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 Amanda. 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 Amanda's review:

There is nothing I love reading more than a good romantic suspense, which is why I am disappointed to not have another series on my TBR list after reading Forged in Fire.

The book starts out with three SEALs on leave in an airport waiting area, one of them psychic and knowing something horrible is going to happen on the plane. Now, I’m cool with psychic abilities in general (Echoes at Dawn and Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks are two of my favourite RS novels) and I can also believe that this guy (Zane) has visions without any background or explanation of his abilities. What I had trouble with is how Zane’s psychic abilities translate into all the men in his family having only one lifelong “mate” (is this a paranormal/RS?) and how that has led to him not having sex in ten years. I also had trouble accepting the heroine (Beth) having a super detailed dream predicting word for word the hijacking and events leading up to it for the apparent purpose of forcing her and Zane together as she does not have any psychic abilities otherwise.

Now, as SEAL Team 7… and Beth… attempt to stop the hijacking, they’re pretty busy, so there’s no real development of the hero, heroine, or their relationship. There is, however, substantial development of the bad guy’s character, a bunch of other supporting characters, and the whole evil plot. While this was all very interesting, entertaining, and very well written, it led to nothing — and I mean nothing, since for a lot of this time they were in different parts of the city — having happened between Zane and Beth as 64% of the way through the book (yes, I checked on my e-reader) other than the boss man dropping the bomb that Beth is his destined soul mate. So when they finally did hook up (sans condom) Beth FLIPS HER SHIT.

And it just didn’t make any sense when a) Zane is all, “S’cool baby I hope you’re pregnant, we’re getting married anyway even though I’ve known you A DAY but you’re my psychic-man-life-mate so you clearly shouldn’t complain about your forced destiny” and b) when about two minutes later Beth is able to somehow rationalize that not only is it ok if she’s pregnant, she’s happy about it because Zane is a “good guy”.

There were also a number of WTF moments, but I’ll restrain myself to describing two.

First, the 10 year old hostage is either a hell of a lot smarter and gun-savvy than any 10 year old I’ve ever met, or he’s a cyborg. Not only is he able to provide a multi-tier coded message that eventually leads to his and the other hostage’s rescue, but he is also able to shoot and kill a highly trained operator (with a gun given to him by the grown woman who felt totally cool with relinquishing their only weapon to a kid) that the SEAL’s boss man couldn’t even hit. We also didn’t get to see any of this take place so there was no opportunity to make these events believable.

Second, when a terrorist is looking at you through a window with a gun pointed at your head, you do NOT have time to turn off the oven and have a conversation:

“Do you see him?” she asked the moment Marion joined her at the sink.

“You mean the man with the Uzi?” Marian’s voice was so matter-of-fact, it reinforced Beth’s disbelief.

“It’s not an Uzi. It’s an MP5” Beth corrected, and that bubble of hysteria almost escaped in a giggle.

“Well, don’t just stand there.” Exasperation edged Mrs. Simcosky’s tone. “Let’s skedaddle.”

The story unfolded predictably from there where Beth gets captured, suddenly has faith in her psychic connection with Zane and uses it to lead Zane to her location where he is able to save her at the last minute. To be honest, I had to make myself finish at this point, and only partly because Zoolander was on.


So, at this point, I’m thinking, well, the terrorist plot was entertaining, let’s see what the whole plan to slaughter innocent people was even about. But this revelation never happened. The SEALs killed off everyone who knew anything about the evil plan (except the unknown mole in the FBI), and so not only do they have no answers they are also in a whole lot of trouble for conducting a rescue mission without the proper government approval that is also not addressed. I can only assume the plot will be revealed in the following books but, to be honest, I probably won’t read them to find out.

Overall, I give this book a C because while the story was well written and interesting, there were too many WTF moments that took me outside of the story that it overshadowed the rest of the book. My overall feeling is that it’s a suspense novel where the hero and heroine are forced into a relationship by “destiny” and have a random and super convenient psychic connection. Furthermore, too many innocent people died unceremoniously for me to truly enjoy the happy ending.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks.

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  1. 1

    You have mentioned about it in very clear way.
    Good job! Please keep posting.

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