Firefighter Kristi Gregory was just enjoying an evening off in everyone’s favorite hangout, sipping her beer, when hot cop Patrick Hayes walked in. They’d just worked a disaster together that very day, and he was not only professional but one very hot cop. Patrick had eyes on Kristi but was still trying to prove himself at his new precinct. But when danger brings a sexy firefighter and a hot cop together, it’s incendiary.
Misa turned hot and bothered when sexy firefighter Sam Braddock moved into the house next door. she could hardly get him out of her mind. Who wouldn’t want to do everything with a six-foot-four blond hunk with sculpted muscles that didn’t come from any gym, and a smile that made her panties wet? He was the stuff any woman’s dreams were made of. And she had a problem. And she wanted to have hot, sweaty, off-the-wall s*x with my neighbor, king of the alphas. When he agreed to be interviewed for hew newspaper, neither of them expected the hot inferno that would explode between them.
USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic. and has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
Incendiary is created by Desiree Holt, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.
Book One: Incendiary
Kristi Gregory pushed open the door of McNally's Pub and was immediately hit by the sound waves of conversation and the clinking of glasses. The familiarity of it wrapped itself around her like a comfortable quilt. No matter what else happened, she could always feel at home at McNally's. It was her anchor when her life took a crazy dip and swirl, which it had done not so long ago. This was her family. She could let it all hang out with them.
The fact this was a weeknight didn't make any difference. The pub was nearly full, not unusual, even for a weeknight. A longtime hangout for firefighters and cops, it catered to people who worked crazy hour-long shifts and took their relaxation when they could get it. The crowd was usually a mixture of people ending their shift and people starting their days off, like her.
Tonight, she really needed the warm atmosphere of the place. Her last shift had been brutal-three multiple car wrecks and a fire in an overcrowded older house. She and Jared Franklin, the EMT she partnered with, had worked their asses off nonstop. The one bonus was the radio patrol cop who'd worked the biggest accident scene with her. She hadn't seen him before so she guessed he was new to the precinct, but he did an incredible job, quietly and efficiently, in a horrendous situation. He just went about business, doing what was needed and sometimes seeming to be everywhere at once. His presence had actually given her an unusual sense of security amid all the danger and chaos. She didn't realize until afterwards that she'd never gotten his name.
She was thankful they only had one more callout before end of shift, and that one was minor.
This morning, when she'd finished her last shift at seven, she'd gone home, fallen into bed, and slept for twelve hours. Once she was awake, she'd debated between staying home and popping a frozen pizza in the oven or hopping over to McNally's for one of their out-of-this-world burgers. The lure of the burgers won, which was how she found herself at the pub at eight o'clock in the evening. And she wasn't hamstrung by a time limit, either. Today was the start of the Kelly Days for her crew-the four-day stretch before starting their twenty-four on/forty-eight off again, so she could relax and enjoy the food.
She hadn't done much in the way of primping and with good reason. Practically everyone she knew in there was like a brother or sister to her. She didn't have to worry about someone hitting on her or wanting a hookup. Or more. Bitterness washed through her with that thought. She'd been there, done that, and didn't get an award for it, just battle scars over her heart. That was when she stopped going to other places and meeting people out of her environment. It was much safer that way. McNally's was her security blanket, and she held onto it with a tight grip. Tonight she wanted-no needed-the warm camaraderie she always found there.
Which was why, after her wakeup shower, she'd just swept her honey-blonde hair into a ponytail, pulled on jeans and her University of Michigan T-shirt, slicked on some lip gloss, given her lashes a swipe of mascara, and she was on the way.
She waved to people she knew, including Toby McMillan, the cute geek who serviced all the computers for Dallas Fire and Rescue. He kept their computer system running, coaxing their cranky system to life again and again. Kristi knew how much trouble computers could be. Some days, Toby spent as much time at the station house as the firefighters and medical personnel. If they couldn't get their computers working, they were all screwed.
He was about five ten, with shaggy brown hair and a lean figure dressed in jeans, a T-shirt, and a flannel button-up shirt open over it. Cute, although not her type. She hoped he had a really nice girlfriend. He was a good guy and should have someone who appreciated him.
"Don't you ever get tired of fixing the same old problems?" Jared had asked him just the other day.
Toby shrugged. "Old problems, new problems. It's all the same. Computers are like women." He grinned. "Ya gotta treat them nice, coax them along, and enjoy the rewards when it all works."
"You must get sick of seeing us all, though." Jared sighed. "At least we get our days off."
"I don't mind. I like it here." He winked at Kristi. "And I can enjoy the beautiful scenery."
Kristi laughed. "If I'm at the top of your list for beautiful scenery, you need to find some new scenery in your life," she told him.
He started to say something when that next call came in and they ran for their vehicle. By the time she got back, he was gone. He was a cute guy. Not her type but nice. And always willing to take extra time to look at personal laptops.
She smiled at those who smiled at her. There was an empty seat at a table here and there, plenty of tables with people from the station or the local precinct that she would be at ease pulling up a chair. But for whatever reason, she didn't want to socialize until after she was fed and watered.
Maybe she was still feeling the aftereffects of the one horrendous accident scene she'd worked. A five-car pileup, with one of the cars bursting into flames. They hadn't lost anyone, but it had been damn close. People would ask about it and she wasn't ready to hash over the details yet.
She managed to find a seat at one end of the bar and hauled herself up onto a stool, leaning on her elbows and listening to the room. Conversation flowed easily around her, the balls at the pool table clicked in the background, and, at three tables pushed together, people were head to head over a football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. She spotted Kole Brandt, one of the firefighters on her shift, right in the thick of things, and swallowed a grin. She didn't want any part of that bloody battle.
Jack McNally, the owner's eldest son and bartender, finished serving a customer and came over to where she sat.
"The usual?" he asked.
"You mean a burger and beer?" She shook her head and grinned. "Nah, I think I'll have a burger and beer."
It was a corny little routine they always went through. But it was one of the things that made this place so comfortable for her, and everyone else. Cops and firefighters had made this a home away from home, and it was the one place she always felt at ease. Always had a sense of belonging.
She had just taken another swallow of her beer when someone gave her a light punch on the arm and she nearly spewed the liquid onto the counter.
"What the hell?"