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SEDUCING THE FLAME
Wildfire Romance Book 1
BY AMBER LEA EASTON
Flames rip through southern Colorado and fire crews from across the US rush to battle the Million Dollar Fire. Devon Ross never thought he would step foot into his hometown of Ouray again, but as captain of the Flame Slayers—an elite fire jumping squad out of California—his call to duty thrusts him onto a collision course with his past.
Darby Shaw can’t believe her eyes when she sees Devon at the makeshift camp for the fire crews. He had disappeared—literally—ten years ago and his possible whereabouts had become a source of town lore. Seeing him here, now, under these crisis conditions, creates a whirlwind of conflict within her. The last time she had seen him face-to-face, she had whipped him with her wedding bouquet.
There is an arsonist in their midst. When a second fire develops southeast of town, the life and death struggle intensifies.
Devon may be brave when facing down a fire, but is he courageous enough to confront his reasons for cutting ties with his family and friends? Can Darby come to terms with the depth of her past betrayal? Will the seduction of the flame be more powerful than love? With the fire roaring its way through the mountain landscape, time works against them as they struggle to heal what went wrong between them for a second chance at a what-if.
SEDUCING THE FLAME
Publisher: Mountain Moxie Publishing
Length: 55,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romance Adventure/Second Chance Romance
Woosh, woosh, woosh. Helicopter blades churned in preparation for takeoff at the clearing situated at the far end of the clearing. Side doors open, filled to capacity with firefighters, the copter swayed slightly as it lifted into the air.
Darby covered her eyes with her hands, the reality of what she had seen smashing up against fantasy. Devon Ross couldn’t be here, couldn’t be a fireman, couldn’t be standing twenty feet away. He had disappeared, dropped off the face of the earth, had cut all ties with this place.
“Darby, what’s wrong? Do you have something in your eyes?” Glenda tapped her shoulder before kneeling to help with the scattered bottles.
She lifted one palm and then the other.
Yep, he was still there, definitely not a figment of her imagination.
Devon Ross, I’ll be damned.
The last time she had seen him she had been pelting him with her wedding bouquet and telling him to go to hell. He had stood there, white rose petals smashed against his shoulders, pleading with her to run away with him, asking her to leave her groom at the alter. Then he had been gone—poof! Vanished. Never to be seen or heard from again.
She ripped her gaze away and rushed to gather the remaining bottles.
“Darby, what is wrong? You look like you’re about to faint. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine, I dropped all of this water.”
Maybe he won’t recognize me, she thought to herself. Then again, why should I care if he does? I have no reason to hide.
Except she did. Sort of.
Wincing, she scrambled to her feet, adjusted the case, and carried it into the supply tent set up at the south end of the Hawkins’ Ranch. Many ranchers in the area had offered their land for the fire crews and all the equipment needed to fight a fire of this magnitude. Inside the tent, Darby placed the crate on the table and glanced around at all the supplies that had been donated for the men who had spent hours fighting the Million Dollar Fire that ripped across the forest down deep ravines and up treacherous cliffs. Currently at sixty thousand acres, the fire was a beast and many out-of-state crews had been called in to help.
Devon Ross is a firefighter?She leaned heavily against the table and struggled to catch her breath.
The smell of smoke warred with the scent of pine in this meadow made into a makeshift camp dotted with tents. Music drifted over the chatter of men and women who sat in various circles to eat sandwiches and share stories of their fire battles that day.
Darby ran a hand across her forehead and grimaced. Maybe it wasn’t Devon, maybe just some other guy who sparked that inner fire in her gut at first sight.
Yeah, that’s it. A doppelganger. A freaky coincidence that his look-alike would be here.
God, she hoped that were true.
She knew in her gut that it wasn’t.
“We should be getting back to town,” Glenda said before taking a break to rub a purple scarf across her head. “Damn, it’s hot. We really need a break in the weather. I don’t know how these guys are still standing wearing all that gear and facing the fire down like they do. I heard that an elite fire jumping crew from California is here, they got in last night and were the first to hit the frontline this morning.”
“Is that so?” She busied herself with shoving the water into the troughs of ice that had been set up. The sooner she finished unloading this last crate, the sooner she could escape.
“They call themselves the Flame Slayers — I saw their flag near their tents when we drove up. All these people are so badass, I feel like I’m wasting my life as a yoga instructor and your very best bar manager.”
“Lots of people like yoga, Glenda, and they definitely like bars. Both serve their purpose.” She blew a strand of hair from her eyes as she glanced toward the tent entrance. “I think we really need to get going.”
“You’re acting really strange. Maybe you have heat stroke.” Glenda grabbed a handful of ice and slid it down Darby’s tank top.
“What the hell, Glenda?” She leapt back, pulled the fabric from her skin and gasped at the shock of having ice slide between her breasts.
“Just trying to lighten the mood.”
“Yeah, well, don’t.” She strode toward the entrance and peeked outside to see if she had a clear shot to her 4Runner.
Sinewy arms, wide shoulders, tanned muscles revealed by the gaping rip in the back of his t-shirt, tight ass, long legs—she would recognize that physique anywhere. No, he didn’t look like any other physically fit man out there. That was a body she had memorized with her tongue, explored with her fingertips, and clenched between her thighs.
“Hiding from someone?”
“I think so.”
“Did you trip and hit your head or something?” Glenda joined her at the flap. “Who is it that we’re hiding from?”
“No shit? Are you sure? Where?”
Darby jumped back inside the tent when Devon started walking toward them.
“We need to go,” she whispered.
“Out of here.”
She glanced around at the troughs full of ice and the tables stacked with food. Volunteers, firefighters, and reporters crowded inside.
There was only one way out and Devon Ross had just stepped through it.
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. In addition, Easton also writes under two pen names–Dakota Skye (erotic paranormal romance thrillers) and Cassidy Springfield (new adult). She also works as a professional editor and creativity coach, takes road trips with her dogs whenever the mood strikes, and advocates for suicide awareness. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.
Links to Amber Lea’s website, blog, books, etc.
Amazon Universal link: http://smarturl.it/SeducingtheFlame
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/SeducingtheFlame
Thanks, Amber Lea, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!