AGAINST THE FIRE written by Kat Martin
Book #2 in the Raines of Wind Canyon Series
01/11 - Mira - Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
You always get burned when you play with fire but sometimes the heat is passion.
Gabriel Raines is a tough native son of Wyoming turned Texas transplant no matter what way you looked at it. He grew up tough from neglect and bullying; did his time as a Marine and faced his demons on the battlefield; and ran a successful construction and renovation business. But Gabe was no match for the sassy little slip of a woman named Mattie Baker. They met under terrible circumstances and never one to believe in coincidences but Gabe thinks a miracle may develop from this disaster in his life.
Someone is torching his construction sites and when a young man who Mattie is counseling is falsely accused her path collides with the rock hard Gabe and she is going to make him change his mind or else. He quickly realizes that accusing this boy is the wrong road to be traveling down but any road where Mattie goes he just might have to follow. She goes out of her way in her career as an architect and volunteer and trusts so few people that when Gabe comes on too strong her sense of flight kicks in. Gabe is a man used to getting what he wants so the chase is on even though it is derailed by another fire and another construction site burned to the ground. The apparent fact that these fires are personal, not random makes everyone jumpy but Gabe also wants to protect Mattie and do a little pouncing perhaps of his own.
Gabe and Mattie search for answers while the arsonist is getting more aggressive and the attacks more vicious. Gabe has some people angry with him as everyone does but he can’t think of anyone, including ex-soldiers that carry this kind of grudge. Women may have been scorned but did they take their vengeance this far in seeking pay back, Gabe was not buying that simple answer.
The nights are lighting up with Gabe and Mattie and he is wearing down her defenses even though she likes playing some cat and mouse games with him and has a very unusual secret she is keeping from him. Mixed signals are driving Gabe crazy but not having Mattie full time in his life, sleeping in his bed and planning a future together is just not what he wants to think about. Solving the crime and sending the arsonist away forever sounds better and then he and Mattie can hopefully have a life – plans are great aren’t they?
Love this 2nd book in the series it was captivating, thrilling, scary and romantic which is a great combination. You really see so many suspects and no one that fits the criminal profile so when it all comes together you as the reader are completely shocked which is just as it should be. The back story with Mattie’s friend is so sweet and having Gabe’s brothers involved make it all the more well-rounded. Thanks to Kat Martin for a knock down great book. Don't forget to pick up Book #1 in the series Against The Wind