Fire Within

About the book

Environmental engineer/architect Sophie Alexander’s life blueprints have always centered on being solo, professionally and personally. Thanks to a less-than-stellar (a.k.a. majorly dysfunctional) family, she trusts no one and prefers to be alone…until she nearly dies alone.

Firefighter and eternal bachelor Nate Rottinghaus falls for Sophie the minute he lays eyes on her — while rescuing her from a burning building. Her defenses are down, but are his feelings enough to help her move beyond her past and embrace the fire within?

Fire Within is a stand-alone novella in the Island Fire series.


Sophie Alexander was going to die alone.

While she had long ago made the choice to live by herself, to be independent and self-sufficient in every way, dying alone was different. Creepy. Unnerving.

Okay, terrifying.

She was in her office — she knew that much. But everything else was confusing, including the layout, which she’d thought she knew back and forth and upside down. She should, as much time as she spent here. But the heat and the thick, lung-scorching smoke had sent her internal GPS powers to hell. Plus, the throbbing, swelling knot on the side of her head hurt so badly she couldn’t think straight.

Ironic that her life’s mission was to make the world greener, safer, and she was going to be asphyxiated by vile, poisonous gases in a fire.

Irony could suck it.


Her mind was scrambled like an egg, like the frog her satan-spawn brother had run through their mother’s good blender when he was thirteen. No. She was not going to waste a single thought on him, especially if these were among her last.

And she was definitely not going to just lie here and give up. Giving up went against everything inside of her. She’d never been a quitter, and lying in a stifling, smoke-filled sweatbox, coughing her brains out, was not going to change that.

She didn’t want to die. She had too much to live for. She had a company to run, buildings to improve, personal goals to kick ass at, literally and figuratively. Lying here and giving up was not an option.

Sophie pulled her smoke-saturated shirt over her mouth and nose, as if that would help much, and fought hard to stop coughing with every inhale. She hoisted her concrete-heavy body up on all fours as best she could and crawled a few feet, unsure of the direction she moved in but thinking if she kept going, she’d eventually run in to something. Preferably an exit.