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Burned by Suzanne Winslow is a book worth reading #romance #romancereaders #bookboost #ku



Title Burned

Author Suzanne Winslow

Genre Contemporary Romance


Book Blurb


Where there’s smoke there’s fire…


Third grade teacher Jenifer Nichols is getting her life back on track. The widowed single mother has worked hard to regain her pride and independence while carrying the guilt of her estranged husband’s death. Her new home in Grand Rapids provides a fresh start for her and her six-year-old son. Jenifer no longer believes in happy endings, but sparks ignite when the handsome firefighter across the street saves her son from a terrible accident.

Career firefighter Matthew Barnes missed the kind of childhood other kids had. Proud of his job protecting others, he longs to have a family, but a childhood accident means he can't have kids of his own. Then, just as sparks are turning into flames with Jenifer, his past suddenly threatens to turn his dreams of a bright future into ashes.


Backfire, book three in the Smoke and Fire series, releases in 2024.


Excerpt


Henry came through the doors from the parking lot. He shook off the rain from his turnout gear and looked over his shoulder before he pointed back behind him. “I think we’re about to have a problem.”


Nate’s jaw tightened as he quickly steered Jenifer toward the waiting room. A woman’s panicked voice called out Matt’s name. Jenifer stopped and turned around.


“Where’s Matt?” Jenifer recognized Jessie as she inserted herself between the men. “Was he hurt?”


No one answered. Jessie’s eyes flashed to Nate as Rachel strode back and gestured for Jenifer to follow. Jessie’s face flushed bright red when Jenifer started to walk away. “Wait!”


Jenifer had no intention of waiting. Henry signaled his sister to keep going.


Jessie pushed forward, raising her voice. “I said stop!”


Nate looked about to intervene when Jenifer turned on her heel, hands fisted at her sides, and faced Jessie. Any other time, she was content to let Matt handle her his way, but that wasn’t an option she had right now. “This is a bad time, Jessie.”


Jessie looked past Jenifer to Rachel. “I need to see Matt.”


“He asked for Jenifer,” Rachel said with a hint of irritation, making Jenifer wonder if she knew Jessie.


Jessie eyed Jenifer coolly. Jenifer fought to hold it together. Nate slipped between them and crossed his arms.


“Five minutes,” Jessie said, angling around Nate, calling out to Rachel as she led Jenifer away. “That’s it. That’s all I need.”


Jenifer didn’t look back as they passed through a set of metal doors and down a long narrow corridor. Matt had never come out and told her Jessie wanted to be with him. She had suspected as much after he told her about Jessie’s phone calls and text messages. Given the way Jessie had just looked at her, as if she had caught Jenifer in bed with her husband, she had no doubts now.


Jenifer waited as Rachel pressed a small metal plate on the wall, then followed her through another set of doors. “Are you a doctor?”


“No, I’m a nurse. I work in the ICU. I came down to check on my brother after I heard a firefighter was brought in.” The swinging doors whooshed open to the emergency department. Inside, exam rooms behind glass windows and doors ran the length of another long hallway.


Jenifer had to force herself not to push ahead of Rachel, knowing Matt was behind one of those doors.


Rachel checked in at the nurses’ station. “Has Matt Barnes been taken to X-ray yet?”


“The firefighter?” The nurse sitting behind the desk checked the computer and shook her head. “No, not yet. You can go see him.”


Jenifer nearly clipped the back of Rachel’s heels as they went to find him. “Did you really talk to him?”


“Only for a minute. I spoke to his doctor, too. Matt suffered a concussion. Possible broken ribs. They’ll know more after his X-rays.” Rachel slowed down and gestured to a door with the privacy curtains drawn over the windows. “Go ahead. I’ll tell the guys how he’s doing. And don’t worry if he’s groggy. It’s the pain medication.”


Jenifer took a deep breath and opened the door. Her hand shook parting the curtains. She didn’t know what to expect and was relieved to see him sitting up with his head leaned back against a pillow. Dressed in a mint-green hospital gown and covered with a white sheet, his arms rested at his sides. His eyes were closed. She thought maybe he was asleep until those eyes cracked open and the corner of his mouth turned up.


“Hey,” he said, his voice a little rough around the edges, but still the most wonderful sound in the world to her.


Her eyes welled up as she went to stand next to his bed. Her body deflated as any semblance of courage and strength crumbled. The reality of almost losing him struck her hard.


He sent her a weak smile. “Come here.”


She started to kiss his forehead, but he lifted his face and found her lips instead. “You scared me today.”


He put his hand on her cheek. “Helluva day.”


“Does this happen often?”

“No.” He sank back against his pillow. She sat in the chair beside him, holding his hand. He looked almost the same as he had when she’d kissed him goodbye yesterday morning. His face and hands were clean, but he still smelled of smoke and sweat like Nate and the others. He was unmarked, without any tubes or wires, and she felt her fear begin to subside.


His eyes closed. She sat back to let him sleep, and he squeezed her hand. “I love you.” His voice was barely above a whisper when his head lolled to the side.


“I love you,” she whispered back, even though he had fallen asleep. She folded her arms on the edge of the bed and laid down her head, still holding his hand. She hoped he remembered what he had said. But if he didn’t, that was all right. Because he was there—alive and whole, and hers.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)


Free to read on Kindle Unlimited!




Author Biography


Suzanne and her husband call Upstate New York home. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s often planning a road trip, or if it’s summertime, hanging out at the lake. Connecting with readers through TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and newsletters is a favorite pastime.


For more information about Suzanne and her books, visit www.suzannewinslow.com


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1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Oct 24, 2023

Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your book with us! I love this book.

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