I recently completed and submitted my thirtieth book. I'm celebrating by offering a taste from each one. Scorch is a friends to lovers romance featuring a smoke jumper fire fighter trying to resist his best friend's widow. Enjoy!
I jumped (get it?) at the chance to join a series about a crew of smokejumpers. It had been a scary wildfire season here in BC and I was feeling a lot of love for brave, sexy firefighters.
Scorch ties into my Love In Montana series, but takes place in Glacier Creek. Jacqui's husband died fighting fires last year. Vin was best friends with her husband. Vin considers her off limits, but they're sharing a house and she's pushing him to the end of his rope.
~ * ~
His gut tightened and the vague tingle at the tops of his thighs became more intent.
“You are playing with fire,” he warned. “And you are not trained.”
She came to him. She closed the few feet between them and lifted that chin even higher so she held his are-you-serious stare with an I-so-am one of her own.
He held his ground, not just because she was laughably tiny and no real threat. He hadn’t fought in years, but he knew how. Backing down meant giving in and he wasn’t about to let her get away with this. Still, he was a teensy bit unnerved that she was acting this bold.
Because she didn’t know what he wanted, deep down where he let it smolder under soil and ash, hidden even from himself most of the time. His soul was a bottomless pit that would never be filled. If she was offering sex to fill it, she’d better be prepared because he needed lots of it.
Otherwise, she ought to back down. Now.
She faltered briefly and his conscience pinched. Then she came further into his space with a decisive step and an invisible energy like the static before a lightning strike. It stoked the glow in his belly and made the ember in his groin burn hotter. Heat licked up to fill his expanding torso.
Her hands touched his chest, scorching, making his pecs flex with pleasure so sharp it hurt. Her weight came against him as she went on tiptoe and her hand pressed the back of his head, asking him to come down to the lips she parted in invitation.
Don’t. Off limits. Just friends. Vulnerable.
But his senses were inundated by the feel of her, undeniably feminine despite the subtleness of her curves. She smelled like his shampoo again. Like him. His.
He slid his hands under her butt and picked her up, liking the squeeze of her legs around his waist as he lifted her. Her arms snaked around his shoulders as she mashed her mouth to his.
He staggered as the sensation of kissing her slammed into him, as though she’d thrown herself at him and knocked him off balance. The backs of his knees hit the edge of the mattress and he sat.
Not this bed. He hitched himself off the side to slide to the floor.
She folded her knees and straddled his lap as they reached the carpet, but they kept kissing. She was trying to devour him, almost frantic in the way she pulled at his lips with her own.
“Slow down,” he ordered, breaking away to cup her head.
Her mouth was pouted, her cheeks bright with color, her eyes so bright and glassy they made his sting.
“I really want to kiss you,” she said on an anxious pant. “So bad.”
A quake went through him. A collision of honor and deprivation. She needed this as much as he did.
Nice rationalization. But he couldn’t deny her.
He tilted his head and drew her closer, kissing her the way he had wanted to kiss her for— Damn, he didn’t want to admit how long ago the seeds of this fantasy had been planted. Standing in this yard watching a truck pour concrete for the foundation of this house, maybe.
He shook off the memory and embraced the now. Just once, just for a few minutes, he was going to immerse himself in the thing he’d been longing for. He was going to have it.
And it was heaven. Her soft lips parted generously under his. Her moan vibrated in her throat. Her tongue met and played with his. Her hands stroked his shoulders under his sleeves as he luxuriated and ravaged, tried to be gentle, but was driven to be thorough.
Once. He was only going to kiss her this once. He swore.
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