Point Of Ignition by Erin Dutton is a story of two women who each have difficult pasts and their journeys to overcome personal trial. Although it is billed as a romance, the story is not a ‘hearts and flowers’ romance. It has a lot of angst, and is much more about the two women learning about trust, with a fire investigation background.
Kate Chambers used to be a firefighter, but following an incident at a fire, she has had to re-train as a fire investigator. We follow her to her first fire scene and meet the gorgeous Alexi Clark. Alexi is the owner of the sports bar that has been destroyed by fire. On first meeting, there are sparks between the women as Kate tries to do her job and Alexi realises that she is a suspect. The story progresses from there.
Kate is nearly six feet tall with blonde hair and an affinity for being properly made up. She is very attractive, like a model, and in the past, was often not taken seriously as a firefighter. She has always worked very hard to prove everyone wrong. She wears a firefighter officer uniform and I find her very hot. The incident that has led to her working in the investigative team has had a profound effect on her life in terms of career, relationships and her perspective of trust. Trust is something really fundamental that a firefighter needs to be able to conduct their day-to-day work and without it, a firefighter cannot function.
Alexi is a similar height to Kate, and in Kate’s view is more attractive than Halle Berry. She owns the sports bar with her long-time friend Ron. She is in charge of the day-to-day running and management of the bar, and Ron is more of an investor and is in charge of the finances. Following the destruction of the bar, when Alexi finds herself a suspect, she has to analyse who she can trust in her life. She has had a rocky past, particularly after the death of her father, and I like how Dutton brings this and her issues out in the story.
Ron and his wife, Danielle, who is Alexi’s best friend, are the major supporting characters. As her longstanding friends, they are the only people that Alexi really trusts.
The Writing Style
I enjoyed the discussion around the forensics at the fire and Dutton has clearly done her research. She points out things such as where the seat of a fire is found and what different burns indicate. It was never too much, but enough to move the story forward and give us more information about what may have happened.
The slow integration of the two women’s backgrounds into the story of the investigation and their personal trust issues was really well done. The investigation was just as it would happen in real life—often progressing at a tangent to what is expected.
The pivot point of the story, about the two women’s trust issues and how the issues have, and are, affecting their lives, is so well explored by Dutton. I just loved this aspect, even though it could be easy for a reader to accept the story at a basic level and miss the whole point that Dutton is exploring.
Some readers have complained that it is not difficult to work out who started the fires. I agree, but in my view, that is not the point of this story, which is about individual journeys. If you are looking for a multi-leveled mystery, then this story is not for you.
Two women, two different backgrounds, and one undeniable attraction. Without trust, they cannot move forward in their lives nor in their relationship. This story is about the different types of trust: familial, work, friends, colleagues and love, and how it can be easily lost. It is an interesting perspective and a good place to start with Dutton’s work.
Excerpt from Point Of Ignition by Erin Dutton
“It’s all gone,” Alexi said quietly as Jason walked away.
Her eyes filled with tears as she stared at what was left of her business. Kate had recognized the stark sense of loss on the faces of property owners before, but something about seeing it on Alexi’s strong features made Kate think she should look away, as if she was invading Alexi’s privacy. Kate’s chest ached and she finally did angle herself toward the scene, needing to escape the heartbreak emanating from Alexi.
“By the time the firefighters arrived they weren’t able to save your bar—”
“In Left Field.”
“That’s what it’s called. In Left Field.”
“Okay. Do you have any idea how the fire may have started?”
“No.” Alexi whispered so softly Kate barely heard her.
Kate lifted her hand then jerked it back, realizing she’d been about to touch Alexi’s shoulder. She pulled her pen from her shirt pocket in an effort to cover the motion.
Those dark eyes met Kate’s again, determination shining through her pain. “Can I go inside?”
“No. We can’t let you in until we’ve completed our investigation.”
“What’s your name?” Alexi snapped.
“Kate Chambers. I’m an investigator with the fire department.”
“Well, Ms. Chambers, that’s my whole life in there. I just want to see if there’s anything left.” When tears spilled over high cheekbones, she swiped at them angrily and turned her head away as if she didn’t want Kate to see them.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781602820845
- Publisher: Bold Stroke Books Inc
Erin Dutton Online
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