Where there’s smoke, Maddox jumps into the flames.
Maddox has been battling California’s wildfires for years. As a smokejumper, he’s trained to take action first and think second, but when he sees the cabin his best buddy owned before his death surrounded by a wall of fire, he can only think of his friend’s widow.
Sydney came to the cabin to ready it to sell. The place holds too many memories for her peace of mind, and after three years of grieving, she’s ready to take a deep breath and move on. But she can’t do that smothered in her cabin.
When the smoke clears…
Maddox needs to evacuate the curvy vixen he has thought about too much since his friend’s passing, but the stubborn woman won’t leave. The team is short-handed, and she’s determined to get hands-on training. Cutting, shoveling, digging—all those things should wear out a woman of her size, but she still has amazing stamina in his bed—as well as bent over logs and pinned against trees.
The smokejumpers aren’t dropped into the danger zone with any water to fight the blaze, which is good because Sydney doesn’t want to douse what she has with Maddox. The sexy firefighter is everything she could want in a lover, and his link to her past makes her feel what they have is real. Until they’re back at base and no longer feeling the heat.
Maddox may never see her as more than his friend’s widow, but Sydney believes this is more than a danger-zone fling.
Sydney is ready to move on, selling their getaway cabin was the next step in the grieving process for her. What she didn’t expect was for the real estate agent she came up to the cabin with to desert her in the path of a wildfire.
When the call comes in Maddox’s team is on route in a couple of minutes. This fire is personal, Rob and Sydney’s cabin is in this fire’s path. Before Rob died they had all spent time there relaxing and enjoying the company.
What Maddox didn’t expect was to find Sydney in the cabin, with no transportation out. After telling her to stay put he joins the others in fighting the fire.
This is a favorite scene.
She stopped and pressed her nose to the window, trying to see anybody out there. But the smoke was too thick and the sound of their saws was moving farther away. She jumped at the sound of every tree falling. She and Rob had cut plenty to keep their cabin protected from just such an occurrence, and they’d been attached to the trees left on their property.
She swallowed hard. “I can’t stay in here any longer,” she murmured to herself, fogging the glass.
Then she whirled away and whipped open the front door. Smoke poured in. She coughed and breathed more shallowly as she stepped onto the porch.
Looking around, she got her bearings. She was safe— the flames seemed to be held away from the cabin. The drone of saws that would have been in the special cargo drop shipment sounded on the west edge of the property.
She closed the door and took off for the sound.
With each step she took, her heart raced faster. She hadn’t felt this adrenaline rush since her last day on the job. A house fire with two victims trapped. She and her team had blasted in, found the people, and gotten them out without incident. They’d all been on a high after that, celebrating back at the station.
Later that night she’d gotten the news about Rob.
She strode faster, determined to not sit this out alone. She needed to be helping— needed to be in the thick of it with people she cared about.
And judging by the expression on Maddox’s face, people who cared about her too.
She spotted him first, hunched over a limb, busy cutting it off so he could shift it into the fire and not let it catch in the yard.
The hot wind whipped at her hair, and she wished she’d tied it back this morning. She swiped it off her face and approached Maddox slowly. Waiting for him to see her.
God, he was beautiful, silhouetted against the fog of smoke, his gear bulking him up, but she knew he was a big guy anyway. Broad shoulders, thick arms. His dark hair and eyes had caught the attention of plenty of girls, and she’d met several. Was he seeing any of them now?
It had been three years. He could be married with kids by now. She’d let herself get so out of touch.
She reached out and rested a hand on his shoulder.
He jerked and straightened, cutting the saw at the same time. The screen on his mask let her see his eyes, which widened in shock— and then narrowed in anger.
He knocked his helmet back and glared at her. “I told you to stay inside.”
“I’m going nuts. I need to help.”
“You don’t have any gear. Dammit, Sydney. I’m trying to keep you safe here.”
“There’s always extra gear in the drop shipment. Don’t you have anything on you?”
“No, Blaze and Lincoln carried a bunch in. I left before they opened the crate.”
That had her mind rushing forward. He’d set off to battle the fire before he was totally equipped?
“Why would you do that?” She had to raise her voice above the noise of thousands of acres of woods being consumed by flames and the buzz of saws.
“Because I made the mistake of stopping to think, and I had to get to the cabin.”
They stared at each other for a long second, and then he issued a low growling noise.
“Fine. Take this.” He handed her his helmet, and she shook her head. He thrust it into her hands. “Do it or go back inside, Syd.”
Petrova, Em. Fighting the Flames (Where There’s Smoke Book 2) (Kindle Locations 188-214). Hartwood Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Sydney gets some real tough on the job training as she works with the smokejumpers to kill this fire. But there’s more heating up than the fire. Maddox has decided she’s his, sort of and the sparks really fly.
Lots of hold your breath moments with lots of sizzling sex and of course there is some grumbling from Maddox when Sydney decides that she will become one of the team.
I look forward to the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
Em Petrova lives in backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.