I've always known the men who fight fires are heroes. They epitomize the word. While we run away from a fire, firefighters run into it, risking life and limb to save lives and property. But what kind of man does it take to do what they do?
We throw the word Brave around a lot. We all have our own conception about what it means and that's cool. But one thing it doesn't mean is unafraid. I always thought it did. Of course these first responders are afraid...you'd be stupid not to be when you look at what they do on a daily basis. But that's where their bravery comes in. I'm afraid and I run away. They're afraid but they still run toward the thing that scares them. That's amazing to me. That's sexy. Sure, when we write firefighter heroes we make them look good. The hero depicted on my cover is downright lickable! But it isn't the broad shoulders, the chiseled jawline, or the piercing gaze that makes a firefighter sexy. It's the willingness to put himself at risk for someone else. That's the sexiest thing in the world to me.
A love that burns slowly burns longest, creating the greatest heat.
Though they haven’t seen each other for fifteen years, Duncan Yves has never forgotten Hilda Bennet, or the feelings of love and protection she engendered in him when they were kids. So when she becomes the target of a madman who kills with fire and calls his deadly work Art, it seems perfectly natural for Duncan to try to protect her. Unfortunately, he soon learns that protecting Hilda just might bring the past crashing back down on both of them.
Hilda was just a girl when she last saw Duncan, and her childish dreams of living with him behind a picket fence were squashed when he went away. But when they finally find each other again, the past that separated them all those years earlier still seems determined to keep them apart.
Can they nurture the embers of a love that was forged in childhood into the full-fledged inferno it seems destined to be? Or will the destruction of yesterday’s fire finally smother that blossoming flame, and leave their love in ashes?
Duncan prayed she’d gotten out before the fire really kicked in. His brain told him she probably had. But her succinct, terrifying text kept replaying itself across his mind.
Fire. Restaurant. Help.
“Hilda!” Duncan knew as he screamed her name there was very little chance she’d hear him. The kitchen was almost fully engulfed.
Fire tore a chunk out of his back and Duncan jerked under its sting. Then he realized he’d imagined it…his imagination fueled by a different time…a different fire. He shook his head, shoving back the nightmarish memory, and focused instead on finding Hilda. Duncan sprayed the dancing flames with the extinguisher, conscious of the men streaming into the room behind him.
Agony ate a hole in his arm and Duncan nearly dropped the extinguisher. It sizzled across his flesh and Duncan fell to his knees, the canister clanging loudly against the floor.
A hand touched his shoulder but he shook it off, shoving to his feet and glancing at his arm.
The pain had only existed in his mind.
Duncan stood in place, shuddering with terror, as men shouted and the blaze spat under a full out assault around him. He coughed, feeling as if his lungs were jammed up into his trachea, and moisture slipped down his cheeks as his eyes burned.
Somebody jerked on his arm. He shook them off, forcing himself to move forward. “Hilda!”
The smoke dodged and thickened around him, causing him to lose his sense of place or direction. At one point he found himself facing the door again, heading out of the room instead of deeper inside. He turned around quickly, rage shoving the last of his confusion away.
Dammit! He wasn’t going to let the ghosts of his past be the cause of Hilda’s death. He had to man up…shove the specters away. He needed to find her before it was too late.
Duncan raised the extinguisher again and started spraying. Flames dropped away under his assault, only to rise up again, seemingly unbeatable. He sprayed and moved, an inch at a time, until he was facing the back wall.
As he glanced to his right, intending to turn and cover the length of the long wall looking for her, something gleamed to his left. He turned to find a metal door.
Was it possible?
Pulling the sleeve of his oversized jacket to cover his hand, Duncan wrenched the handle of the door sideways. The latch disengaged and he pulled it open. Frigid cold wafted out to greet him, along with a mist he at first thought was smoke but quickly realized was just frost from the cold air meeting the inferno.
It was a walk-in freezer. Duncan’s view of the room was obscured by a side of beef that hung from stainless steel hooks high above his head. He reached out, shoving the frozen meat aside, and finally spotted her.
INTO THE FLAMES: Firefighter Multi-Author Boxed Set Anthology
Release Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
ISBN: 9781626228832 (Seaside Publications)
Seven smoldering stories. One great price. Only .99!
Firefighters. The word ignites bold images of heroes in dust covered helmets and ash stained turnouts who defy the odds and press on in the presence of danger.
Men and Women of Valor. A dedicated brotherhood of first responders whose honor, strength, and courage overcome obstacles to save lives.
Into The Flames. Seven NYT, USA Today, bestselling and award-winning authors offer romantic suspense, contemporary, historical, and paranormal tales of tough, iconic heroes who risk it all for their communities—but at the end of the day, seek the tender embrace of the one they love.
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