Ashes by Gail Haris
Series: The Everyday Heroes World
Genres: Contemporary Romance
All that remains are ashes…
Fighting fires is in his blood. It’s more than a job—it’s part of who Carter Collins is. Everything was going according to plan until one fateful night. Now with only his brothers at the Sunnyville Fire Department and his grandmother to answer to, Collins is content with life the way it is—but then she comes along.
Natalia Vasquez took a position at the Sunnyville Hospital to leave her old life behind with hopes to escape the permanent ache in her chest. When a fire destroys her apartment, a strikingly handsome firefighter comes to her rescue.
With no choice but to move again, Natalia isn’t thrilled to find that the heroic ass is her new neighbor.
Will the tension burning between them be enough to rekindle the ashes that smolder inside of them?
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This is the first book in K.Bromberg’s multi-authored Everyday Heroes World. Howevr I will say that I enjoyed it. This is the story of firefighter Carter Collins, and ER nurse Natalia Vasquez.
Carter lost the love of his life and his brother two years prior to where we are in this story. He is still struggling to move beyond that tragic night. Natalia is struggling as well. Nothing has been going right for her. Her apartment catches fire and afterwards she accepts an offer from an elderly woman to move in with her. The women ends up being none other than Carter’s grandmother.
Carter and Natalia are both attempting to figure out if they can have a relationship. Carter is broken and Natalia has her own issues. Things aren’t easy and I love the way they navigate their way through the heartbreak to find something special.
There’s the sweet, lovely Lolly, but with her is that pendejo from last night who automatically assumed I was illegal and didn’t speak English. I raise my chin up and enter the room. I’m a professional, after all. Lolly deserves my attention and to get the best care, so I’m going to focus only on her.
Lolly is sitting on the bed and perks up when she sees me, “Natalia! I’m so lucky to get you again. How are you?”
Giving her a wide smile and keeping my eyes completely focused on only her, I walk to stand next to her on the opposite side of the pinche idiota firefighter who is looking ruggedly handsome in blue jeans and a fitted T-shirt. “I’m well, thank you. I’m glad to see you, but I’m concerned to see you here again. Are you still having issues with your blood pressure?”
“I fainted again. I think I overworked myself. I got up early this morning to feed the birds, and then I got to messin’ with my flower bed…”
“Lolly, I told you I’d handle the yard stuff. I was coming over.”
“I know, but I’m not an invalid, Carter!”
“I didn’t say you were.”
“You were implying it!”
“No…no, I was not. Stop putting words in my mouth and listen.”
“Don’t you take that tone with me! You think because you’re six four now that you can speak to your grandmother with that tone?”
Grandmother? This sweet woman? “I’m surprised such a sweet lady as yourself has this for a grandson.” As soon as the words are out, I cringe. Oh no, no. So not professional.
Lolly beams. “Oh, Natalia, you are my favorite around here. I don’t even like the hospital, but you more than make up for it.”
“Natalia…wait a minute.” Two large hands grab my shoulders and spin me around. What the hell? Carter leans down so we’re face to face. “It’s you! Natalia Vasquez.”
“Vasquez. And si señor. I help her, yes?” I give him a condescending smirk.
He drops his hands and stands up straighter. “You speak English.” He looks me up and down, I notice his eyes linger longer on my curves. “And you’re a nurse?”
“Registered Nurse, thank you very much.” I cock an eyebrow. I’m normally not hung up on titles. But he’s insulted me, and he needs to know what a fool he’s been. “Surprised?”
“To find you? Yes. That you’re a beautiful, educated woman in a career for helping others? No.”
I laugh. I actually burst out laughing. “You don’t even know me! Nice try at redeeming yourself from being an assuming, egotistical man last night.”
Lolly slides off the bed and comes to stand between us, “What is she talking about, Carter?”
I cross my arms and raise a brow at him again. He huffs. “Last night there was a fire at Natalia’s apartment.”
“My goodness, Natalia! Are you all right, sweetheart? How frightening.” Lolly turns back to her grandson, “But what did you do? You saved her, right?”
Firefighter Douche puffs out his strong chest, “Yes, I did.” He narrows his eyes at me. “I saved her.” He looks back at his grandmother. “Then I tried to check on her and she wouldn’t speak to me. She would only address the EMT in Spanish,” he cuts his eyes to mine, “so how was I supposed to know she knew any English? I was worried that you were in trouble or scared.”
I slowly nod my head and bite my bottom lip. “Yes, yes, I was. I was in trouble and also scared because my apartment was collapsing above my head and fire was raining down.”
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