Review: On Fire by Ann Christopher

Reviewed by Shelly

This read a lot like the last book in Ann Christopher’s ‘Journey’s End’ series. The only difference is that in this one, the heroine is the one I like… okay, couldn’t stand. Sofia Abbate was introduced in the last book when we met her best friend Reeve (such an awesome name) and she was a flighty then as she is in this one. Be warned – there will be spoilers from book 2.

Christopher seems to run this series with a slight overlap at the end and beginning, if you’re reading them in order. During Reeve and Edward’s story (Book 2), Sofia comes over to Reeve’s apartment to have a ‘I just broke up with my NFL player boyfriend’ meltdown moment. I’ve got to give it to her, as far as meltdown goes it was pretty good.

Book 3 picks up before the aforementioned breakup. We get to see how/when it happens. I suspected what the scenario behind the break up would be and it definitely met my expectations. One day Sofia answers an early morning knock at her door, it’s the car repo man here to take her brand new fancy SUV. Sofia and her boyfriend Toby (ex-NFL) are living so over their means it’s actually laughable. They’re young – mid 20’s living as if Toby’s still playing professional football and bringing home that kind of salary. Meanwhile Sofia is working as a reasonably successful pharmaceutical rep.

Back to the drama, the repossession is to be on her Sofia’s car. It turns out they’ve not paid a note on the car in a couple of months. I about busted a gut laughing so hard. It’s during their shouting match of a discussion that Sofia finds out that Toby’s not paid any bills and things go south. He walks out the door after an eye opening exchange of words. I’m still not sure how Sofia didn’t know the debt situation was as bad as it was.

Ethan Harper, of the the Harper brothers, recently moved back to Journey’s End and bought a landscaping company. Sofia and Toby’s yard is one of his scheduled of jobs. His first day is on the same day as the repo day and it’s the first time he lays eyes on the beautiful Sofia. Skeptical of how he’s going to get paid, Ethan not too concerned because Sofia’s told him that he’ll get paid and he 100% trusts her. For context, remember he’s just witnessed the repossession of her car. After that first encounter, he surmises that she’s ‘strong and fierce’ and can handle the stress. Alrighty then.

Here we go with another book in this series where one of the characters breaks up with someone one day and in that same day meets and is very attracted to the other main character. As with the last book, this story moves way too fast. There’s no rest break between relationships for Sofia. She and Toby were in a long term relationship. Long enough where they bought a house together, bought a luxury car (I’m not sure who paid for his Mercedes) and were making plans for a future. How do you just turn that off so quickly? I’m not saying it can’t happen because it definitely can but I want the author to tell me how Sofia is able to make the transition so smoothly without setbacks or real self doubt (not the aesthetic crap that kept getting pushed).

Sofia could have a been a heroine I could have quietly rooted for, but I didn’t because she did nothing for me to like. Taking off her fake lashes, removing her hair extensions, slipping off her Louboutin’s shoes, and removing her Diane Von Furstenberg dress doesn’t make her likable. It means that she lost her relatively high paying job which afforded her those luxuries; she had nothing in savings to offset the downturn and now her bills are incrementally higher than her income.

Here’s the kicker, Ethan’s ex-wife is exactly like Sofia, but not as pretty. The high maintenance lifestyle was something she’d come to expect from Ethan’s salary too so when his old high paying job went away the marriage went the same direction. I guess when he left the lucrative partnership, with his brother, he walked away with little compensation ergo the landscaping business. In the end, it didn’t make sense to me that Ethan’s new purpose is not to let money rule his life. So knowing that, high maintenance Sofia is clearly the best choice for him. I guess that makes sense.

The good thing about this book is that it’s a fast read with plenty of dialogue.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C-

Click to purchase: Amazon

On Fire
by Ann Christopher
Release Date: December 10, 2015
Publisher: Blue Iris Press

Speak Your Mind

*