Reviewed by Tori
Fury on Fire is the third book in Sophie Jordan’s Devil’s rock series that revolves around a trio of incarcerated felons and the woman who free them from their demons.
North Callaghan and his brother Knox (All Chained Up) were sentenced to Devil’s Rock for manslaughter after they killed the man who sexually assaulted their cousin. Good men who had their whole lives ahead of them and lost it all with one bad impulsive decision. Each book works as a stand alone through they are loosely linked.
After years in prison for a crime he committed but certainly regretted, North Callaghan is finally free and he more than makes up for lost time by sampling every delectable treat that was forbidden to him on Devil’s Rock. Women, food, freedom…he gorges himself on it all as he strives to keep the demons that haunt him in check. He keeps his head down, working and living day to day, while avoiding family and friends. Sexy, broody, and emotionally dormant, North feels tremendous guilt for things he saw and did to survive in prison and he feels he doesn’t deserve any happiness because of that. When he gets a good look at his new neighbor, he’s more than willing to give her a one-time ride she’ll never forget but it doesn’t take long to see that this woman isn’t like the others. She has committment written all over her and he can’t afford to let down his guard for anyone.
Faith Walters is a social worker who strikes out on her own after spending years taking care of her brothers and father. Her first act of independence is purchasing half a duplex. Her attempts to befriend her next door neighbor are viciously rebuffed, leaving Faith feeling a bit disgruntled. Born into a family of warriors (her father and brother are in law enforcement and her other brother is special forces) she has been somewhat sheltered all her life and is unsure on how to react to such rude behavior. The stereotypical ‘good girl,’ she is intelligent, well bred, has a pleasant personality, predisposed to champion the underdog, and sexually inexperienced.
Faith and North butt heads from the very beginning. She bakes scones to introduce herself-he tosses them back on her front stoop uneaten. He parks in her driveway and she leaves him passive aggressive notes. She complains about his loud bed partners and he begins to playfully tease her with nude walks in his backyard. They go back and forth until a meeting face to face changes everything.
I wish I could say I enjoyed this story but I cannot. The story starts out strong and engaging but loses steam before the halfway mark. I was disappointed to see the elements of suspense and external conflict that energized the first two books isn’t evident in here. Neither is the individuality or sense of anticipation. The story and main characters are predictable and show little development or substance beyond their initial characterization.
Keeping her focus predominantly on the protagonists, Jordan merges their backstories with the present one, intent on building a bridge between these two different personalities. It works in the beginning but then quickly becomes trite and repetitive. Even the few minor conflicts tossed in for depth aren’t enough to save the story. The romance develops very slowly, starting out as a chemistry enhanced physical attraction only to become a tedious tug of war as North and Faith admit to their feelings only to make up excuses and run.
The ending was rushed and both characters acted out in a ridiculous manner that didn’t match up with their personalities. Faith behaves like a spoiled child and decides that if North won’t/can’t return her love then she not only has to sell her house and move but also go out on a blind date. North decides the best way to grovel is to steal the for sale signs and then power wash Faith’s windows during the date. It was all very…odd.
Though I enjoyed the first two books, I felt the story and protagonists in this installment were weak and poorly executed.