I have been reading Nora Roberts books for about a decade and for the most part I have loved them all--even the clunkers were better than a lot of the other stuff that is out there. This book, however, was nowhere up to par with the rest of her back list. There was very little that I liked about this book and what I did like about it isn't specific to Chasing Fire (i.e. Nora's writing style), therefore it isn't really relevant to the review.
The biggest problem I had with this book is that there was little to no character development. Rowan is very immature for someone who has been jumping smoke for five years--actually, I'm not quite sure how old she is. Her father is 60, but that doesn't really tell us how old she is since he was 10 years older than her mother when she was born. I think she is somewhere around 30, but I can't be sure. Why do I say that she is immature? When her father becomes involved with a woman, who cares very much about him and doesn't show any evil tendencies, Rowan went into a jealous snit. She called her father's girlfriend a bimbo (even if only in her head) and went out of her way to justify believing this. Even after Gull calls her out on her behavior, she still continues to act this way. At times, her actions are more appropriate for a teenager than for a grown woman. It isn't until the very end of the book that she decides that Ella isn't as bad as she thought.
Another problem that I had with Chasing Fire was that everything that happened between jumps felt like filler until there was another fire. There was very little action in any of these scenes and when there was none of it had to do with Rowan and Gull's romance. As a matter of fact, I barely remember the scenes in which they kissed or made love--they talked about having sex and we know that they've been sharing Rowan's bed most of the time, but there was no showing. I think there was 1 sex scene between the two main characters (2 in total--the other was between Rowan's father, Lucas, and his girlfriend, Ella). For a novel to be called a romance novel, the one thing that needs to be present is romance. This was not a romance novel. There was no romance.
A third problem is that there were too many characters and very few of them had actual names. Most of the ancillary characters had nicknames--for example, Rowan was Swede, Gull was Fast Feet, Lucas was Iron Man.--and some of them only had nicknames. There was one character named Elf, who I am not sure if it was a man, woman, or a cyborg. To make matters worse, my uncle goes by the nickname Elf, so each time Elf is mentioned, I kept picturing my uncle, which really took me out of the story.
My final problem is that there was little suspense regarding the main plot line. I knew almost immediately who the killer was going to be even though I had no idea what the motive was.