Book Review: Flashpoint by Skye Jordan
I’m not always the biggest fan of alternating first person point of view style storytelling, but it does seem to be becoming more prevalent in contemporary romance in particular. Skye Jordan does it very well here as we spend time in the heads of Cole, a firefighter struggling with internalized guilt over the death of his friend Evan, and Natalie, Evan’s widow. Two years after Evan’s death, Natalie is trying to move on, forcing Cole to confront his feelings for her.
There’s apparently a ‘code’ among firefighters that you can’t date another firefighter’s widow or ex. Since Natalie’s already lost too much to fire, it shouldn’t be an issue, she doesn’t want to get involved with another firefighter - except there’s definitely a tension between her and Cole, one that finally comes out into the open when he loses it after seeing her out on a date with another man and kisses her.
This is very angsty; both Natalie and Cole are going through a lot of stuff with their families, Natalie’s mother being seriously injured and suffering with early-onset dementia, and Cole having to deal with a deadbeat dad (a plotline that doesn’t really get resolved). It’s not in any way light and fluffy; every time Cole and Natalie talk things get heavy (and sometimes hot and heavy). There are some difficult subjects tackled like medical debt, family illness, loss of family members, traumatic injuries, PTSD and more. Being in first-person POV actually makes these topics more painful, more immediate, and honestly I found it pretty heavy going, especially the sections in Natalie’s POV, because of all the burdens she was constantly labouring under. It’s a lot for a romance, and while it certainly meets the definition because of the clear HEA the couple find together, it might not suit every reader. I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.