Hot for Firefighters: Combustion and Meltdown!
Creating a title for a novel can either come to me in a flash or take forever to decide. When my firefighter romantic suspense novel came out in ’02, I had played with more than one title, but decided Combustion described not only a fire, but the heat of romance. Eventually I refashioned the book into an erotic romance and the book was released with a different publisher, but I kept the title. Not long after I wrote an erotic romance novella called Meltdown that features firefighters and an earthquake.
Why did I write a firefighter romance? For a good chunk of my life, I’ve been frightened of fire and fascinated by it. I was writing Combustion when 9-11 happened. I dedicated the novel to the firefighters who battled a horrible 2002 wildfire season and to my brother who was also a volunteer firefighter. Since that time, fire has played a character in more than one of my novels and novellas. It’s featured in a trilogy I haven’t published yet, and I’m writing a World War 2 romance novel set during the Blitz in 1940 London.
Here’s a tidbit of the romance and suspense you’ll find between the pages of Combustion. Warning: excerpt is hot and a bit racy. 🙂
A little heat… Former smoke jumper Autumn MacAllister returns to Montana after tragedy almost takes her life. She doesn’t expect the chubby insecure boy she once knew to have turned into a virile man with a mind-blowing smile.
A little flame…Firefighter Jack Dillon never forgot his childhood crush on Autumn, or the devastating blaze that melded their lives together. Now she’s back and creating havoc in his heart, and he can’t ignore the banked tension between them that threatens to ignite.
Now they must combine forces when an arsonist threatens to burn their city, and an old enemy threatens to create a flashover that may consume all they hold dear.
Right that moment she saw Jack weaving through the crowd. Her heart sped up as she contemplated possible rescue. Jack was a walking, talking dream. He wore a white T-shirt, black jeans, and cowboy boots. Jack must be crazy; it was darn right cold outside and he wore a T-shirt. Then she got a closer look at the words across his chest, a slogan she never would have expected to see on him in a million years. Red letters screamed the message loud and clear.
Firefighters Have Bigger Hoses.
“Whoa,” she murmured.
With the perfect, butt-molding fit of Jack’s jeans and the way his shoulders filled out his T-shirt, Jack qualified as one heartache inducing man. Her pulse accelerated at the same time a sultry tune started.
Todd sneered. “If it ain’t Dillon the dweeb.”
She almost retorted with fighting words. Instead, she sighed and said, “Todd, you haven’t changed, have you?”
“Why would I wanna do that?”
Jack arrived at the bar in time to stop her next comment. “Elliott.” His gaze passed over Todd with all the attention a man might pay a fly. “Geraldo.”
Before Todd could open his mouth, Jack held his hand out to her. “May I have this dance?”
Without hesitation, she gripped Jack’s hand, and he led her away. Once out of earshot, she said, “Thanks.”
He stopped before they reached the dance floor, slipped his left arm around her waist, and leaned down to whisper in her ear. “For what?”
She shivered in pure excitement as his warm breath touched her skin. “Todd. He was asking me to dance.”
Jack gave a mock shudder. “God.”
The warm, interested look in his eyes made her nervous and flustered. Her stomach did a pirouette. “Love your T-shirt.”
His grin turned wicked and he whispered in her ear again. “Well, you know what they say.” His voice deepened and went husky. “Firefighters find ‘em hot and leave ‘em wet.”
She couldn’t avoid the nuclear level reaction as tendrils of arousal stirred in her stomach. Swallowing hard, she tried to regain her composure.
As she looked into his eyes, she attempted an unrepentant grin of her own. Her heart raced and an overwhelming excitement churned deep inside.
Someone jostled her, and she bumped into Jack. Before Autumn knew it his body mashed against hers from breast to hips and each spot in between. She felt Jack inhale sharply at the same time she did. His gaze snagged hers and held. Compelling masculine approval radiated from him, and the temperature from that one glance lapped around her ankles and moved straight up the rest of her body until she felt it tingle in her breasts. Her nipples tightened into points, and she almost let out a small moan. Her senses filled with his heady scent of soap and sandalwood mixed with musk.
In Jack’s arms, she felt almost tiny. His powerful form wrapped around her in a way that protected and aroused so much, Autumn found her face aflame and the rest of her body not far behind.
She finally found her voice. “I thought we were dancing.”
He leaned down to speak in her ear once more. “Sorry, this music is too loud. If you want to talk, we’ll have to do it like this. Or leave and go somewhere quieter.” His voice deepened again to that melting, husky pitch.
A bolt of pure lightning seemed to ignite inside Autumn at the idea of being alone with him. She already floated about ten feet off the floor. The sensation of his muscular arm around her distracted her so much she could barely think. Time for evasive action.
“Dancing it is,” she said with enough volume he had to hear.
His teasing grin said he might be reading her mind. The fast beat meant they couldn’t talk anyway.
As he started to move, she saw Jack’s enjoyment of the tempo overtake him. As the world faded from focus, the throbbing music pulled her into a realm where only the two of them existed.
The man is sin on two legs.
She never would have imagined the pudgy boy with low self-esteem would someday turn into the sexiest man on earth.
Apparently, she didn’t qualify as the only shell-shocked female in the room. In a peripheral corner of her sight, she realized other women watched Jack. She caught a glimpse of Cherry Guillett sitting at a table, and Autumn couldn’t pretend she didn’t see the woman’s clear lust for Jack.
He opened his eyes and caught Autumn in his laser sights. The temperature in the room notched up about a hundred degrees. As the pulsating song slowed, she realized he didn’t plan to let her leave the floor. His arms slipped around her waist and again she pressed tight against his chest and hips. One of Jack’s palms slipped down and his fingers hovered low on her waist, almost touching her rear.
The music, a combination of New Age techno and smooth jazz, swept them into a languorous flow. She realized she’d never been so turned on in her life. If he did one more blatantly sexual thing, her short fuse might blow.
Then he slid his leg between her thighs, and Autumn found her clit rubbing against his rigid thigh muscle.
“Oh.” The exclamation of surprise and excitement left her throat before she could prevent it.
The pressure was exquisite, and she involuntarily squirmed. Oh. Oh, my God, that feels good.
He brought his mouth close to her ear and asked, “All right?”
She slipped her arms around his neck and said with a silky purr into his ear, “I’m beyond all right.”
When he pulled back, his teasing expression told her she’d revealed way too much. She thought she would dissolve right there on the dance floor. Yep, that was it. Melting into a puddle might be the best way to escape. Hot with longing. Scorching with desire. Ready to combust without a care for consequences. Seconds slipped into minutes, she let the music stir her the way it encouraged him, with sensuality.
Broad, strong muscles moved under her fingers as she clasped his shoulders. His hand slid up from her waist, and Jack buried his fingers in her hair a moment so he could pull her head back the slightest bit and look into her eyes. Autumn allowed her feelings to show in her eyes, well aware how perilous it might be. The music slowed to a stop, yet the magic he wrapped her in didn’t ease. Instead of releasing her, Jack kept his hand buried in her hair and his other arm around her waist.
He said into her ear, “Sit with me awhile and talk.”
“I’m here with Ginger, otherwise I would. Girl’s night out, you know.”
Her last words brought her lips close to his ear, and her mouth touched the lobe. Jack shivered, and the knowledge that she could make him quiver brought satisfaction.
“Autumn,” he rasped, “are you flirting with me?”
“I might be.”
He gave her a cocky smile. “We need to talk, and more than about just dancing. Come with me.”
Jack latched onto her wrist and gently tugged her with him. “I’ll show you.”
Stop by my webpage at www.deniseagnew.com for excerpts and blurbs for all my books (including Meltdown) and for links to my Facebook and Twitter.