RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan


Title: Forged in Fire
Author: Trish McCallan
Publication Info: Montlake 2012
ISBN: 9781612185330
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Forged in Fire This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Aislinn. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions. But her recent dream feels too real to ignore: a commercial airliner is hijacked, and a handsome passenger is shot dead. Beth hasn’t met the mystery man in her dream; she would never forget a gorgeous face like his. But she can’t deny the bizarre connection she feels.

Now awake, and unable to allow for the violence she’s convinced is impending, she races to the airport…and comes face to face with the man of her dreams. Zane Winters lives for his job, using his uncanny psychic powers to carry out missions for elite SEAL Team 7. Yet the constant adrenaline highs can’t drown out the numbness seeping into his life as he yearns to find a woman he can trust.

All that changes when he meets a beautiful stranger who sets his soul on fire—and somehow knows he’s about to die. To thwart the global crisis the hijacking will unleash, Beth and Zane join forces.

But even amid the danger, they can’t deny the powerful force drawing them together. Is it merely attraction…or destiny?

And here is Aislinn's review:

Overall, I found this book to be a fast-paced but forgettable read. Some things I liked, others I didn’t, but mostly it fell into a grey area of bland.

Things I did like:

I like that the author purposefully averted the TSTL trope. At one point our heroine, Beth, is like, “I am determined to go with you on this highly dangerous mission!” But thankfully she comes to her senses when the hero points out how FUCKING STUPID that is. But in politer terms, obvs.

I liked that they didn’t get to the sexytimes portion of the book until (they thought) all the bad-guy problems were solved.

There is no denying this book is fast paced. Most of the action happens over the course of two days and it keeps the pages turning fairly quickly.

Things I didn’t like:

The major problem I had with this book is one that is a personal preference: I REALLY dislike the fated mate trope. I think that it is a lazy way of building a connection between two people, and the romance never becomes convincing for me.

Also, it always makes me feel super uncomfortable that people’s choices and desires get completely overridden by this mystical connection. In the beginning of this book (until well over halfway though), Beth was all “I don’t want an alpha bonded male.” Then at the end she was suddenly all “everyone needs an alpha bonded male!” And she gives up her whole life (her job, home, friends, etc) to be with him after 8 weeks. One minute she doesn’t want to be accidentally pregnant with this guy, the next she is over the moon about it. I just find it all a bit gross, to be honest. Taking away women’s choices about herself and her body until she LIKES being coerced (by the hero, whether intentionally or not) just squicks me out.

I also don’t really understand the purpose of the whole psychic stuff in this book, to be honest. I think the book would have actually improved without it. I don’t dislike paranormal books – I have quite a number on my shelves – but having a guy who is a psychic AND a SEAL just seems so over the top. Can’t he just be awesome at his job because he trains and works hard, rather than needing all the mental powers, too? Besides, I think it sets the wrong tone for the future books in the series. If they were books about Zane’s (the hero) also-psychic brothers, it would make more sense. But they are already paired off. If the next ones were books about an elite force of SEALs with paranormal abilities, that would also make sense. But none of the other guys in the team, who are the heroes of the future books, have any kind of power. So, where is the author going with the psychic stuff?

It annoyed me, as well, that none of the characters seemed like real, well-rounded people. No one seemed to have a hobby, for example. Beth’s life revolved around work and her friend Ginny (and her husband and child), but I got no sense that she ever did anything else in her spare time. Played the harp? Visited the aquarium? Marathoned terrible and obscure 80s action movies? (Oh, wait, that’s me.) Some sense of a life would have been nice.

Lastly, one of the characters I quite like got killed off unceremoniously at the end. Like, if she wanted to kill him off, that’s fine (I get why it was necessary to do it, considering where she seems to be going in the future books), but for him to be killed off-screen and then someone drops the information casually in to a conversation about something else like a bomb, and then move on without it being mentioned again seems to do both the character and the reader a disservice. There was no build up, and no grieving process. Even by his wife.

I finished this book last night and am already starting to forget some of it. Overall I would say this is an easy, exciting but forgettable read for someone that doesn’t hate the ‘automatically bonded’ trope as much as I do. But it doesn’t break any new ground, or really let you feel connected to the characters. For me, it was a C+.

 Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Rachel says:

    Can’t he just be awesome at his job because he trains and works hard, rather than needing all the mental powers, too?

      This.  Like, Navy SEALs are already the bee’s knees, y’all.  Why make him psychic?  I read that in the summary blurb and literally guffawed. 

    I also hate in books when the hero/heroine suddenly and inexplicably changes his or her mind about something that they cause a major stink about in the beginning of the book.  I don’t mind the change, necessarily, but there better be some growth of the character in the book that explains it rather than being like, “Rainbows! Butterflies! Everything is fine!”

  2. 2
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) says:

    It’s funny how a disliked trope can totally spin you out of a story. The predestined love/soul mate thing is one I’m ambivalent about so it didn’t really impact me strongly. And, it shows up in the first chapter so if you’re going to dislike that, it probably sets the tone for how you digest the rest of the book.

    I really liked this book, primarily because I did get wrapped up in the characters. It was a pretty exciting read for me and I found it hard to put down. The psychic aspect needs more work/context but didn’t bother me strongly either. The only one thing that bothered me a lot was the horrible attitude of Mac about women. That turned me off completely and seemed out of character for the role.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top