Hearts on Fire
Publication date: March 24th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I never meant to stay. The plan was to fix up the farmhouse, sell it, and leave. Then I met Drew.
I’m a stranger in this place. When a car accident nearly killed me, Mom took me away from my father and this small Texas town. Now, I’m back, and while everyone seems to remember the little girl I used to be, no one knows the woman I’ve become. That’s okay. I’m not here to reconnect or fix what’s broken between my father and me. I’m just here to fix the house I inherited, sell it, and go.
Then I meet Bodhi, the three-legged cat who keeps peeing on my porch. And along comes Bodhi’s dad, Drew, the protective firefighter with rough hands, a smooth smile, and such a dirty mouth.
Drew has a reputation for rescuing strays. Is that what I am, another stray for him to rescue? Or this time, maybe I’ll be the rescuer.
Hearts on Fire is a dual POV, small town, scorching hot, firefighter romance with an HEA. Contains mature language and themes.
Her big brown eyes captivate my attention. I’m stunned stupid, standing there like an idiot staring at her. She furrows her brow. “Can I help you?”
Oh. Right. I look down at Bodhi in my arms, the orange bow-tie tag reminding me why I came here. I point at it. “What is this?”
“A cat,” she answers, looking at me like I’m the asshole here.
“Very fucking funny. I know it’s a cat. It’s my cat, and he’s wearing your tag. You put a tag on my fucking cat. Who do you think you are claiming things that aren’t yours?”
“Yeah, claiming. That’s what a tag is. Like you landed on the moon and stuck your fucking flag in the ground. You think you can just move in here and start staking your flag everywhere?”
“I’m not claiming your stupid cat. I collared him as a favor to you. He was wandering around without one, and I didn’t want someone thinking he’s a stray.”
“Everyone out here knows Bodhi, so no one would mistake him for a stray except you. And you didn’t just tag him, you fucking renamed him. BS? You renamed my cat BS?”
“Look, lady, this is my fucking cat, okay? Don’t go collaring him. Don’t go renaming him. Just leave him be.”
There’s a spark in her eyes, like I’ve poured gasoline on her, lit a match, and flicked it—ignition. She erupts.
“Leave him be? How about you and your porch-pissing home invader leave me be? Take your fucking cat and your shitty attitude and get the fuck off my property.”
“Gladly.” I reach for the snap release on the collar, and it falls off Bodhi’s neck, landing unceremoniously with a clatter and jingle. Marching down the steps of her porch and across the yard to the road, I hold my head high like I’ve won some great battle. But the sinking feeling in my gut tells me I’m the loser here.
“What an ass!” I tilt my head to watch the angry dude walk away, carrying his cat like a football under his arm. “What a front too,” I mumble and slam the door shut. That combination of dark hair and light blue eyes has always been my catnip. Irresistible. Then there were his biceps, bulging out from under the sleeves of his T-shirt, and thighs so thick they stretched the seams of his Levi’s. Lord have mercy! If this is Drew, the mad cat dad, then Inez was right: trouble, really good-looking trouble.
Christina Berry writes sex-positive, contemporary romance. Her debut novel, Up for Air, won “Sexiest Consent” in the 2021 Good Sex Awards, as well as the 2021 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in Romance – Sizzle, and the 2021 Independent Press Award in Romance.
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Christina is originally from Oklahoma, and currently resides in Austin, Texas. When not writing, she’s usually helping her husband with their never-ending home remodeling adventure or marathon watching British crime dramas.