Title: Forest Ridge Series Boxed Set
Author: Rosemary Indra
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
The Look of Love
Scott Denton always thinks of Penny Herrington as his best friend, a co-worker in the Forest Ridge Fire Department. She tricks him into helping her with the decorations for the Sweetheart Banquet. During their discussion about love and romance, Scott starts to notice Penny as a desirable woman.
When Penny hurts her ankle, Scott feels responsible and decides to move in with her. Spending time together, they share intimate discussions about love and marriage. Penny, a widow, feels guilty when her relationship with Scott becomes romantic. Devastated after a nasty divorce, Scott no longer believes in love and vows he’ll never remarry. He denies his feelings for Penny until he realizes only she can comfort him after he assist the fire department at a tragic car accident.
When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community--even work with the woman who left him four years ago. Professional sketch artist Abby Denton, still loves Mitch and hopes to regain his trust and respect by working with him. However, she fears when he discovers the truth about their daughter, he will never forgive her. As they work together, Mitch once again falls in love with Abby, but this time he refuses to let her walk out of his life. Can they rekindle the love that burned between them and uncover the identity of the arsonist before he turns their dreams and the town to ashes?
When Miranda Cummins borrows a friend’s cabin to finish writing her long overdue book, she’s surprised to find the one-room retreat already occupied by Kevin Mathews. Though she feels a spontaneous attraction for Kevin, Miranda has recently escaped a controlling husband and isn’t ready for a long-term relationship.
Unsatisfied with his occupation, Kevin is at a crossroads. Miranda understands and encourages him to look at the direction his life is going. Fired up by her encouragement, Kevin returns to Forest Ridge to resume his firefighting career.
When Miranda is threatened by her ex-husband, Kevin realizes he will do anything to protect her. Miranda has shown Kevin a new passion for life. Can he fan the flames of passion into an Everlasting Love?
The pager on her waistband sounded a moment before Penny heard the city's alarm sound. Her sense of duty and the need to help others pulled her back into the station to answer the call. "One vehicle off the road-milepost two on Oak Knoll Road." Penny read her pager out loud.
Once she put on her turnouts, she jumped into the engine. That's why she was there. After years of working at the bank, she'd gone back to school and became a paramedic. She wanted to help others and make a difference. Joining the fire department was the best way to honor Jim's memory.
Scott got into the officer's seat in front of her. She wondered if she should get out. Catching her reflection in the window, she straightened her turnout and renewed her fortitude. They'd shared a few kisses. Nothing more. The passion his kiss ignited was best forgotten. If he was uncomfortable with the situation, he could get into the other vehicle.
She ignored the usual chatter in the engine cab as other firefighters joined them and they drove to the accident. A pickup truck rolled over in the ditch with one occupant was all she'd heard. She drew a deep breath trying to still her clamoring nerves. Until now, she'd ignored her growing awareness of Scott. For some reason tonight her defenses were lowered and she could no longer disregard her desire for him.
Once they stopped at the scene, Scott asked. "Penny, do you feel comfortable directing traffic?"
Without looking at him, she replied, "Yes." Then she grabbed a flashlight, fluorescent vest and stop sign from the side compartment and hurried to the back of the engine. Red lights flashed around her. She directed the rescue unit and ambulance to the accident a few yards up the road.
"Watch your backside," Scott yelled. Like always, he stood behind her, protecting her.
Guiding drivers wasn't her favorite job in the department, but traffic was light for the middle of the night. She couldn't believe how much time they'd spent in the storage room.
"How are you doing?" he asked a few minutes later.
Penny jumped at the sound of his voice beside her. "You startled me, I didn't hear you." She hadn't been able to get Scott off her mind since they left the station. Now she hesitated to look at him.
"I wanted a chance to talk to you alone." His voice held a serious tone; an I-want-to-clarify-any-misunderstanding-tone.
Red lights from the rescue unit continued their rhythmic flash around them. The colored illumination added a surreal appearance to the worry lines that marked Scott's face. He too appeared shaken by something. In the darkness she couldn't fully read his expression. With his brows lowered, he had a stern look of finality over his features. She guessed their kissing surprised him as much as it did her. Afraid she was losing her best friend, she breathed in deep. She knew and dreaded the subject he wanted to discuss with her.
"I'm sorry about earlier. I…"
"I understand it won't happen again," she said hurriedly. If only she could turn back the clock.