GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Too Hot To Handle
Jane Willoughby has a temper. Sure, in her day job answering calls for 911, she can keep her head no matter what the emergency. But when her ex appears on her doorstep on her first sick day in years, expecting her to act happy he’s her co-chair for the annual fireman’s ball, she feels a little righteous wrath is justified.
Chance McGovern broke up with her with a greeting card, for crying out loud. He doesn’t get to just sprout some washboard abs and put on a uniform and behave like any other tasty firefighter.
Jane has no idea what’s happened to Chance in the last nine years—and no interest in finding out. Not even a teeny-tiny spark. No matter how hot he is. Or how well he remembers the little things that make her laugh, and cry, and spontaneously combust.
And she’s going to be working with him one-on-one. At least there’s a fireman on call . . .
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As a local dispatcher for emergency calls, Jane knew most of the firefighters well. Knew their families. Every couple of years the town held a fundraiser for the Michigan Firefighters Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund. After a large refinery fire had killed two firemen in upstate Michigan last year, reminding Jane of just what their local firefighters faced, she’d jumped at the chance to help out and be one of the cochairs of the fundraising committee.
“So tell me about our third cochair,” Jane asked. “I have yet to meet the new assistant fire chief. He just started last week, right? I can’t believe he was already roped into helping with this fundraiser.”
A devious smile turned up the edges of the judge’s lips. “I believe it was a part of his initiation. He was given a couple of choices of what he, as the new guy, could do. I believe this was the least objectionable.”
“The boys in Firehouse 10 gave him a choice?” She shook her head. “They must be going soft.”
A firm knock on the door interrupted them.
“That must be the lucky man now.” Jane pushed to her feet. “What’s the new guy’s name?”
“Assistant Chief McGovern.” The wrinkles in the judge’s forehead deepened. “First name Thomas, I believe.”
“Huh.” That was funny. She used to know someone with that name. But that T. McGovern would never have been caught dead wearing the blue-collar uniform of a firefighter. She moved to open the door.
She turned, hand on the knob. The judge had risen to his feet. Even though the older man only stood at about Jane’s own five foot six, he had presence. A sense of authority and calm that made few question his decisions. But right now, he just seemed agitated.
“I think you should know, uh . . .” He brushed violently at his hair.
She raised an eyebrow. Very odd. “Hold that thought.”
Shaking her head, she pulled the door open.
And everything stopped. Her heart. The faint pounding in her head. Her breath. Time itself seemed to suck in a deep breath and hold it.
The chiseled jaw in front of her dropped. “Jane? Jane Willoughby? Is that really you?”
She didn’t know how long she would have stood there, staring at her high school love. The boy who’d ripped her heart in two, stuck a bite in his mouth, chewed it up, spit it out, and then ground the half masticated bit under his heel. Not that she was still bitter about it or anything.
Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. She’s the author of the contemporary romances Putting Out Old Flames and The Christmas Tree (Lyrical Press). A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Ally’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it. You can find her at allysoncharles.com or on Twitter @authallysoncharles.
The authors will be awarding digital copies of all 3 books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.