Code of Honor, by Kathryn Shay

>> Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I still have another book to write about from this weekend, Code of Honor, by Kathryn Shay. This is the third book in her America's Bravest series, which deals with firefighter characters.

Plot summary:

"Rockford, New York Fire Chief Talbot informs Lieutenant Jake Scarlatta that his team will inherit firefighter Chelsea Whitmore. Jake wants nothing to do with Chelsea . She had a bad run with her present assignment when she ended a relationship with a peer, Billy Milligan.

Chelsea quickly proves she belongs with the crew and earns their respect. However, one member deeply feels women should never be firefighters and begins to do dirty tricks to make Chelsea look incompetent. As Chelsea worries about her future with the department, she and Jake fall in love. However, she vowed to never again have a personal relationship with a firefighter after Billy, who continues to stalk her. Jack vows to go by the book after ignoring problems so long that his best friend suffered while on his crew."
Though I liked it, this one was the weakest in the trilogy, so far. A B.

I never really warmed up to Jake. He was nice, but a little too "superdaddy" for me. Also, his relationship with Chelsea was the least interesting element in the book, which isn't good in a romance.

I was much more interested in the firefighting and in the suspense subplot. The latter was especially well-done, though I guessed the culprit early. Still, the author did a good job in planting red herrings. The stuff about firefighting was fascinating, though it sometimes seemed like the author was a bit too eager to show off all her research (Dylan's trivia game). Usually, however, the research was put to good use.

What I didn't get was why both Chelsea and Jake let people get away with stuff they shouldn't have. I didn't understand the dynamics of Jake's relationship with Danny, unless he was just being used by him and always had. If that was so, after all the therapy, he should have understood that and stopped feeling guilty. And Chelsea, acting all afraid of Billy... no way! It didn't go with the rest of the character. Luckily, we're only told about the abuse she received from her older group, otherwise I would have been pissed (I don't handle unfairness well!).

Anyway, interesting book.

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