As with Force of Nature, lots here I liked, and bits and pieces I didn't like so much. I found the first half of the book jumped around even more than a Brockmann novel, and it was too much for me. It was really difficult to follow the stories, or to get involved and care about them with any great depth of feeling. By about halfway through, I'd figured it all out, and wrapped my mind around it all. I decided which storylines I cared about (there were more here than usual, it seemed, or maybe it just seemed that way to me).
Yikes! Usually I start out with what I liked - so let's get back to that!
What I liked: I really liked the Decker/Dave/Sophia storyline. I loved watching Dave come into his own, from the time we first met him in I forget which book it was so long ago to now. The scene with Tracy talking about seeing his butt under the desk and realizing it was him? Priceless. But more than that, he's matured over the course of these many books, and it was nice to see his growth (yes, he still panted after Sophia like a little puppy, but what do you expect?).
I also liked seeing another side of Decker. Interesting the way Brockmann brought it out. And the way he denied its roots in reality. But still, it was Decker in all his sad, unhappy, uncomfortable humanity, and it was a sight to behold. That Deck is one deep dude. His pain and anguish leapt off the pages and straight into my heart.
As the books go on, I find myself wondering what it is that these two find so fascinating about Sophia. I think I'll need to go back and reread... whichever book it was where she made her debut.
What else did I like? I liked Izzy - a lot. Loved reliving all the songs in his head. The Night Chicago Died was one of my favorite songs back in the day. Yes, I'm not afraid to admit it, LOL. I had the Paper Lace album. I loved the reference to it. Anyway, I digress....
Izzy... I liked that he was totally taken with Eden, and believed her unquestioningly about what happened to her. I also liked that he wanted to take the high road, but just couldn't help himself with her. Another seemingly goofy Brckmann SEAL - seems shallow on the outside, but deeper and caring - he gets it, on the inside.
The main couple - Hannah and Vinh - felt almost like secondary characters to me throughout much of the book. I think that Dave and Decker took over any scene they were in, and so they made the lasting impression on me. I liked Hannah and Murphy, but nothing spectacular set off for me with them.
What didn't I like?
The Gillman siblings. Man, Danny was just a dick. No other way to put it. I hated him in every scene he was in. Brockmann is going to have to work really hard to get me back for him as a hero. And Eden was a slut. As much as I liked Izzy, I wanted someone better for him. The age difference didn't bother me as much as the morals difference, no matter her reason, excuse, whatever behind it. I'm wondering where that will go - it was left as a bit of a cliffhanger in terms of their relationship.
The Tess/Nash butting heads thing was getting old. I was so happy to see it resolved. And wow - Suz resolved it with a bang! I'm vascillating - does this go in the What I liked, or What I didn't like section?
The quick multiple scenarios for the first half of the book were too much, IMO. It certainly would be very difficult to pick up any new readership with this book, if you ask me. Although when I mentioned it to Bob, he said those short 'vignetty' chapters read very much like the thrillers he reads - the Flynns, the Baldaccis, etc. Ok, then. I stand corrected. Maybe it's just not what romance readers are used to.
Lastly, I'm left still missing the WW2 vignettes. Yes, I harp on them to anyone who will listen, and I know they haven't been in a book since Max and Gina's book, but I thought those were the bomb. And I'm missing the SEAL action. I know I said the same thing in my review of Force of Nature, and it's still true.
All in all, though, I liked Into the Fire. Read it in a day (I took a long lunch yesterday, and stayed up really late LOL!). Brockmann fans everywhere will be thrilled.