Review of ‘Burn It Down’ by K Aten
Ash Hayes is a Detroit firefighter currently on psych leave while working through the death of her best friend and fellow firefighter. With this loss and the help of her psychiatrist, she manages to bring up many of her childhood terrors. Mia Thomas is an outgoing nurse and her new neighbor. Ash and Mia hit it off immediately but decide to wait as both understand how broken Ash is and how it is not the time to start anything but a friendship. As Ash clears hurdles, there is one that remains that could destroy everything in her life. Can she trust Mia to help her heal and can she finally feel worthy of someone’s love?
This book was narrated in first person from Ash’s point of view. Amongst her psych sessions and day to day narration of events, we get some flashbacks that mostly have to do with her childhood. I know some readers do not enjoy this, and at times I felt like ‘here comes another one’, but overall they were useful and worked to give us insight into Ash’s neglectful past.
This was a sad read at times with what I felt was a slow beginning. I had a hard time reading about such misery all the time. I suppose there were some feelings of hopelessness. No doubt Ash went through some terrible things in her life. Thankfully there is no outright sexual abuse in her past.
As dark as the story got at times, it was also a story about resilience and love. I found myself celebrating Ash’s progress in therapy. Just proud of how she came out on the other side and genuinely happy for her. Once these milestones were within reach, I felt more engaged and my attention was grabbed. Ash is a genuinely good gal and easy to root for.
The mains had great chemistry in this one. Mia’s tenderness…every time she called Ash ‘baby’ and cradled her face. Wow, such intimacy and sweetness. Ok, so I melted a little with that! The secondary characters were well done, although I wondered why the psychiatrist sat behind the desk instead of on the same side as her patient. It nagged me and interrupted each session for me.
As I mentioned, this story takes place in Detroit. This was a smart choice by the author as the city fits the mood and the events of the story very well. I will admit I’ve never been to Detroit unless I count the airport. However, I think everyone identifies Detroit with the auto industry, the decline of job opportunities, a place where warehouses abound and poverty has claimed many families. It felt as if the city gave Ash’s history instant credibility and made it that much more plausible.
Overall a solid lesbian dramatic romance book about finding self-worth and love. 4 stars
ARC given generously to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.