The Brooke family show up in each of the stories so far, in one way or another. The first two were completely about them, and both Kayla and James have played roles in the others, in one way or another.
The family starts with Robert and Carol Brooke. Married for over 50 years, they had two sons, James and Zachary. Carol passed away between Flames of Redemption & Flames of Renewal.
James, the older brother, was the more serious of the two. He has dark hair and green eyes. Tall. He was constantly pulling his brother out of trouble, even after they both became firefighters. He met Sarah Rafferty shortly after he joined the fire department, and even though her parents didn’t approve of him, they were married about a year later. Their son, Kieran, was born about ten months later. A little more than a year after that, James responded to a fire, only to find it was his house burning. Neither his wife or son survived. He went through the motions, but he’d lost the heart for firefighting. The first chance he got for something else, while still in the fire service, he took it. He became a fire inspector then an investigator. And later, when his niece showed interest, trained her in fire investigation. Thirty years after his family’s deaths, his wife’s best friend moves back to town. Until then, James figured he was meant to spend the rest of his life alone. But, he found his heart waking up again with Teresa.
Unlike James, Zachary is light, in looks and attitude. He was always thinking of trouble to get into, and dragging his brother along. He met Chrissy about the same time James met Sarah. They were married shortly after his brother. Their daughter, Kayla, was born less than a year after her cousin, Kieran. Ten years later, they had a son, Jeremiah. Zachary never lost his heart for fighting fires, but due to health issues, retired when he was fifty. He’s having trouble adjusting to that retirement.
Growing up in a fire family, a career in the fire service is really all Kayla ever wanted. But her father wanted his kids to at least explore other options. So, she spent two years in college, where she met Reese Davis. They ended up engaged, until he tried to control what she did. When they lost friends of theirs in a fire, and she wouldn’t follow his ultimatum of leaving the fire department, he walked away from her. Three years later she was on the rescue squad and studying with her uncle to become a fire investigator. Then, she runs into Adrian Riley. And finds someone who will protect her while not trying to extinguish the flames that drive her.
Jeremiah was born ten years after his sister, and always trying to keep up with her. He, too, wanted to join the fire department. Unlike his sister, though, he never had any desire to try to puzzle out the how or why. He’s just about finished up with the fire academy and ready to join the department.