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FBI agent Rachel Cortez is ambitious and brave to the point of recklessness, and a woman who has secrets. When she is offered the chance to work undercover and investigate the terroristic firebombing of our national forests, she is eager for the challenge, confident that her skydiving expertise will enable her to carry off the mission as a member of a smoke-jumping team. Fletch Ansari is ex-Delta, a warrior trained to hunt and kill, known to his Delta buddies as Puma. He returns to Colorado to the mountains he loves, where his roots run as deep as the towering pines. There he tends to his ranch and spends the fire season as boss of an elite smoke-jumping crew. Only an occasional visit from the spirit of his Ute grandfather in the form of a phantom cougar, disturbs the contentment of his new life. When the FBI asks Puma to train Rachel in the art of smoke-jumping, he refuses. Smoke-jumping is dangerous for the best trained firefighter. Only the appeal to his patriotism causes Puma to violate his shaman instincts, and agree to the task. To further complicate matters, the forest fires they will be fighting are tame compared to the sexual firestorm that rages between them.