestigious award. Cassie is anxiousl

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    Cassie Hanwell is a firefighter with the Austin Fire Department. She is a very busy and independent woman. Her co-workers think she's lonely, but she tells them she’s happy with the way things are.

    Cassie is about to receive the Austin Fire Department’s Valor Award. She is the FIRST female to ever win this prestigious award. Cassie is anxiously waiting for them to call her to the stage to receive her award from the Mayor. However, an announcement is made saying that someone else will be giving Cassie the award. When Cassie sees who it is she's shocked. But the shock wears off quickly...

    What happens next is

    unexpected.

    On top of everything else, Cassie's mother has been trying to get in touch with her. Cassie and her mother are far from close so she’s stunned when her mother says

    She has some health issues and needs Cassie’s help. She asks Cassie to think it over. Cassie says she doesn’t need any time to think...the answer is no.

    Unfortunately, before she knows it she’s moving to Boston.

    Cassie will be working at the Lillian Fire Department, where she’s needed but not wanted. The LFD has NEVER had a woman firefighter. Cassie is determined to prove she can do the job just as well as they can. She is advised to do anything she can to keep from reminding them that she’s a woman (no makeup, no long hair, no jewelry…etc) but she also shouldn’t back down, get offended, or show fear. Will Cassie be able to deal with the “good old boys” and their archaic ideas?

    Easy peasy… right?

    Soon some surprising feelings have Cassie rethinking many parts of her life. Is it possible that she may even end up breaking

    ?

    Cassie survived her past by never talking about it with

    She closed off many parts of herself so then she wouldn't get hurt. But could she be missing out on something wonderful?

    Every now and then a story comes along that gets me right in the heart. “

    ” is that kind of story.

    I've said it before but I really do love the way Katherine Center writes about the messy parts of life with such honesty. The storyline was well-written and there were many great relatable characters. From the laugh out loud moments to the heartbreaking moments, this story had me gripped until I finished the very last page.

    I'd like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All views are my own.

  • Katherine Center

    Just gonna jump right in and give my own book five beautiful stars. That's reasonable, right? ;)

  • Debra

    4.5 Stars

    Cassie Hanwell is one strong cookie! She must be - she is the only female firefighter at her station. To prove herself, she must be better, faster, and harder working than her male counterparts. She works in a male dominated field...how male dominated? I did some research and found that

    That's a big gap and Cassie feels it in this book!

    Cassie i

    4.5 Stars

    Cassie Hanwell is one strong cookie! She must be - she is the only female firefighter at her station. To prove herself, she must be better, faster, and harder working than her male counterparts. She works in a male dominated field...how male dominated? I did some research and found that

    That's a big gap and Cassie feels it in this book!

    Cassie is a complete professional when dealing with emergencies, high stress situations and tragedies on the job. In her personal life - not so much. You see, Cassie doesn't have a personal life. She doesn't date, she doesn't hang out, she doesn't really have friends, she's not looking for a boyfriend, she fills her life with work and responsibility.

    She is torn when she receives a call from her estranged and ailing Mother. A mother who left when Cassie was a teenager, a Mother she has spent years being angry with. A Mother she blamed. But when an incident occurs at an awards ceremony, Cassie decides to transfer to a new firehouse outside of Boston so that she can work while helping her Mother.

    Once again, she is one of the newest members at a fire-station that isn’t too happy to have a female there. She is subjected to hazing and must prove herself and her abilities as a firefighter. She knew it would be hard staring over, she was mentally prepared for that. What she wasn't prepared for was the feelings she began to experience when she met the Rookie, Owen Callahan. Her old chief gave her strict instructions:

    It doesn't help that the two newbies get paired up for everything. She can't escape him or her feelings.

    She also can't escape her feelings about being around her Mother. Forgiveness is a theme in this book. Forging others. Forging yourself. That being vulnerable does not make you weak and that giving someone a second chance can turn everything around.

    I loved how this book was about relationships in various forms - friendships, relationships with co-workers, relationships between a parent and their child, romantic relationships, etc. I also loved the theme of forgiveness and the path the characters choose to go on in terms of forgiveness.

    I also loved how Cassie was a strong female character who changed and grew over the course of this book. She had flaws, she had pain, she had sadness and anger, she also had courage, heart, and determination. She felt real/believable. What she was feeling and how she re-acted to situations made sense.

    I enjoy romances and this was so much more than that. It contained great likable (and some not so likable) characters, a great theme, and the growth of the characters. This was a captivating and engaging book. It is beautifully written and grabbed my attention right away. I rooted for several of the characters and loved every single page. Plus, it did not feel rushed at all and it had an epilogue! YES! Plus, there is a little nod to the accident from

    which I thought was a nice touch.

    Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Kaceey

    Occasionally, a book can reach deeply, touching you profoundly. The best part is you never see it coming!

    Cassie is a tough-as-nails firefighter. She’s got to be. She’s working in a typically male dominated field, and they never let her forget it.

    But hands down, Cassie is the best at what she does. So driven in fact, her private

    Occasionally, a book can reach deeply, touching you profoundly. The best part is you never see it coming!

    Cassie is a tough-as-nails firefighter. She’s got to be. She’s working in a typically male dominated field, and they never let her forget it.

    But hands down, Cassie is the best at what she does. So driven in fact, her private life takes a major backseat. Actually, it’s nonexistent. She

    date! She

    do romance!

    Cassie left her life behind in Austin to look after her mother in Massachusetts. That means she must once again prove her mettle to both her new station, and herself.

    Maybe it’s time for new beginnings… professionally and personally.

    Cassie must learn some most valuable lessons if she hopes to move forward. More specifically, how to incorporate a sense of forgiveness into her no-nonsense life. To rise above and forgive others along the way…and perhaps in return, the chance to forgive and heal herself.

    Katherine Center has written a true-to-life, heartwarming story that will touch every reader fortunate enough to pick this gem up. From the most hardened of hearts to the hopelessly mushy reader. There are so many wonderful soul-searching moments within this read that there will be more than a few that stand out and speak to you.

    This was my first read from this author and can’t wait to back-track and get my hands on her previous book.

    If there is one book I would recommend above all others this year...it would be this one! Do not miss out! It is a must read!

    This was an incredible buddy-read with Susanne that has us still talking about it!

    Thank you to Jordan Hanley at St Martin’s Press for an ARC to read and review.

  • Susanne  Strong

    I know, I know, it’s unbelievable right? Roll your eyes at me, go ahead - it seems utterly preposterous given what you all know of me, but it happened. I’ve been transformed into a schmoopy girl for real. And you have Katherine Center to thank.

    Cass

    I know, I know, it’s unbelievable right? Roll your eyes at me, go ahead - it seems utterly preposterous given what you all know of me, but it happened. I’ve been transformed into a schmoopy girl for real. And you have Katherine Center to thank.

    Cassie Hanwell is a Firefighter. She isn’t exactly great with people but she’s awesome at her job. Austin has been her home for years now and she loves it there. When her mom, who is in bad health, calls her requesting that she go back home to Massachusetts, Cassie feels that she has no choice. She plans to give it a year. Fight fires, and do what it takes to care for the mom who abandoned her when she was Sixteen, that’s it. What she didn’t plan for is meeting the Rookie. You know what they say about plans don’t you?

    I started reading this in public and broke into hysterical laughter within the first few pages. People at Starbucks stopped conversations to stare at me. It happened again just a few minutes later and I actually had to put my head down because I was laughing so hard my body was shaking (it was then that I knew, that reading this novel in public might not be the best idea).

    I was completely and totally immersed because I identified with so much of what Cassie was going through. For as many times as I laughed hysterically, there were just as many where I ached for Cassie. Her pain tore through me and my chest caught. My stomach felt as though it was filled with needles and then, well, the crying commenced.

    Yeah, that guy was the real deal. Schmoop City! Cassie however, doesn’t do relationships. In fact, she thinks their dumb! The fact is, Cassie certainly doesn’t let people in and she never lets people hug her yet for some reason she can’t get the Rookie out of her mind. Funny how that works.

    In the end, “Things You Save in a Fire” swept me off of my feet. It has great, believable characters, heartfelt, realistic writing and fantastic storytelling. This book is simply unputdownable. It is endearing, funny, fabulous and sweet.

    This was a buddy read with Kaceey! We absolutely LOVED this book. To say we loved it doesn’t even begin to describe our feelings. Laughter, tears, and lots of smiles ensued while reading this. So glad I got to read this one with you Kace!

    A huge thank you to Jordan at St. Martin’s Press for recommending and passing along this book! It will definitely appear on my Goodreads Best of list for 2018. Thank you also to Katherine Center for this fabulous read. I can’t wait to read How to Walk Away, which we have coming up soon.

    Published on Goodreads 12.13.18.

    Except to be Published on Instagram.

    Will be published on Twitter and Amazon on release date.

  • Larry H

    4.5 stars, rounded up.

    Add Katherine Center to the list of authors I've discovered this year whose work has utterly wowed me. Between her newest book and

    , which I read earlier this year (

    ), I've become a big fan while becoming emotionally unglued. Because that's how I roll, y'all!

    Cassie has always been tough as nails. As one of very few female firefighters at her Austin firehouse, she knows that she has to do everything better, be stronger, faster, and tougher, and

    4.5 stars, rounded up.

    Add Katherine Center to the list of authors I've discovered this year whose work has utterly wowed me. Between her newest book and

    , which I read earlier this year (

    ), I've become a big fan while becoming emotionally unglued. Because that's how I roll, y'all!

    Cassie has always been tough as nails. As one of very few female firefighters at her Austin firehouse, she knows that she has to do everything better, be stronger, faster, and tougher, and never show one ounce of emotion. It's something she's been comfortable with since her mother abandoned her and her father on Cassie's 16th birthday. Cassie has never really let anyone get too close to her, because vulnerability means weakness in her book.

    But on a night that should be one of her proudest achievements, Cassie's carefully constructed façade cracks, and the results are shocking, to say the least, to those who know her best. She creates quite a mess for herself—so much so that when her estranged mother calls and asks her to move to Boston for a year to help her through some serious health issues, Cassie ignores her gut instincts and agrees. But she makes it perfectly clear that she's not there to reminisce or be friends with her mother, she's only there to help.

    "I reminded myself again that she was only Diana. Of course, our parents get an extra dose of importance in our minds. When we're little, they're everything—the gods and goddesses that rule our worlds. It takes a lot of growing up, and a lot of disappointment, to accept that they're just normal, bumbling, mistaken humans, like everybody else."

    Cassie takes a job in the small town of Lillian, a town which has never had a female firefighter and isn't interested in one. In fact, the captain thinks female firefighters may very well lead to the decline of Western civilization. So once again, she's bound and determined to do everything better than any of the men on the squad, and not allow them to treat her like a girl. She ignores the hazing, the teasing, and those who want to see her fail, and she outdoes them at every turn.

    The one thing she can't seem to ignore, however, is the rookie—Owen Callaghan, son of a retired firefighter, who joined the squad in Lillian the same day Cassie did. Sure he's good-looking, fit, and can cook like nobody's business, but Cassie knows she is a better firefighter and EMT than he is. But why does her stomach flip every time she seems him? It's not like she hasn't worked around gorgeous men before, but for some reason, she can't get him out of her mind, and it doesn't help that they get paired up

    .

    Cassie came to Lillian to work, not to date, and besides, dating a fellow firefighter is career suicide. That's the one main thing her captain in Austin told her before Cassie left—never date firefighters. So no matter what, she's just going to ignore the rookie and treat him like one of the guys. Because in Cassie's eyes, love equals vulnerability, which equals failure.

    If you've spent your entire life guarding yourself from any sign of weakness, keeping everyone at arm's length, can you be truly happy? Which is harder, forgiving someone for hurting you or forgiving yourself? How do you decide whether it's worth risking everything you've built your life around to pursue something that might not work out, and might hurt you?

    is one of those books where you can probably guess most (if not all) of what will happen, but it doesn't matter one iota, because you're totally hooked. Once again, Center creates vulnerable, likable, relatable characters and makes you care about them, makes you root for them, makes you angry when roadblocks occur, and makes you fearful that something bad will befall these characters you've come to know.

    This is a book about how the walls we build to protect ourselves often keep more people out than we realize, and before we know it, we're safe but alone. This is a book about realizing that being a little vulnerable doesn't mean you're still not tough or brave, and it's also a book about when you know it's right to sacrifice what you want for those you care about.

    Like any story where matters of the heart, family issues, and relationships are dealt with,

    is moving at times, a little poignant, and you might find something is in your eye once or twice. But this is one of those books that wins you over from the very first page, and doesn't let up, so it's worth a few tears (at least).

    NetGalley and St. Martin's Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    .

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Five well-deserved, positive, hopeful, when you read it, this book gives you hope, joy, not only warm , definitely heat your heart, gives you tunes makes you dance and sing -at the end you feel like you’re watching Gosling and Stone’s favorite LaLaLand dance scene on your mind over and over again- stars!

    What an inspirational, fantastic book with those beautiful characters, I wish they were real so I could give them a very big GROUP HUG and tell them I love you 3thousand !

    I start to read this bo

    Five well-deserved, positive, hopeful, when you read it, this book gives you hope, joy, not only warm , definitely heat your heart, gives you tunes makes you dance and sing -at the end you feel like you’re watching Gosling and Stone’s favorite LaLaLand dance scene on your mind over and over again- stars!

    What an inspirational, fantastic book with those beautiful characters, I wish they were real so I could give them a very big GROUP HUG and tell them I love you 3thousand !

    I start to read this book on my lunch break, but lunch turned into let’s have dessert and coffee break, too and coffee break turns into oh look at the look, let’s also have some chai tea latte, it’s 5 pm, (thankfully I’m self-employed )! As you can imagine I had the longest lunch of the history!

    My counted sighs during this reading: 216

    My counted giggles: 34(they were embarrassing, my advice , don’t do at the restaurants crowded with the businessmen with serious faces, one of them already gave me his card, you guess right, he’s shrink!)

    My counted teardrops: More than 1000, last pages are really hard to survive, good news, a small boy around 6 years young (!) who was sitting at the next table, gave me his chocolate chip cookie ( my favorite)! So I ate it and continued to sob. (At least my ugly cries stopped!)

    I loved Cassie, she’s achiever, fighter and also survivor, smart, competitor, tough but she’s lonely, hides herself by building concrete walls around her feelings. Till he met the ROOKIE! ( Nope we don’t talk about Nathan Fillion and his TV-series, but let’s imagine 20 years younger version of him, I think Cassie is not going be the only one who is gonna fall in love with rookie! )

    The Rookie,( only mentioned few times his real name but this nickname stuck with him),is the sweetest, nicest hero that you can ever imagine. He’s natural born charmer, but as a big plus, he can really cook! He can sense something happened so bad to Cassie in the past but he is really patient enough to win her heart.

    I confess, as I read a few pages, I thought this is a chic lit meets rom com kinda book. The girl had incident with the city council member who squeezed her butt when she was getting her award for her achievements as a firefighter at the time she’s about to get promoted.

    So she refused to tell she was sorry to the council member so she was transferred to her new work place with full of biased, Neanderthal meets cavemen, suspicious coworkers.

    But the other main reason of her move is her sick estranged mother’s need of her urgent help.

    So we think, okay classically Cassie will make them eat their statements about a woman cannot be good firefighter and beat them up with her spectacular efforts and achievements. She’s gonna learn how to forgive her mother and after longtime she’s gonna learn to open her heart for real love at first sight( a big applause for ROOKIE! Or let’s chant! IN WE ROOKIE WE TRUST)

    But it’s not simple like that. There are so many issues sensitively told on this book starting with abuse, abandonment, early death, drug addiction, fatal diseases, miscarriages, vandalism etc. And the most interesting thing, the author meticulously deals with these matters and at the end she shows us there are still starts shining above us at the darkest times of the night.

    She gives us hope, guy and helps us meet with our own happiness! It’s all about to change your point of view and learn how to forgive, starting with yourself!

    You got it why I gave five stars! Because I have no choice! Good news! Most of the people at the restaurant who just witnessed my reading, already started to give their pre-orders for this book ( Okay, I make them do it by yelling HEY WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! READ THIS BOOK!!!! But this is irrelevant !)

    I hope everybody enjoys this as much as like me!

    Thanks to the publisher for ARC COPY and my special thanks to NetGalley! But mostly thanks to the author for creating this amazing work!

  • Meredith

    Cassie, a 26-year-old firefighter in Austin Texas, has faced a lot of adversity in her life. On her 16th birthday, her mother left her father and Cassie for another man, which led to further tragedy. Furthermore, being a woman in a male-dominated profession, she has had to fight her way to acceptance. So when her estranged mother as

    Cassie, a 26-year-old firefighter in Austin Texas, has faced a lot of adversity in her life. On her 16th birthday, her mother left her father and Cassie for another man, which led to further tragedy. Furthermore, being a woman in a male-dominated profession, she has had to fight her way to acceptance. So when her estranged mother asks Cassie to come care for her outside of Boston while she adjusts to going blind, it should be an easy transition for Cassie. But when she arrives in Lillian at her new firehouse, she faces challenges she never thought she would experience--including learning to forgive and accept love.

    was exactly what I needed! It’s light and happy but also has some depth.

    I admired how she didn’t back down from challenges and loved seeing her best the guys at the firehouse. I also loved her relationship with her mother. Cassie’s relationship with the rookie was sweet, I just wish it hadn’t been so rushed towards the end.

    Overall this is an easy and enjoyable read, even for those who are cynics at heart!

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

  • Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    This is my first book by Ms. Center and it was like a breath of fresh air for me. I had been reading an extremely heartbreaking and soul searching type of book when I knew I needed something to lift me up. This book was just the ticket!

    Cassie Hanwell had been settling in and working fine with the Austin fire department. She loved her job, she was finally getting the respect she deserved and the firefighters were a great group of guys. “Anyone who’d seen our rainbow flag flyin

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    This is my first book by Ms. Center and it was like a breath of fresh air for me. I had been reading an extremely heartbreaking and soul searching type of book when I knew I needed something to lift me up. This book was just the ticket!

    Cassie Hanwell had been settling in and working fine with the Austin fire department. She loved her job, she was finally getting the respect she deserved and the firefighters were a great group of guys. “Anyone who’d seen our rainbow flag flying, or shopped at one of our vegan/kosher bake sales, or seen our fire marshal tooling around in a Prius knew we were a progressive department”.

    Everything was going great until, she learned she was going to be presented with a valor award, she had pretty much single handedly saved children who had been trapped in a school bus after an accident. Her small stature made her the only one who was small enough to climb through the bus window and hand the kids out one at a time.

    So what went wrong? Well it was the presenter of the award, the one man in her life who she had hoped never to cross paths with again, let alone receive an award from and having to shake his hand. She managed to make it up to the stage but when when Heath Thompson, city councilman, decided to make a pass, Cassie lost it, basically pummeled the man. She was given an option after that, be terminated or choose another department far away.

    Cassie’s mother left her when she was 16 and she had been living with her father ever since. Now Diana has called for her help, she has lost vision in one eye and the other is failing. She would like Cassie to come to stay with her in Massachusetts, “not forever, a year at most.”. So she is transferred to a new fire department in Lillian.

    This new department is a far cry from Austin, it is old, the trucks and equipment are the bare minimum and the firemen are a different breed also. They aren’t hostile but they definitely don’t feel comfortable having a woman firefighter around.

    Through the life she begins to share with her mother and the new crew that she forges friendships with, we see how Cassie grows as an individual. She finally has a love interest after being lonely for most of her life. We learn the reasons why she has distanced herself from her mother and why she “lost it” at the award ceremony, what Heath Thompson did to her when she was 16.

    The character development in this novel is top notch and I am still thinking about them now. The plot at times is a bit predictable but it doesn’t matter, the feel of the entire book is positive. It focuses on forgiveness of others and yourself, something that most of us struggle with from time to time. Many types of relationships are touched upon, mother daughter, father daughter, friends, co-workers. I loved this book!

    This book is set to be published on August 13, 2019.

    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  • Paromjit

    This is a wonderful piece of contemporary fiction from Katherine Center, full of warmth, featuring the strong, independent, and extremely capable Cassie Hanwell. A firefighter extraordinaire, so brave and up for an award for valour at which all her crew from the modern and progressive Austin FD are present, both to support and prank her at the event. However, Cassie's night is knocked for six when the mayor is unable to present the award and in his place is a man from her nightmare past, council

    This is a wonderful piece of contemporary fiction from Katherine Center, full of warmth, featuring the strong, independent, and extremely capable Cassie Hanwell. A firefighter extraordinaire, so brave and up for an award for valour at which all her crew from the modern and progressive Austin FD are present, both to support and prank her at the event. However, Cassie's night is knocked for six when the mayor is unable to present the award and in his place is a man from her nightmare past, council man Heath Thompson, all of which leads to events that are to spoil her evening and place her in a difficult position at work. Cassie's mom, Lily, has got in touch to ask her to come help her for up to a year due to her eye problems. Cassie has never forgiven her mom ever since she left her father for another man on her 16th birthday, a day that has left indelible traumatic marks in her memories as she is to suffer further trauma and horror.

    Cassie refuses to even consider the requisite apology required after award night, despite the fact it means missing out on a huge promotion and leaving her present job in Austin. This propels her apprehensive move to Boston, Massachusetts, to live with Lily, having every intention to help but not get emotionally close to her. She takes up a position as the first woman firefighter at the dilapidated and poorly equipped Lillian Fire Department. Starting on the same day is rookie, Owen Callaghan, Cassie has to prove herself again and again, face hazing and constant pranking, and tasked with training up the rookie. Cassie has never had any problems in closing herself off from any emotional entanglements since she was 16, but for the first time she feels her barriers fall away as she falls for the rookie, but a relationship is out of the question, she had been warned by her Captain at Austin. Cassie finds she did not know the circumstances her mother found herself on her 16th birthday. She walks into unfamiliar territory as she starts to succumb to hugs, tentatively move into the necessary but difficult process of implementing forgiveness into her life and contemplate a real relationship for the first time in her life.

    Katherine Center writes a beautiful and emotionally engaging novel with her feisty but traumatised Cassie. Cassie has to face the doubts of her male colleagues who need some persuading that a woman can be a competent firefighter, and her life is littered with obstacles and challenges, both personal and professional, not to mention having to deal with a malicious stalker. In a narrative full of warmth and humour, we see Cassie address her emotional traumas, have to cope with her mom's health issues, and begin to understand the power and joy of love. This is a lovely and entertaining novel which I so enjoyed reading. Many thanks to St Martin’s Press for an ARC.

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