Noah Callahan climbed through the firefighter's ranks, and now the forty-seven year old widower is the Chief of Hidden Cove's fire department. He's gained and earned both love and respect from everyone, and especially from those who work under his command. But all is not well for Noah. He's in total shock when the mayor phones to advise him the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) is sending an investigator to look into the many fires and failures that have recently occurred in his area. Noah can't believe he's under suspicion of wrong doing; firefighting is the love of his life! Yet another shock awaits him when he meets the OFPC official -- Eve Woodward, an attractive, but powerful looking woman.
Eve Woodward is also a former firefighter who gained her position by working from the ground up. Being a woman firefighter is an uphill battle every step of the way, fighting to gain acceptance into an occupation still believed to be a man's world, where not many men are willing to share their good ole boys' last stronghold with women. Eve is one of the strong ones though, and has truly earned her stripes, even though some jealous colleagues started rumors she got where she is by sleeping with her boss. Her work in Hidden Cove isn't an easy one. She learns Noah Callahan is a good man, deserving of the respect shown him, and proving his guilt isn't going to make for happy times for anyone in the town.
The quality of Kathryn Shay's writing is nothing less than excellent, and there is pure magic in her pen. I haven't YET had the opportunity to read the first story in this series, AFTER THE FIRE, but you can be sure I've already got it on order! ON THE LINE is a magnificent look into the lives of real, down-to-earth firefighters and the struggles they endure every day. Ms. Shay's talent takes you inside her characters to bring them so to life that you think and feel with them. Readers experience heartaches and hardships with them, sometimes with tears flowing, as they go through traumatic times and memories.
ON THE LINE brings reminders of the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 tragedies, and Viet Nam, as survivors struggle with the aftermath of being there. It's a story of healing recurring nightmares and learning to forgive yourself and others through group sharing sessions. It also deals with hidden problems young children have by giving them an opportunity to express anger and share losses of their loved ones during days at a camp built by both firefighters and policemen. The idea for this camp originated in AFTER THE FIRE and continues to completion in ON THE LINE. Finally, this novel shares more than one story of romance and love. Their roads aren't easy, and the couples have much adversity to overcome, but ohhh, the story is wonderful, as Kathryn Shay sends readers through the pages to the beautiful ending we expect from a romance story.
Once again I'm compelled to reward this author with A PERFECT TEN, an award given only to those novels we consider excellent, and well above average. I strongly urge you to buy this book, as well as the first one in the series.
Carol Carter, Reviewer- As Posted on Romance Reviews Today