A woman forced to live a life she didn’t choose. A vampire bound by honor to protect humans. A deadly game of revenge that threatens both their lives …
Thirty years ago, a horrendous attack thrust Chemistry professor, ALEXANDRA FLANAGAN into the secret world of vampires. Saved by the blood of an ancient vampire, she unhappily walks among immortals. Now, deadly fires in her quaint town have brought her to the attention of REESE COLTON and his elite RISEN team. Undercover as a firefighter, Reese has been called in to flush out and eliminate the rogue vampire burying a string of murders in the ashes of deadly fires.
With the body count climbing and the number of fires escalating, the evidence pointing to Alex is piling high. Discovering the identity of the vicious vampire hell-bent on revenge may be the easy part of Reese’s job. But bringing a murderer to justice could mean the difference between honoring his duty—and losing his heart.
“Alex, you down here?” called the voice again.
“In the wine cellars,” she hollered back. Alex didn’t need to consult the appointment calendar to know who was thumping down her stairs.
“Glenn called and asked me …” Reese Colton strode around the corner, coming to a dead stop at the threshold as if he’d hit a wall. Questions ricocheted over the vampire’s face. Time hung suspended as the two men seemed to be sizing up their competition.
Reese had done nothing more than spend time at her bar with the rest of the off-duty firefighters. Perhaps he was a bit more flirtatious, even shared several toe-curling kisses with her on several occasions, and though she’d wanted more, Reese had taken it no further. Despite all of that, Alex felt as if she’d just been caught cheating on the man—and didn’t that just piss her off. She didn’t owe the vampire crowding the doorway any explanations. Then why did she feel like the proverbial kid with her hand in the cookie jar?
“Reese. You know Ronan Nason?” she asked, pleased it sounded as cavalier as she’d intended. “He’s here to pick up his order.”
“Um … yeah, we met a couple of months ago at the university.” Reese removed his sunglasses with such deliberate precision, Alex was sure they would slice the heavy tension in the air.
“Reese was one of the firefighters who responded to that horrible fire in my chemistry lab,” she said, working to fill the uncomfortable silence. “The one where my grad student was killed?” The young woman had only recently settled in South Kenton as a doctoral student of Alex’s. The lab and all its contents had been burned so badly, the university wasn’t sure the insurance would be enough to replace everything. Fortunately, the grant money from the tribunal would guarantee a complete refurbishment and extra funding for Alex’s research. “The family still has no answers.”
“The death was ruled accidental.” Both men spoke at the same time.
Her gaze flew between them. “Yes,” the word dragged slowly out of her mouth. “Still, it’s hard for me to understand how a grad student in chemistry could’ve been so careless.”
“No doubt the poor woman let the Bunsen burner from one of her experiments get out of control,” Ronan said. “Thank goodness no one else was caught in the blaze.” He looked to Reese for corroboration.
“Any life lost in a senseless fire is one too many.” Reese’s words were as hard as the look he shot Ronan. “It’s a code to live by.”
“Aye, ‘tis true for sure. Still, we have to be grateful it wasn’t worse. Perhaps more safety education needs to be done. I’m all for keeping students safe.”
“So I hear.” The half-smile Reese flashed held a challenge—not humor.
Alex couldn’t believe her ears. Ronan’s reputation of hitting on underclassmen was well known at the university. Apparently, his notoriety had also seeped into the town rumor mill and it was enough to raise Reese’s hackles. If Alex didn’t do something soon, the testosterone flying through the air would likely wound them all. She cleared her throat to draw their attention back to her.
“Yes, well, okay then. Back to the task at hand.” Checking the scheduled appointments, Alex was surprised. Reese wasn’t expected for another hour. “You’re early, Reese. If you’re in a hurry, I’d be happy to—”
“No, I’m good.” Casually leaning against the door jamb, Reese crossed his booted feet at the ankles, tucked his sunglasses into his chamois shirt and folded his arms over his chest. His contentious stare never left Ronan’s annoyed expression. “In light of all the recent fires, Glenn wasn’t comfortable leaving you here on your own. When he called and asked me to give you a hand this morning, I told him I was happy to help with the appointments.”
Alex’s heart flipped in her chest. She’d spent months trying to entice Reese beyond innocent flirtations and innuendoes. Now, when she’d made the decision to cut her ties with South Kenton, the man looked as if he were going to devour her in one lusty bite.
About the Author
Even though it’s been 10 years since USA Today bestselling author, Nina Pierce, first put fingers to keyboard, it still amazes her that she hasn’t written all the stories swirling around in her head. But then again—the woman is never at a loss for words! A former science teacher, she now spends her days wondering “what if”, making stuff up, killing off imaginary people (who may or may not look a lot like her nasty neighbors) and finding her characters their perfect soul mate. Married to her high school sweetheart of thirty years, Nina believes everyone deserves a little sexy romance in their life!
Nina enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at Nina@NinaPierce.com. You can also keep up with all her newest releases on her website (http://www.ninapierce.com)) or by following her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nina.pierce) or twitter @NinaPierce.
INTO THE FLAMES: Firefighter Multi-Author Boxed Set Anthology
Release Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
ISBN: 9781626228832 (Seaside Publications)
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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.
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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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