Against the Fire (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #2) [NOOK Book]


You can't fight what you can't see. And Gabriel Raines can't be sure just who's setting the fires in his new real-estate development. When two fires hit back-to-back, he knows it's personal, but any number of competitors or ex-employees could be the arsonist.

The police suspect Angel Ramirez, a local teen who's been in trouble before. But Mattie Baker, a volunteer at the ...
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Against the Fire (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #2)

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You can't fight what you can't see. And Gabriel Raines can't be sure just who's setting the fires in his new real-estate development. When two fires hit back-to-back, he knows it's personal, but any number of competitors or ex-employees could be the arsonist.

The police suspect Angel Ramirez, a local teen who's been in trouble before. But Mattie Baker, a volunteer at the Family Abuse center, just can't believe the kid she's been working with would go back to his delinquent ways.

Determined to convince Gabe that she's right, Mattie must get close to him and find out who's putting their neighborhood in jeopardy. And just as the arsonist's flames continue to burn, they find a heat developing between them. It might just turn into a full-fledged fire…if they can survive long enough.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426884290
  • Publisher: MIRA
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Series: Raines of Wind Canyon, #2
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 13,476
  • File size: 763 KB

Meet the Author

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. To date she has over 13 million copies of her books in print in seventeen countries, including Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Japan, Argentina, Poland, and Greece. Kat and her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, live on their ranch outside Missoula, Montana, and spend winters at their beach house in California. Kat invites you to visit her website at

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Read an Excerpt

The screech of the siren didn't reach him at first. Exhausted from a hard day's work, Gabriel Raines slept soundly. But as the shrill cry drew closer and the flashing red lights lit the walls inside his bedroom, something registered in the depths of his mind and he stirred.

Gabe blinked awake, eyes instantly alert as had become his habit during his years as a marine. He'd been out of the corps for years but some things just didn't change.

The wail of the siren grew louder on the street below the window of his downtown Dallas condominium, then the fire truck shot past and the sounds began to dim as the vehicle drove farther away. With a weary sigh, Gabe turned to look at the red neon numbers on his alarm clock. Three-thirty.

Running a hand over his face, he lay back against the pillow, hoping like hell he'd be able to get back to sleep.

He might have if his cell phone hadn't started ringing.

The siren's wail had stopped. The fire truck had reached its destination, which meant the fire was nearby, and the sound of a second engine was beginning to fill the night. Gabe reached toward the nightstand and picked up his cell phone, flipped it open and pressed it against his ear.

"Whoever this is," he grumbled, "this had better be important."

"There's a fire at the Dallas Towers." The voice of his foreman, Sam McBride, floated over the line. "Looks like all our hard work is going up in smoke."

Adrenaline jolted through him. Gabe swung his long legs to the side of the bed. "Are you sure it's the Towers?"

"I was on my way home, about a block away when I heard the first fire truck. I saw it turn toward the Towers and decided to see what was going on."

Already off the mattress, Gabe pressed the phone more tightly against his ear. "You see what part of the structure is involved?"

"I could see flames in the lobby."

"Son of a bitch." They were almost finished with the major renovation they were doing on the Tower's soaring marble lobby. Almost.

He took a breath to steady himself as he walked toward his closet. "If you were just heading home, you must have had a pretty hot date."

"I didn't spend the night if that tells you anything."

Like Gabe, Sam was a bachelor and both of them lived downtown. An area that formerly consisted of run-down buildings was being revitalized, turned into a chic little district of shops and boutiques. Gabe had built the condos Sam lived in, as well as the Las Posas development that housed his own unit.

"I'm getting dressed. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

Gabe closed the phone. He should have known things were going too well. In his experience, every time life went a little too smoothly, bad news lurked around the corner.

Naked, he crossed to the oak dresser against the far wall, jerked open his underwear drawer and pulled out briefs and a pair of socks. Dragging on a pair of jeans and a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, he ignored the row of Western boots sitting on the closet floor and shoved his size-thirteen feet into the heavy leather boots he wore when he was working.

Gabe left the condo and a few minutes later, he was pulling his big white GMC extended cab pickup over to the curb just a little ways down the block from the Towers. Smoke and flame billowed out through the open glass doors leading into the lobby, but the fire boys were at work inside and had three powerful jets of water hitting the building from different angles. With any luck, the blaze would be brought under control before it burned into the offices on the floors above.

The bad news was, the lobby would have to be completely rebuilt.

Son of a bitch.

"At least the building was insured." Sam McBride strode toward him, almost as tall as Gabe's six-foot-two-inch frame, but instead of having Gabe's dark hair, blue eyes and muscular build, Sam was blond and lanky. On top of being a damned good employee, he was Gabe's best friend.

"Well, I guess that's something. It'll sure put us behind schedule, though. I was hoping to finish up here, split the crew up, use the guys to finish our other projects."

"Not gonna happen," Sam said.

Gabe looked up to see one of the firemen walking toward them in full battle gear: fire protection suit, helmet, goggles, high rubber boots.

"Be better if you stepped back a little," the fireman said, "kept out of the way."

"I'm Gabriel Raines. My company's been rebuilding the lobby. A lot of my equipment is still in there."

"Sorry to hear that, Mr. Raines. Most everything in the lobby's completely gone. It was a hot, fast fire. We're lucky we were able to get a handle on it so quickly."

Gabe blew out a breath. "I hope nobody was hurt."

"Not that we know of."

"How'd it start?"

"Too soon to tell. If the lobby was under construction, there was probably a lot of flammable material around. Paint thinner, drop cloths, stuff that really gets a fire going."

"We're really careful to seal everything up at the end of the day, pick up whatever we've been using."

"Like I said, it's too soon to tell. Our investigators will be taking a look at everything, including the security tapes."

Gabe shook his head. "Afraid that won't help. The old cameras are down. New ones aren't up yet."

"How many people knew that?"

"Not many. Replacing the old cameras was kind of a last-minute management decision. Only a few people knew they weren't up and working."

The fireman nodded and headed back toward the fire, pausing for a moment to speak to a second man in a blue uniform, late forties, salt-and-pepper hair. Gabe realized the man had been moving through the crowd that had gathered to watch the blaze, asking onlookers questions. Now he approached Gabe and Sam.

"I'm Captain Daily with the arson investigation squad," he said. "You're Raines?"

"That's right."

"I understand your company's been working on the lobby reconstruction."

"Actually, we were damned near done."

"We've never met but I know who you are. You helped my dad once, Jim Daily? He needed a permit to add a room to his dry-cleaning shop. The building was old and the city was giving him a hard time about it. You put in a good word for him and the permit came through. I appreciate that."

"I liked your dad. I was sorry to hear he passed away."

"He was a good man." Daily straightened, returning to the business at hand. He looked over at the destruction in the lobby of the Towers. "I'll need to ask you a couple of questions."

"No problem. This is my foreman, Sam McBride."

Daily gave Sam a nod and returned his attention to Gabe. "What time did you get here?"

"About twenty minutes ago. We both live in the area. Sam was heading home from a date. He followed the fire trucks and gave me a call."

"You see anyone going in or out of the building?"

"You guys were already here by the time I arrived," Gabe said. "I didn't see anyone else go in or out."

Daily turned to Sam. "How about you?"

Sam glanced over to the crews mopping up the scene. "The first truck was just pulling up. I saw the flames in the lobby and called Gabe. I watched you guys working until he got here. It wasn't long before a crowd started to gather. But no, I didn't see anyone coming or going."

The captain nodded. "The fireman you were talking to…that's Mike Dougherty. He says the cameras are down."

"Didn't seem like a big deal. No one was going in and out of the lobby during the remodeling."

"I'm going to need a list of the people who knew."

"No problem."

"Thanks. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions." Daily started back toward the men working the fire and disappeared among the throng of spectators.

Gabe and Sam stood watching as the fire crews worked. Eventually, the smoke began to thin and one of the water hoses was turned off.

"Anything you can think of we could have done to cause this thing?" Gabe asked.

"I was here at the end of the day. We left the place clean as a whistle." Sam shook his head. "We were so damned close to finished."

"Shit happens," Gabe said.

"I guess."

"At least the fire didn't get too out of control and it doesn't look like anyone got hurt. I'll call Fred Parsons, see what he wants us to do." Parsons managed the building. He had hired Raines Construction to do the remodel. The owner was eager to get the lobby finished and the building running smoothly again. Gabe was sure Parsons would want him to get his crew back on the job as soon as possible.

"I'll talk to Rich Simmons, too," Gabe said. Simmons worked for American Insurance. "We'll need to file a claim." But even if they did, there was a fairly high deductible. Nothing was ever cheap.

Sam slapped him on the back. "Come on. It's damn near dawn. Neither of us is going to get any more sleep. Let's go get some breakfast."

They might as well. The horizon had begun to turn a pale purple-gray. Gabe's crew started work at seven and though this job was down for a while, there was still work to be done on several other projects they had going in the area.

"You're thinking Mrs. Olson's?" Gabe asked. Mrs. Olson's Cafe down the block had the best breakfast in the downtown area and the place opened early.

"Yeah. I could really use a cup of coffee."

Gabe checked his heavy stainless-steel wristwatch. "It's after five. Should be open by now."

They both climbed into Gabe's pickup. The company name, Raines Construction, printed on the door in bold black letters, flashed in the early dawn light. He fired up the big, gas-guzzling V-8 he had vowed to replace with a more economical vehicle on his next purchase and pulled off down the street.

His stomach growled. A big plate of bacon and eggs was beginning to sound damned good. Might take his mind off having to rebuild the damnable lobby of the Towers.

Gabe spent the morning working away on his favorite project, the reconstruction of an old theater he owned on a street in Deep Ellum. The brick building had once been a local cinema, back in the days when they were extravagantly decorated and elegant. The ceiling was hand-painted in bright colors with lots of gold leaf. At least it was back in its heyday. The doors leading into the seating area were guarded by huge gilt Egyptian statues.

Wasn't much of anything left when Gabe had first started. The red velvet seats were completely destroyed, turned into rust and mold by a hole in the roof that had let in years of rain. But the structure itself was still sound, the brick walls sturdy, once he'd had them reinforced.

He'd bought the place for a song, and a barrel of determination. He wanted to see the Egyptian restored and put back into use. He had already made deals with several local theater groups and the Deep Ellum Arts Festival folks. He had no doubt, once the elegant interior was restored, the theater would again be in great demand.

Besides, he had a personal love for the past that had started when he was a kid growing up in Wyoming. Wind Canyon was a true Western town and though he and his two brothers had been raised in a dumpy, run-down house near a set of abandoned narrow-gauge railroad tracks, the wooden boardwalks, long bar saloons and surrounding ranches had instilled in him a love of the West.

All three Raines boys had left Wind Canyon as soon as they had graduated high school, but a few years back his older brother, Jackson, had returned. He'd made a boatload of money in the oil business, bought himself twelve thousand acres of prime cattle land and renamed the old homestead Raintree Ranch.

Gabe had left Wind Canyon to join the marines. After a four-year stint, he had moved to Dallas and started working in the construction business. With Jackson's help, he bought his first fixer-upper house, remodeled and sold it. He'd liked the work and the money he made and began doing a second one.

The real estate market was hot and Gabe was a hard worker. He made enough money to start his own company and the business had been growing ever since. Along with that, at Jackson's advice, he'd invested some of his hard-earned dollars in Wildcat Oil, where his brother had worked as a geologist, and that had made money, too.

He been smart enough to see the recession coming and made changes that kept him from going broke like so many in the construction business had. There were a lot of opportunities, tax credits and incentives, he'd discovered, for doing downtown renovation and area redevelopment. So for the last couple of years he'd shifted his focus to that type of restoration and found he liked that work even more. Liked seeing a near-dead place come back to life, liked what it did for the people who lived in the area.

Gabe went to work with the nail gun, securing the floor of the stage. He didn't do a lot of his own carpentry these days, but if he wasn't too busy with meetings or solving problems at different job sites, he often lent a hand, doing what had gotten him started in the business in the first place.

The buzz of a nearby saw went silent and Gabe looked up to see two uniformed policemen sauntering down the aisle in his direction. Setting the nail gun aside, he rose to his feet, jumped off the stage, and strode up the aisle to intercept them.

"You Gabriel Raines?" the first patrolman asked, Gonzales, his name plate said.

"That's me. What can I do for you?"

"The fire at the Towers was definitely arson. We've got a suspect in custody. We'd like you to come down and take a look, see if you might have seen him in the area last night."

Arson. He'd been hoping it was just some kind of electrical problem. "Sure thing, I can do that."

Officer Gonzales, with the hard-edged features of a seasoned policeman, and Delaney, the baby-faced cub of the pair, walked him back up the aisle.

"You can come with us or drive down on your own if you prefer," Gonzales said as they stepped into the warm, humid early September air.

Gabe eyed the white-and-blue patrol car and shook his head. "I'll meet you there." In his younger years, he had ridden in the backseat of a police car more than once.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 139 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 140 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You always get burned when you play with fire but sometimes the heat is passion.

    Gabriel Raines is a tough native son of Wyoming turned Texas transplant no matter what way you looked at it. He grew up tough from neglect and bullying; did his time as a Marine and faced his demons on the battlefield; and ran a successful construction and renovation business. But Gabe was no match for the sassy little slip of a woman named Mattie Baker. They met under terrible circumstances and never one to believe in coincidences but Gabe thinks a miracle may develop from this disaster in his life.

    Someone is torching his construction sites and when a young man who Mattie is counseling is falsely accused her path collides with the rock hard Gabe and she is going to make him change his mind or else. He quickly realizes that accusing this boy is the wrong road to be traveling down but any road where Mattie goes he just might have to follow. She goes out of her way in her career as an architect and volunteer and trusts so few people that when Gabe comes on too strong her sense of flight kicks in. Gabe is a man used to getting what he wants so the chase is on even though it is derailed by another fire and another construction site burned to the ground. The apparent fact that these fires are personal, not random makes everyone jumpy but Gabe also wants to protect Mattie and do a little pouncing perhaps of his own.

    Gabe and Mattie search for answers while the arsonist is getting more aggressive and the attacks more vicious. Gabe has some people angry with him as everyone does but he can't think of anyone, including ex-soldiers that carry this kind of grudge. Women may have been scorned but did they take their vengeance this far in seeking pay back, Gabe was not buying that simple answer.

    The nights are lighting up with Gabe and Mattie and he is wearing down her defenses even though she likes playing some cat and mouse games with him and has a very unusual secret she is keeping from him. Mixed signals are driving Gabe crazy but not having Mattie full time in his life, sleeping in his bed and planning a future together is just not what he wants to think about. Solving the crime and sending the arsonist away forever sounds better and then he and Mattie can hopefully have a life - plans are great aren't they?

    Love this 2nd book in the series it was captivating, thrilling, scary and romantic which is a great combination. You really see so many suspects and no one that fits the criminal profile so when it all comes together you as the reader are completely shocked which is just as it should be. The back story with Mattie's friend is so sweet and having Gabe's brothers involved make it all the more well-rounded. Thanks to Kat Martin for a knock down great book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A smoking hot read

    Against The Fire by Kat Martin is a tremendous story filled with suspense and searing romance.

    Gabriel Raines has risen from his dirt poor youth to be a major force in the real-estate development field. Seems someone is out to destroy Gabe's success by setting fires. Gabe isn't sure what to think and latches onto the suspect the police capture. But it's a troubled teen who has a staunch defender in Mattie Baker.

    Architect Mattie Baker gives back to the community by working at the Family Abuse Center. She just can't believe that one of her young teens has returned to his fire starting past. Mattie is convinced that Angel was not involved in setting the fires so she must turn Gabe to her way of thinking.

    Mattie joins forces with Gabe to determine who could be setting the fires. Spending so much time with Gabe has Mattie exploring a side of herself she didn't think existed. A passionate side that burns hotter then the fires destroying Gabe's livelihood.

    As they uncover who could be involved the danger turns towards them. Will they be able to solve who could be the arsonist before the arsonist sets the last fire?

    The Raines of Wind Canyon series continues in Against the Fire. Its fast paced, tantalizing read. Gabe and Mattie both are at turning points in their lives and their connection is incredible in its intensity. Kat Martin books are keepers for me and I can't wait for Devlin Raines story in Against the Law.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Loved all of the Raines of Wind Canyon book (so far). Thank you

    Loved all of the Raines of Wind Canyon book (so far). Thank you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2015

    Great read so far I like this whole series

    Great read have to read this whole series excellent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2015

    Gabriel Raines, the middle Raines brother, has a successful cons

    Gabriel Raines, the middle Raines brother, has a successful construction/remodeling business in Dallas. He buys old properties and restores them, and current projects underway when the book opens include an historic theater and an apartment building that had been condemned. Mattie Baker is a successful, award winning architect, who puts in lots of hours at the office, but also finds time to volunteer at a local family resource center, working with families who are putting their lives back together after domestic abuse/violence. Like Jackson in the first RAINES OF WIND CANYON book, Gabe is not necessarily looking for a wife or a relationship and seems pretty content with his life. Mattie was raised by a single mother after her father died when she was young, and after seeing how her mother struggled, and after a bad experience with an ex, she is determined to never put her trust and reliance in another man. Like Sarah in the first book, she is fiercely independent. 

    I liked Gabe, though not quite as much as Jackson. Maybe because, even though Gabe has a ranch, he doesn't actually spend much time at it, and so he isn't really a rancher like Jackson. He is, however, ex-military. I also liked Mattie, and felt like I could relate to her a little more than I had to Sarah. 

    Gabe and Mattie meet at a police station, when a teenager is arrested for setting a fire in one of Gabe's buildings. Mattie, who knows Angel from her volunteer work, is convinced that Angel is innocent, and she intends to prove it. So even though Gabe is the kind of man she'd prefer to avoid being around, she inserts herself into the investigation, insisting that he help her find the real arsonist. Gabe is willing to give Angel the benefit of doubt, plus Mattie intrigues him and he isn't averse to spending some time in her company. 

    The suspense in this second book was amped up a little more, and the plot felt more tightly drawn and not quite as far fetched as the first book. As the fires continue, Gabe and younger brother Dev compile a suspect list, investigate or question suspects, cross them off, come up with more suspects...I was never sure what direction the story would take next, and had no clue who the real arsonist was until the author actually introduced him to us, the reader, while still leaving Gabe and everyone else in the dark. 

    And of course amidst all the fires and investigating, Gabe and Mattie get to know each other and get closer. Mattie, being afraid of falling for someone, anyone, runs a little hot and cold, but when she realizes she may have pushed Gabe away one too many times, she bucks up and sets out to rectify that, rather than being all wishy washy. Gabe accepts his growing feelings quicker than Mattie does, but is plagued by doubts of whether she wants him or just wants him in bed. They are very well suited to each other, and the culmination of their relationship was quite satisfying. 

    Meanwhile, there's a side plot with Gabe's best friend, Sam, courting Mattie's best friend, Tracy, that was very sweet, but which left me asking why they couldn't have had their own book instead of being secondary characters here. 

    Very enjoyable story, with some great characters and a suspenseful plot. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    Medicine cat den

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    My favorite of the series!

    Quick and entertaining read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Kat Martin

    well book 2 does not disappoint. I am loving this series. Again, Kat does a wonderful job with her larger-than-life characters and story. come on book 3!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    Awesome book. I liked this one better than that first in the se

    Awesome book. I liked this one better than that first in the series and I loved that book too. Can't wait to read Book #3.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012


    *he bows* i am guthix. *he rights himself up and smiles*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Agai Against the fire

    Greeat series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Enjoyable read

    Loved the Raines of the Wind Canyon series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012


    Where wewr u

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012


    She stands outside,watching as the kits play.#I could have had that# she silently thought.She quietly pads to the medicine den.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012


    How did you lose it? By a fire or something? I don't mean to be rude or nosy, but I just want to know what happened to see if I can help.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Excellent read...

    I really enjoy reding how the man is so protective and so in love...I know it's only fiction. Lol

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    C x '/

    Vztf cbxeybbxthuv v

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012


    This book is the best in the serie. It was almost perfect! I usually read lots of romances. I just do not read a lot almost perfect romances. The only thing in this book I did not like it was the heroine issues with a relationship. It was too much, almost annoying. It was still a great book and worth reading.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011


    RATING: 4.5)AGAINST THE FIRE by Kat Martin an exciting romantic suspense set in present day Texas. This is book #2 in "The Raines of Wind Canyon",but can be read as a stand alone. What an interesting and exciting series this is,complete with sexy heroes and smart,sexy heroines. Gabriel(Gabe),a sibling of Jackson form "Against the Wind" and Devlin.He is an ex-Marine,tough,a Texas transplanted from Wyoming,wealthy,a major construction owner and is not looking for love.Mattie,volunteers at a Family Abuse Center,and is determined to prove the young teenager accused is not the arsonist.Someone is out for revenge on Gabe and targets his building under construction costing him millions of dollars in damages not counting one possible life. And of course if anyone should get in this arsonist's way they are only collateral damage. This is a fast paced,action packed story full of sweet sensuality,passion,murder,fire,arsonist.It has second chances and is captivating and heart pumping.Out of the smoke and fire comes love and passion.Another must read. This book received for the purpose of review from Net Galley and the publisher.Details can be found at MIRA and My Book Addiction and More.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    awesome romance series!

    I read this book first and realized it was #2 of 3 and couldnt wait to read #1 and #3! The brothers will make anyones heart beat fast. Highly recommended!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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