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All booksRomanceThings You Save in a Fire
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire

Repeat author
Katherine Center is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include What You Wish For.
Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Katherine Center

Quick take

A redemptive read from the author of How to Walk Away with a tough-girl firefighter who isn't as tough as she thinks.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Inspirational


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

Why I love it

Siobhan Jones
BOTM Editorial Team

I guess it’s pretty old hat to introduce a repeat author around here with the promise of an even-better follow-up, but I can’t help it: Things You Save in a Fire is BETTER than Katherine Center’s breakout romance novel of 2018, How to Walk Away.

Cassie Hanwell is a no-bullshit, tough-as-nails firefighter who doesn’t need (or want) a man in her life. When her ailing, estranged mother calls her home to Boston, she is faced with the dual challenges of navigating their rocky relationship (which she’s in no mood to do) and making her mark in a new firehouse, where even the chief is annoyed at the idea of having a woman around. Between trying to fit in and icing mom at home, Cassie’s days are more than filled. Interesting, then, that the other rookie firefighter seems to be worming his way into her heart…

I don’t even know how to explain how much I adored this book, but let’s start with the best thing about it: the main character. Cassie is smart, unapologetic, and great at her job, and watching her make her mark at a firehouse that’s practically muggy with testosterone is as satisfying as it entertaining. This is a story of love, of family, and of learning how to be vulnerable—and trust me, Cassie’s life journey is one you don’t want to miss.

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Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's excellent at dealing with other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it's an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie's old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren't exactly thrilled to have a "lady" on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn't seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can't think about that. Because she doesn't fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don't date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping...but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she's worked so hard to be taken seriously?

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Get an early look from the first pages of Things You Save in a Fire.

Member thoughts

All (14495)
All (14495)
Love (9386)
Like (4622)
Dislike (487)
14628 ratings
  • 64% Love
  • 32% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Midland, MI

    This book is like Disney trying to give a fire a happy ending. I LOVED this book, the meaning and lesson it has in forgiveness may be in a story but is no less REAL and heartwarming. LOVE IT❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Prescott Valley, AZ

    I was back and forth on adding this book to my box and I’m so glad I did! An amazing story with compelling characters. I read this book in one afternoon because I couldn’t put it down. And the rookie❤️

  • Palatine, IL

    In no way could I relate to this character—she is strong (physically and mentally) and unemotional and tenacious, all things I am not—but that didn’t stop me from loving her and rooting for her! 5⭐️

  • King of Prussia, PA

    I loved Katherine Center’s other BOTM and this one didn’t disappoint either. The characters were compelling, the rookie ???? and her female characters are well written. Can’t wait for more of her books!

  • Bangor, PA

    Katherine Center might be my new favorite author. This is the second book of hers I’ve read and I’m in love, when I read her books it’s like I’m in HS reading a YA but the stories are growing with me.

  • Camillus, NY

    This book was amazing! Such a beautifully written story with great characters. I loved how this book was more than just romance. It had a bigger meaning of forgiveness and more importantly forgiving yourself

  • Savannah , TX

    A strong woman, relative issues, a good mystery & some romance mixed in. I’m not typically a romance reader but this book is almost perfect. It had enough substance&character development to make me ❤️

  • Westminster, CO

    I loved everything about this book. I especially loved the authors humor and sarcasm with Cassie’s character. It is a very real life depiction of women having to fight extra hard in a ‘man’s world.’

  • Elko New Market, MN

    What can I say other than this book is a winner! I didn’t know it was possible to love this as much as “How To Walk Away”, but I did! The characters are so wonderfully relatable. One word: forgiveness

  • Raleigh, NC

    Best BOTM book so far! Surprise plot twists kept the story moving. I loved the main character, a strong woman, in a “man’s world” and her struggles and emotions along the way. More like this please!

  • Austin , TX

    This book is more than a love story- it’s a coming of age story. A story about forgiveness, family, struggling with work life balance, & falling in love at the “wrong time”. Repeat read! Loved it!!!!

  • Kansas City, MO

    I couldn’t put it down! It’s a quick read that will tug at all of your emotions in the best way. Internal struggles, finding your way, forgiveness, love, hope,’s all wonderfully here.

  • Salem, OR

    Absolutely gripping. I couldn’t put it down! & this turned out to be a very cathartic read ~ I’ve gone back several times to reread passages that gave language to feelings I couldn’t put into words.

  • Las Vegas, NV

    This book had a very powerful message: Forgiveness. Center does such a great job conveying her message, that in the end you’re ready to forgive anyone who’s disappointed you—starting with yourself.

  • Buffalo, NY

    I LOVED this book! This book covered super heavy topics like rape, sexism, and drug addiction in a way that seemed totally genuine while also telling a sweet story about love, hope and forgiveness. ❤️

  • Asheboro, NC

    Seriously LOVED this book! I finished it in one day—i just couldn’t put it down. My dad retired from being a firefighter, but I still have memories of that old fire station. This book brought me back!

  • Spokane, WA

    Loved this book. I loved that it wasn’t purely about the love story, although I wouldn’t have minded more of it at the same time. It was really sweet and more powerful than I realized before I read it

  • Springfield , OH

    Loved, loved, loved this one! I usually go for the mystery thrillers but I’m so glad I picked this book! I couldn’t put it down! It made me laugh out loud, it made me cry, it was just amazing!! ❤️

  • Mesa, AZ

This book has it all. Ups, downs, highs, lows, twists and turns. It's an emotional roller coaster that leaves you wishing for more.
The story follows Cassie, a 26 year old firefighter. She's toug

  • Marlton, NJ

    Another winner! I love Katherine Center’s stories. They’re sad, and lovely, and so full of life. I loved Owen and Cassie. I loved the crew. I loved her mom and Josie. Great characters, beautiful story

  • It Ends with Us
  • This Time Next Year
  • The Love Hypothesis
  • One Last Stop
  • The Ex Hex
  • The Heart Principle
  • The Bride Test
  • How to Walk Away
  • The Dating Plan
  • A Rogue of One's Own
  • One to Watch
  • People We Meet on Vacation
  • In a Holidaze
  • One Day in December
  • The Holiday Swap
  • Red, White & Royal Blue
  • The Proposal
  • Beach Read
  • How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days
  • The Boyfriend Project
  • What You Wish For
  • The Heiress Gets a Duke
  • Well Met
  • Bringing Down the Duke
  • The Kiss Quotient
  • When Katie Met Cassidy
  • Things You Save in a Fire