Only in the glaring light of hindsight does pediatric surgeon Kate Murphy understand that she was groomed for the path she's taken. Raised by a widowed dad and a misshapen, sometimes comical trio of parental surrogates from Murphy's Pub, her father's Irish bar in San Francisco, Kate has never understood how protected she is but when she learns that her well-meaning family has hidden bitter truths about her mother's mental illness and death, the rest of her family history unravels. Kate is still recovering from her family's deception when she becomes involved with Jake Bloom a charming artist different than anyone she's ever known. When she experiences his sculptures on Ocean Beach, she is forever changed; in the months that follow, Jake reveals beauty Kate has never noticed, and exposes her to spontaneity, sensuality, and love deeper than she d imagined it could be. Only Mary K Kate's hard-edged best friend who doesn t miss a thing and names bull when she sees it is immune to Jake's charms. She sees the potential for danger in Jake, and, of course, she says so. Caught between her newfound passion and her friendship, Kate dismisses her friend's warnings. Ultimately, it isn t until she is in too deep, with a daughter on the way, that Kate understands what Mary K feared on her behalf. "Fire & Water" is a story of navigating the treacherous territory of passionate love, friendship, and family devotion and of how love is always a matter of life and death.