Book Review: Chasing Fire, by Nora Roberts

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The Best Book by Nora Roberts.

Chasing Fire is my favorite book by Nora Roberts and one of my top five favorite audiobooks. This romantic suspense mystery is about the ‘Zulies,’ the elite team of smokejumpers out of Missoula, Montana, who parachute in to remote locations to fight wildfires.

What caught my interest?

  • First, it takes place in Montana. I love to read most anything about Montana. The unspoiled beauty of the wilderness, the mountains, glaciers, lakes and wildlife all call to me as some place I would like to be–even in winter! Sitting in a log cabin, looking out the window at a snow covered mountain is always near the top of my wish list. Add in a good book read in front of a fire and I am set.
  • Second, a book with firefighters involved is nearly always an exciting, dramatic read that catches and holds one’s attention. The urgency and risk, the determination and commitment, the stamina required to work in such difficult conditions, keep the story fast moving and so interesting.
  • Third, if it’s by Nora Roberts there is bound to be a romantic angle in there, in this case more than one.

All three were in this book and I was entertained by each. Once again, I chose the audiobook from Audible. I will to listen to it again soon. There aren’t many books I would read a second time, but some you never grow tired of reading (or hearing).

If you enjoy audiobooks, or if you’ve been wanting to try one, I highly recommend you listen to this one! Download it onto your smart phone and you’ll be set to go. Rebecca Lowman does an amazing job narrating–she is one of my top five favorites.

Sometimes a narrator does one voice well, but not so much on other characters, but Ms. Lowman does each voice with distinction, male and female, so that even now I can remember what each of the main characters sound like. I search out other books she’s narrated, she has such a good voice. I can’t say enough about this audiobook. Everyone I’ve recommended it to has enjoyed it as well.

If you would like to read more about Chasing Fire and some of my other favorite audiobooks, you can check out Hooked on Audiobooks. It is so easy to read more when someone else is doing the reading for you while you work!

Here it is…Chasing Fire


Whether book or audio, it’s an interesting story and a great read! 480 pages in hardback or paperback, just over 15 hours in audio, this novel was published in 2011. A wonderful and exciting story with characters you’ll enjoy and admire. Satisfying on so many levels!

The Story

Rowan Tripp and Gulliver Curry

The death of a fireman when jumping into a fire starts a series of events that brings vandalism, suspicion and murder to the smokejumpers. When a body is found at the source of a wildfire, the Zulies, especially Rowan, come under suspicion.

An experienced Zulie, Rowan Tripp, is a strong, confident, independent woman, who has been fighting fires since her teens, following in her father’s big footsteps. She loves what she does and is totally committed to it.

Gulliver Curry, a hotshot from California, is a rookie on the team, equally self confident, capable, and intelligent. Up for the challenge that Rowan brings. Hmm, smart, strong, green eyes, in great shape, and he’s a romantic! Nice–and likable–combination.

Mrs. Roberts pulls it together beautifully! You look forward to their easy, entertaining banter, get drawn into the suspense of fighting horrific fires, and puzzle with them over who is responsible for what is going on. It’s a pleasure to read (or listen to) their dialogue as Gulliver pursues Rowan and she resists. And this all between constant training, flying off to new fires, and then murder. Plenty of drama and mystery keep it intriguing.

 The Crew and the Job

You’ll want to hang out with themTrigger, Cards, Dobie, Chainsaw, are a few of the other smokejumpers on the team. Not to mention LB (Little Bear), Marg, and the crew that stays home. They make up a close knit team, and their interactions reflect that. You get attached to them!

I loved reading about the team at work. It’s fascinating to follow the jumpers into the fires, carrying their heavy packs, putting their pulaskis to work, jogging-climbing-running for miles to fight fires and survive them.

The mystery moves a long at a fast pace, in between fire after fire, keeping you intrigued, while you sort through various characters to figure out who is responsible. At the same time, both the FBI and Forestry are both involved in the investigation.

We can’t forget to mention Rowan’s father either. Lucas “Ironman” Tripp, former infamous smokejumper, raised Rowan alone when her mother left them. Both are in for some major changes in their close knit lives.

Pure Entertainment

A novel of fiction is intended to entertain, among other things. Chasing fire definitely fulfils that requirement. I enjoyed it so much. It introduces the world of smoke jumping, and gives a glimpse of all they go through!

Smokejumpers give up months of their lives to be on duty in case of fire. Like our military, they are exceptional people with exceptional training! Even If you aren’t into the romantic suspense genre, I think you would enjoy this book. There is plenty of suspense and fire-fighting action to keep you intrigued. All in all it is a great way to pass some hours reading.

Birthright by Nora Roberts – My Second favorite

You can read my review here.

So far, this is my second favorite by Nora. I got the audio version for this one too, and I’m glad I did. I love the narrator’s voice for the two main characters. You have a child kidnapping, an archeology find that appears to lead to murder, and more than one romance. The stories are woven together very well, and it offers a mystery with plenty of suspense.

Witness –  Another Great Choice

Full review here

This was another enjoyable entry to the romantic suspense genre. I really enjoyed it. You’ll meet a woman escaping a frightening past, stocked with rather a lot of weapons and a huge, well trained guard dog. Plus a police chief who grows increasingly curious about her, determined to know what she is hiding from and why she is so well protected. It makes a great story with plenty of twists.




Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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  1. Same here Monica! After finishing Chasing Fire, I read a bunch. It’s still my favorite by her, though there are some close seconds. Thanks so much!

  2. I have read this book to and enjoyed it a lot. It was one of the first Nora Roberts books I read and it definitely made me want to read more. Good review!

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