Title: Return by Fire
Series: Glacier Adventures #1
Author: Tracey Jerald
Genre: MM Romance
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers/Firefighter
Release Date: November 16, 2023
I've often been called a hero, and not just by my baby sister.
Still, one afternoon, after receiving a 9-1-1 call from Kara about her best friend's brother caging her in for a drink, I agreed to rescue her. I'd do anything for my true family.
After meeting Jed Smith, I'm the one who is going to need saving. With a face as handsome as a supermodel and twisted as a demon, I'm caught between a rock and a hard place once I find out why he's in our beachside town.
In this case, my sister's the rock, and my hard place is just below the snap on my jeans.
How am I supposed to admit to Kara I'm heartless enough to have fallen in love with one of her nemesis?
Don't be so quick to cast me as a villain.
I expected my temper to be on fire when I met up with Kara Malone for a drink after not having laid eyes on her in more than a decade. But when her brother Dean pinned me with his golden eyes after I approached the table, something else went up in flames.
My good intentions.
Was it shallow to feel lust at first sight for this gorgeous fireman especially when I hold such a grudge against him? How am I supposed to maintain my indignant righteousness at these two secret keepers when all I wanted to do was find out what other kind of fires Dean could put out below deck—in my bed?
Most importantly, is what we feel put out by a one-time burn or are these the kind of flames that can last a lifetime?
Return by Fire is a MM, small town, best friend’s brother (times two!), enemies-to-lovers, romance between a sexy firefighter and an Alaskan native who is dying to heat things up in the worst of the winter cold. Told from Dean, Jed, and Kara’s POV, this gay romance novel is the new first book in the Glacier Adventure series, a contemporary small town romance series featuring found family, second chance romance, that centers around an unexpected reunion. Each book can be read as a standalone but is enjoyed together as a series.
The first words out of my mouth when I walk through the doors of the Spanish-motif firehouse late the next morning are, “What did I do in this life to be rewarded so greatly, oh Lord? I’ve died, and this clearly must be heaven.”
Much like the time I went to Greece, and the tour guide announced they chose the presidential palace guards for their appearance as much as for their security prowess, I feel overwhelmed by the devastating looks of the men in uniform. Christ, for the sake of the people who live in this community, I hope Dean hired them for more than their looks.
As soon as I have the thought, one of them hollers, “Welcome to Station 18. How can I help you?”
Just as I’m about to call back, a hand clamps down on my shoulder, and Dean murmurs, “Stop drooling. Most of them are married.”
Without remorse, I reply, “Busted,” before I yell back, “All good, boss.”
The young kid grins. “You’ve got the boss right there, sir.”
“Get back to work rolling that hose, Silver!” Dean bellows around me.
A beleaguered sigh accompanies his directive. I give the kid a once-over. “Awfully young.”
“They’re all young these days,” he grumbles.
Dean steps back, and I get my first full look at him in his station wear. The fire-resistant material hugs his broad chest and shoulders. I can’t help myself. My eyes drag down the front of his shirt to his slim cut pants before my eyes land on the heavy boots he’s wearing.
Without my asking, he lifts his foot before explaining, “We have to be ready to head out for anything—and I do mean anything—at a moment’s notice.”
“Like?” I ask truly curious.
His lips curve in the most delicious way before he shocks the shit out of me. “Gators.”
“I assume you don’t mean the kind you go rah-rah for in a big stadium in the fall?” I drawl, referencing the Florida Gator football team.
He scoffs, “If only people would stop feeding them their leftover Oscar Meyer bologna.”
I stop dead in my tracks. “You’ve got to be kidding.”
“Oh, I wish I was. Want a look around?” he offers.
“I’d love one.”
Dean gestures me forward. We pass a few more of his gorgeous colleagues, who he introduces as Breaker, Axe, and Knob, before we head toward the back of the station. My breath catches over the beauty of the location. Surrounded by fir trees intermixed with magnolias, the scent is something I’d never be able to replicate in Alaska. Inhaling sharply, I moan, “I wish I could bottle this smell.”
I didn’t realize how close Dean was until a whiff of his cologne weaves seductively through my senses. I know I’ll forever be searching for this exact combination wherever I go. My eyes pop open in surprise at the wayward thought. I meet his golden ones, which are crinkled in the corners.
“Damn. Here I am dreaming up L’Essence du Florida and being rude. I apologize.”
He reaches his arm up—Christ, is he making a move? Casually, as if my heart isn’t pounding at the idea, Dean croons, “I was hoping you’d keep your eyes closed.”
Almost of their own accord, my lids begin to lower. There’s a spark of awareness that crosses Dean’s face before his jaw firms. I shift microscopically closer.
His arm slides around my waist.
My heart thumps against the side of my ribs so hard, I’m afraid they’ll bruise.
He rasps, “Jed? There’s something I need to know.”
I’m melting and it has nothing to do with the fucking humidity. “What’s that?”
“How afraid are you of snakes?”
“Snakes? Why are you asking me about—” Everything, including time, stills as the heart that was pounding stops dead in my chest.
Just as I’m about to let out a scream Maris might hear back in Juneau, Dean’s face relaxes marginally. “Well, it’s not poisonous. That’s a good thing.”
“Good?” I’m a powder keg ready to explode at the mere mention.
Dean’s head cocks to the side. “Actually . . .” He lets me go and steps around me. Lifting a hand to the radio at his chest, he calls in to ask for a cage. “I think I just found the elementary school’s class pet. I’m going to try to catch it.”
Hearing that, I react instinctively—though I can’t say I’m proud of it.
And it sure as fuck isn’t from pleasure.
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It all began when Tracey would stay out for hours riding her bike and telling herself stories around her neighborhood in Connecticut. But writing became a certainty when she started rewriting the ends of books instead of doing her papers during college “just for fun.” After graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice swearing she saw things she’ll never quite believe and never quite forget, Tracey traded the world of law and order for IT.
Her work for a world-wide internet startup transferred her to Northern Virginia where she met her husband in what many call their own happily ever after. They have one son.
When she’s not busy with her family or writing, Tracey can be found in her home in north Florida drinking coffee, reading, training for a runDisney event, or feeding her addiction to HGTV.