Kansas City's Bravest: The Taylor Clan (Harlequin Intrigue #719) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Arson investigator Gideon Taylor had his hands full with three suspicious fires and no leads. Complicating matters were his unresolved feelings for former colleague Meghan Wright—the one woman he'd never got out of his system. She'd become the target of a stalker, whose proximity to Gideon's assignment was no coincidence. But as Gideon and Meghan joined forces to uncover the secrets scorched to cinders, it was clear a five-alarm inferno was about to ignite between them. Could they reveal who was responsible for ...

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Kansas City's Bravest: The Taylor Clan (Harlequin Intrigue #719)

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Overview

Arson investigator Gideon Taylor had his hands full with three suspicious fires and no leads. Complicating matters were his unresolved feelings for former colleague Meghan Wright—the one woman he'd never got out of his system. She'd become the target of a stalker, whose proximity to Gideon's assignment was no coincidence. But as Gideon and Meghan joined forces to uncover the secrets scorched to cinders, it was clear a five-alarm inferno was about to ignite between them. Could they reveal who was responsible for what appeared to be an elaborate plan before the sizzling embers of their relationship were permanently extinguished...?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426867521
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/21/2010
  • Series: Taylor Clan Series , #719
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 175,619
  • File size: 531 KB

Meet the Author

Julie attributes her passion for writing romance to all those fairy tales she read growing up, and shyness. Encouragement from her family to write down those feelings she couldn't express became a love for the written word. She gets continued support from her fellow members of the Prairieland Romance Writers, where she serves as the resident "grammar goddess."

This award-winning author and teacher has published several paranormal romances in addition to her beloved romantic suspense. Inspired by the likes of Agatha Christie and Encyclopedia Brown, Julie believes that the only thing better than a good mystery is a good romance.

Born and raised in Missouri, she now lives in Nebraska with her husband, son, and smiling guard dog, Maxie.

Write to Julie at P.O. Box 5162, Grand Island, NE 68802-5162 USA.

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Read an Excerpt

Kansas City's Bravest


By Julie Miller

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. All right reserved. ISBN: 0-373-22719-1

Chapter One

Too late. Too late.

The nightmare's fiery talons cut deep into Gideon Taylor's dreams.

The impact of raw, compressed air exploding into a ball of flame lifted him off his feet and
dumped him on his backside.

"Luke!" The hoarse shout from Gideon's ravaged throat echoed inside his mask.

Trapped in the throes of the hideous dream that wouldn't die, Gideon twisted in his bed and
struggled toward consciousness and peace. But the nightmare wouldn't release him.

He needed her.

The groans of the ancient rafters in the condemned apartment building matched the groans of
mortal pain sifting through the hiss of static in Gideon's ear.

"Luke!" Gideon rolled onto his side, straining against his heavy gear, weighed down by a fearful
extra burden of guilt.

It was alive now.

Ignition. Fuel to burn. Oxygen to live and breathe.

A simple yet deadly recipe for fire.

Gideon lurched to his feet. Stooping low, he closed his grit-filled eyes and concentrated on the
sounds that could lead him to his partner. "Talk to me," he whispered, willing the collapsing
fortress to reveal its secrets.

The mournful howl of iron girders buckling from the intense heat taunted him from above. An
invitation.

The tornadic gasp of air currents, rising and gustingahead of the flames hit his chest and pushed
him back. A warning.

The wheezing rasp of his best friend, urging him away from the heart of the fire where he lay
dying, cried in his ear.

His destiny.

Gideon's internal radar tuned in to that last, weak sound. He made the world go quiet inside his
head. He forced his pounding heart and his own ragged breathing into silence.

He zeroed his horrible sixth sense in on Luke.

There.

Gideon plunged into the wall of smoke, lengthening his stride as much as he dared. He strode
into the belly of the fiery beast to retrieve his friend.

"Taylor! Redding!" The order from the receiver inside his helmet went unheeded. "I said clear
out!"

"Luke's down." Gideon's brief reply spoke volumes.

He didn't spare another breath to argue Deputy Chief Bridgerton's orders. The chief would
understand. A firefighter wouldn't leave a man behind.

Feeling his way along the wall, Gideon tripped through the remnants of the blasted doorway into
the boiler room and dropped to the floor. One knee hit concrete.

The other hit something softer.

Luke.

Gideon took his hand and squeezed it tight in his fist, offering a silent promise, trading an
unspoken comfort. He stretched out beside his partner on the floor, peering through the six-inch
window of clear air next to the floor. Luke was flat on his back. The burning bramble of rafters
and twisted metal had pinned his right shoulder and chest to the floor.

"I'm here." Gideon barely heard the words himself. "You with me?"

Luke's helmet rolled back and forth as he tried to shake his head. "No good.
Get - Sumbitch -"

"You insulting me?" Gideon crooked a smile as if Luke could somehow perceive it through his
closed eyes and pain-filled delirium.

Gideon hooked his arms through Luke's elbow and around his knee and pulled. Trapped.

He needed a pickax. A crane. Two more men.

If God was listening, he needed a miracle.

"Honey?" Gideon moaned out loud, desperate to escape the certain doom that awaited him in
his dream. He needed to hear that taut, sexy voice - full of spunk and sass one minute, full of
vulnerable tenderness the next. He reached out for her.

Gideon pulled his hand away from the metal framework. Sticky strings of melted rubber
glommed onto the tips of his gloves, snagging his fingers in a deadly web.

Gideon swore. One vivid word that gave voice to his frustration and alerted Deputy Chief
Bridgerton to the deadly danger they were in.

"Taylor! I'm counting you down in seconds now. Get out!"

Feeling Luke's still form beneath him, Gideon resisted the urge to share the last breath of oxygen
from his tank with him. He needed that air if either one of them stood a chance of getting out.

Gideon reached out and grasped the heavy metal bars, softened by molten heat, in both hands
and rose to his feet. Spurred on by determination alone, he lifted the ceiling wreckage and
shoved it off Luke into the ravenous mouth of black smoke. As the debris disappeared and
crashed to the floor, Gideon's glove went with it.

He breathed in deeply, absorbing his tank's last hiss of clean air.

Then he was on his knees and lifting. Shoulder to gut. Hand behind knees. He pulled Luke's arm
around his neck and rolled to his feet, staggering beneath the weight of a full-grown man
dressed in heavy gear.

"Chief!"

He was up. He was moving.

Gideon lurched down the hall toward the busted-out hole through which he and Luke had first
entered the blaze. He leaned against the wall and followed it with his elbow. And when that ran
out he followed blind instinct and stumbled toward fresh air and freedom.

"Taylor!" Gideon's lungs fought for air, but there was none to be had. "Take him." His knees
buckled.

Bridgerton's commands echoed through the blackness closing in on Gideon.

Before he hit the ground, the burden on his shoulders lifted. Hands were there to help him. To
hold him up. To take Luke from his grasping arms.

Someone snatched off his helmet and his mask. His oxygen tank vanished. He was sucking
clear, cold night air into his lungs, letting the oxygen pour like a cool compress through his
throat. Then hands were lifting him, pushing a small plastic mask over his nose and mouth.

He saw flames - white and orange and laughing with victory - consume the midnight sky
above him. The blackened skeleton of the condemned building was silhouetted against the blaze
for one instant before another explosion rocked the earth and it crumpled into a heap of
billowing smoke and flame.

"We're clear!"

Those were the last words Gideon heard before he surrendered to the darkness.

When he came to in the swaying ambulance minutes later, he knew all was lost. The silence of
the paramedics told him the truth. Luke was gone.

Still, he reached across the gap between their guerneys to touch his friend. "Sorry, buddy. I was
too late. Too late."

"Christ, Taylor. Your hand."

It took one endless moment for Gideon to pull his gaze from the peaceful expression on Luke's
ashen face to focus on the blackened tips of the fingers on his left hand.

Shock gave way to pain as the flaking layers of seared skin registered with his brain. "No -"

"No -" The hoarse cry from his nightmare took shape and sound as a shard of phantom pain in
his left hand woke him halfway toward consciousness.

He reached for comfort. Reached for solace. Reached for light and life and loving perfection.

"Meg?"

He held a cold pillow in his arms.

Full consciousness crashed in on Gideon with a cruel force as violent as the nightmare itself.

The bed was empty.

He stilled the needy grasp of his arms, breathing deeply to silence the pounding of his heart. He
sat up and pushed the fingers of his right hand into the sweat-streaked hair at his temple. The
damp sheet slipped down his naked chest and pooled around his hips.

The air-conditioning ran on high, and the humid city air of daytime had given way to a dark,
moonless night outside. But his body was burning up beneath the twisted sheets.

He hadn't had the nightmare for a month. Why now?

He reached out and caressed the empty bed beside him.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Kansas City's Bravest by Julie Miller
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    PetalLeaf

    The starclan cat in charge of watching this clan gasped and thought to herself "she will relive she was destoned to be a warrior"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Ferntail

    Ferntail nodded respectfully and padded out of the den.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Thunderstar

    Waits

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nice easy read.

    I did enjoy this book. While it captured some of the essence of Kansas City with the correct street names and mention of the river boat casinos I wish it would have gone a little bit more into detail about this great city. The story was good and kept you interested and reading. I will look into the rest of the Taylor series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2004

    no matter what the past is you can always be brave!

    great book. took me 2 days to read it! i couldnt put it down! And ive read it more then once. i like the Taylor series. They should do more series like this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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