Where there’s smoke….

I’ve always had a fascination with smoke jumpers. Okay, maybe not always, but I have nurtured a fascination with them since I saw the movie Always.

In 1989 Steven Spielberg did a modern-day remake of the 1943 film A Guy Named Joe. In it, Richard Dreyfuss plays a daredevil pilot and Holly Hunter is the spitfire of a woman who loves him. Here’s the trailer:

Humor, heartbreak, and a second chance at love. *sigh* Did you notice Audrey Hepburn in there? Yeah. Is it any wonder it stuck with me all these years?

When we decided that the theme for Volume 2 of the Love Letters series would feature heroes or heroines who were determined to serve, protect, and defend, I knew exactly what I wanted to write.

Don’t get me wrong. I love all sorts of uniformed heroes. Tyler Prescott, my hero from D is for Detained (Love Letters Volume 1: Obeying Desire) is a police officer. In July, I’ll have a sexy firefighter story called Rescue Me featured in the Smokin’ Hot Firemen anthology. I love a sexy SEAL or a forceful FBI agent, but with wildfires sweeping through the western half of the States last summer, I jumped at the chance to feature a smoke jumper.

The character of Luke Whitehawk just showed up in my head fully formed. Trust me, it was no hardship to have him there. The tough part was dreaming up a woman kick-ass enough to be his match. A former military chopper pilot, in my mind, Tara Ferris was a heroine long before I plucked her from my imagination and dropped her into Luke’s lap. He might have been a little reluctant at first, but I like to think they’re happy I stuck them together. Because these two set off enough sparks to set the pages aflame.

Want a taste of H is for Hotshot? Check this out:

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He stared down at her, his dark eyes hooded but liquid with heat.

“I fly high every time you look at me like that,” she whispered.

Tara smiled when he carefully schooled his features. Too late. Again. She saw the inferno that burned inside him, no matter how cool he thought he was.

He quirked one jet-black brow and tipped his head back, staring down his nose at her. “Look at you like what?”

Soaring on a rush of power, she let her fingers bump along the placket of his grime-smeared yellow shirt and used his infamous sweet tooth against him. “Like I’m warm cherry pie smothered in ice cream.”

He caught her hand when she reached the button on his pants. Long, strong fingers manacled her wrist. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled back to reveal muscular forearms. Her attention wandered to the triangle of skin exposed at his throat, and the need to know if he was smooth all over ripped through her like a tidal wave. Her pulse tripped and stumbled.

“Please, Hawk, please,” she whispered. Unquenched ache left her voice cracked and rusty. She stared at his bobbing Adam’s apple, unable to look him in the eye as she threw her pride into the wind. “Please don’t make me wait anymore.” His grip loosened the tiniest bit. Taking his hand with her, she nestled her fist between her breasts. Her heart strummed against her knuckles. “Please.”

“This is dangerous. Haven’t I taught you anything?”

He’d taught her everything a man should be—strong, mindful, honest and upright. Unlike her fly-by-night father. The same man who’d inspired Luke Whitehawk’s unswerving loyalty when they served together decades before had abandoned Tara and her mother without a second thought. But Luke would never forget her. She’d make damn sure of it.

His fingers unfurled and he flattened his palm to the back of her hand. The warmth of his skin melted the last of her reserve. “You taught me everything I know about keeping my feet on the ground. Now let go and let me teach you how to fly.”

“You’re jumping into the fire.”

“You do it every day, and it makes me burn.” He tried to retreat but Tara held her ground. She wouldn’t allow him to run when they were so damn close. She couldn’t. “If you pull back now, I want you to remember this the next time you call me ‘little girl’—I’m not the one running away. You are.”

He recoiled as if she’d slapped him, but she didn’t back down. “I love you and you love me. No amount of time or distance or common sense is going to make that go away.”

Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please

Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please

Discover four sexy stories with a military twist in Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please.

E Is for Entice by Emily Cale
Coast Guard Petty Officer Evan Marshall knows it won’t be easy proving to his hometown that he’s matured—especially his former girlfriend, Ciara Knowles. Though they soon re-create some very hot memories, it may take a disaster to truly bring them together.

F Is for Fallout by Ginny Glass
When Spencer Corwin returns from Iraq, all he can think about is finally meeting the woman he’s been corresponding with in the flesh. But will their red-hot passion survive the fallout of learning they’ve both been living a lie?

G Is for Gun-Shy by Christina Thacher
Colonel Jack Travis doesn’t want to be partnered with buttoned-up military strategist Davina McCall—even if she’s the sexiest woman he’s ever seen. When a freak storm traps them in Jack’s cabin, the buttons start coming undone…and things really start heating up.

H Is for Hotshot by Maggie Wells
Smoke jumper Luke Whitehawk usually fights fires—when he’s not fighting his sizzling attraction to pilot Tara Ferris. And Tara’s determined that this is one battle Luke is destined to lose…

CONTEST:

To celebrate the release of Love Letters Volume 2: Duty to Please (Monday, May 20th!) I’d like to give away a digital copy of Volume 1: Obeying Desire.

Comment and let me know which types of uniformed heroes you prefer, and you’re entered! Be sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you. Contest ends Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59pm.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Maggie

 
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Comments

Where there’s smoke…. — 18 Comments

  1. No need to enter me in the contest; I’ve already got my copy of Love Letters #1. Just wanted to say…OMG, I can’t wait for Volume 2! This excerpt alone is melting my laptop screen. Best of luck with the series, Maggie!

  2. Would it be redundant to say that snippet was smokin’ hot? I can’t wait for this volume.
    I don’t need volume one as I jumped at that already.

  3. Love the smoldering excerpt! Thanks for sharing Maggie! As for uniformed heroes fire fighters would be my first choice, closely followed by police officers.

  4. With my father being not only a 21-year Air Force veteran but my hero, I absolutely adore a soldier. And truly, I love a man in any uniform. There is something about the suspenders on a fireman… LOL! (Cannot explain that one.)

  5. Well that excerpt certainly got my attention! Sounds like an enthralling read. Never considered smoke jumpers as a hero before, but yum!
    I love all uniformed heroes, but my personal favorites are the military ones. A few years after our marriage, my husband joined the Army. There’s just something about seeing a man in uniform day in and day out that makes my heart melt!

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