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Things You Save In A Fire Summary Katherine Center

Things you save in a fire Reviews:

“Center gives readers a sharp and witty exploration of love and forgiveness that is at once insightful, entertaining, and thoroughly addictive.”
 KIRKUS, STARRED REVIEW

“An appealing heroine, a compelling love story, a tearjerking twist, and a thoroughly absorbing story. Another winner from Center.”
 BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW

A spirited, independent heroine meets a smoking-hot fireman in Center’s smart romance… If you enjoyed ‘The Kiss Quotient,’ by Helen Hoang, read Things You Save in a Fire”’
– THE WASHINGTON POST

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Book Summary For Things You Save In A Fire

Chapter One

THE NIGHT I became the youngest person—and the only female ever—to win

the Austin Fire Department’s valor award, I got propositioned by my partner.

Propositioned.

At the ceremony. In the ballroom. During dinner.

By my partner.

Hernandez, my partner of three years. Hernandez, who I’d never once

thought of that way. Hernandez, who was so perfectly, mechanically handsome

that he didn’t even register as handsome anymore.

He was like a Latino firefighting Ken doll—so bizarrely perfect, he wasn’t

even real. He lifted weights, and flossed, and preened, and he used his

washboard stomach and perfectly aligned white teeth to snare more unsuspecting

ladies than I could count. He wasn’t just in our department’s calendar—he was

on the cover. Picture-perfect Hernandez, the last guy on earth I would ever think

of as anything other than a health-food-eating, CrossFit-training ladies’ man,

leaned over close to my ear, right there at the banquet table, and asked me to

spend the night with him.

“Maybe tonight’s the night,” he said

I kept chewing. I honestly didn’t see it coming. “Tonight’s the night for

what?”

He looked at me like, Duh. “To finally do something about all that sexual

tension.”

I looked around to see if the other guys had heard him.

He had to be joking.

Somebody had to be making a video, or taking a photo, or poised to jump

out and start laughing. There was no way this was anything but an epic firehouse

Candid Camera prank. I surveyed the rest of the crew. Pranksters all.

But everybody was just sawing away at their chicken.

I decided to call Hernandez’s bluff. “Okay,” I said. “Great idea.”

He lifted his eyebrows and looked delighted. “Really?”

I gave him a look like, Come on. “No. Not really.”

“I’m serious,” he said, leaning closer.

“You’re not.”

He gave me a look like, And who are you to judge?

I gave one back like, You know exactly who I am. Then I said, “You’re never

serious about anything. Especially women.”

“But you’re not a woman. You’re a firefighter.”

“Yet another reason I’d never go home with you.”

“I think you want to.”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

“Deep down.”

“Nope.”

“I could dare you,” Hernandez said.

I never backed down from a dare. But I shook my head, like, Not even that,

buddy. “I don’t date firefighters. And neither do you.”

“This would hardly be a date.”

I tilted my head. “You’re like my brother, dude.”

“I can work with that.”

Chapter Two

I was on my way to med school, in fact, planning to be an ER doc. I was a

freshman in college looking for a campus job, and I got recruited by a cute guy

in my dorm to work as an EMT for the university. It was an easy sell. I needed

practice working in medicine, and I also needed a job. Done.

Once I started working as an EMT, I didn’t want to stop—like I didn’t even

want to go off shift. I loved everything about it, from the medical training to the

sirens to the life-or-death moments.

It wasn’t just the adrenaline. There was something profoundly satisfying

about helping people—about stepping into these terrible moments over and over

and making things better. The feeling of doing something that actually mattered

Chapter Three

She took a breath. “I need to ask a really, really big favor of you.”

I braced myself for the question. Whatever it was, the answer was no.

“It’s going to sound very abrupt,” she went on, “but that’s partly because it’s

hard to get ahold of you and I’m afraid you’re going to hang up any second.”

She was right. I might hang up any second.

She took a breath. Then, in a burst: “I need you to come to Massachusetts

and live with me.”

I blinked.

“Just for a while,” she added. “Not forever! A year at the most.”

“A year?”

“At the most.”

Chapter Four

“I suspect they like me because I raised Big Tom’s underwear up the

flagpole.”

“You seem to be very admired. For a woman.”

I blinked. “Thank you.”

“I called you in here for several reasons—not just your temporary insanity

last night. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.”

Chapter Five

“Did he really say, ‘Women are the worst’?”

She squinted. “He doesn’t seem to have much of a filter.”

“Did he realize that he was talking to a woman?”

“If he did, he didn’t care.”

“Did he realize he can’t discriminate?”

“If he did, he didn’t care.”

I took all that in. Then I let out a long sigh. My brain flipped through my

options. I could sue the Lillian FD for discrimination, I supposed,

Chapter Six

One thing I couldn’t decide: Had refusing to apologize been standing up for

myself—or sabotaging myself? I could see arguments both ways. As I left

behind everything and everyone I cared about back in Texas, and as I pictured

my emptied-out apartment and my dad’s garage filled with storage tubs of my

stuff, and as I watched the road ahead of me stretch out farther and farther into

uncertainty, the question lingered.

Chapter Seven

Having dinner together was worse than I would have expected. Apparently,

we’d forgotten how to talk to each other. Attempts at chatting just flared and

died. “This town is too cute to be real,” I’d say. And she’d say, “I agree.” And

then we’d listen to the wind creak the house until somebody came up with

another idea

Chapter Eight

I opened the back door, but she didn’t hear me.

“I’m heading out,” I called.

She turned and opened that one eye. “At this ungodly hour?”

“You’re up,” I said.

“Not by choice.”

“Insomnia?”

“Something like that.”

“What are you doing?”

“Breathing.”

I squinted at her, like, Um. We’re all breathing.

“Meditating,” she corrected.

“Oh,” I said. “That doesn’t sound as good as sleeping.”

“It has its upsides.”

Chapter Nine

Six-Pack lifted his shirt to show us his abs, and a couple of guys threw

things at him—a paper cup, a Nerf football, a set of keys.

The captain went on. “The plump dumpling next to him is Tom McElroy. We

call him Case.”

“’Cause Drew’s got a six-pack…,” one guy called out.

The rest joined in: “And Tom’s got a case!”

McElroy smiled and slapped his round belly. “Tight as a drum,” he said to

Me

Chapter 10

Along the ride, I realized that they’d grabbed the rookie, too.

Next thing I knew, they had pressed us together, standing back to back

against the basketball pole, running a roll of duct tape around us to keep us there.

It was late summer and starting to get chilly. I’d been sleeping in a T-shirt and

boy-shorts-style underwear. I felt glad in that moment that I always slept in my

sports bra when I was on shift. I’d caught a glimpse of the rookie on the way

down—and I felt pretty sure he wasn’t wearing much of anything at all.

Please, God, I thought. Don’t let him be naked

Chapter Eleven

Getting a good look at her, I suddenly wondered if she might be a little bit

pregnant. Just a hunch. I had a knack for spotting pregnant people. Though, if

she was, it was only barely.

I didn’t ask.

Then she was hugging me—tight, and with no hesitation, the way you’d hug

a dear friend, even though we’d never met before.

Chapter Twenty Nine

I guess it really proves the old saying: “The best revenge is marrying a

kindhearted guy with a washboard stomach who brings you coffee in bed every

morning.”

Wait—is that the saying?

Maybe it’s “The best revenge is spending your life in a cottage by the ocean

with a world-champion kisser who takes the phrase ‘with my body, I thee

worship’ literally.”

That might not be it either.

How about “The best revenge is flying kites on the beach with your chubby

toddlers.” Or “The best revenge is dancing to oldies in the kitchen with your

goofy friends.”

Or maybe “The best revenge is to love like crazy.”

Gosh, what is that darned saying? “The best revenge is…”

“The best revenge is…”

Oh, well …

I forget.

Acknowledgments

I started dating a cute, funny, mischievous paramedic right after I graduated from

college, and I’ve been with him ever since. All these years later, he’s now a

history teacher, but he still volunteers as a firefighter/EMT. All to say, when I

started writing a book about a firefighter, I knew exactly how much I didn’t know.

Things you save in a fire book summary
Things you save in a fire book summary
Things you save in a fire book summary
Things you save in a fire book summary
Things you save in a fire book summary

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