Wildfire and Roses
by Hope Malory
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sparks fly when tenacious mountain climber and hiker Beasley McLemore meets hot smokejumper Will Gregor on a search and rescue mission in Yosemite. Getting together, however, isn’t easy. Strong-willed Beasley is bent on building a thriving landscaping business back home in the foothills of the majestic Smoky Mountains. Busy working 24/7, she has no time or energy for a man in her life…she thinks.
Scorched by love in his past, Will is content to live near awe-inspiring Lake Tahoe where he saves lives and forests as a remote wildland firefighter. He doesn’t need a committed relationship complicating his dangerous lifestyle…he thinks.
Through life-changing events and a family mystery, each must question long held beliefs about work, love, and life. Looming over their blossoming love affair is the 2,400 miles separating their homes and livelihoods. Will love keep them together or distance tear them apart?
Where do I start? “Case, I like Will way more than I thought possible. When he kisses me, it is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The intensity of the passion is crazy. I can read in his eyes he feels the same. With him, everything is all so new and exciting.”
“Do I sense a ‘but’ coming?”
“Let’s be realistic. What are our chances of making this work? We might as well live on different continents. We can’t drive across town or hop on a plane for a weekend visit whenever we want. How often would we be with each other? I can’t think of any scenario where a relationship would succeed.”
“What can I say, other than you have been the happiest in the last couple of weeks than I have ever seen you? You light up when you talk about Will. The way he looks at you, I can tell has the hots for you.”
“All of this scares me. I can’t fall in love with him.”
“Earlier, you brushed me off when I mentioned you moving here, but would you ever consider it?”
“I understand you don’t want to hear this again, but I built Beasley’s Gardens into a profitable business, and I don’t want to give up on my dream. Also, my family is there. Azalea Valley is my home, and this is Will’s home. I guess I should face reality and abandon the idea of falling in love.”
The lack of a committed relationship wasn’t so bad. True, women in town had asked her when she planned to marry, but over time, she had become impervious to their interrogations. People assumed because of her single status, she was lonely and unhappy. Though she hated to admit it, at times she was lonesome. More often, she was content to live without a man in her life and answer to no one except herself.
So many of her married or engaged girlfriends complained about their men. Some confessed to envying Beasley’s freedom and her ability to provide her own financial support. Casey divorced after two years of marriage. Why, then, did she encourage a relationship with Will?
Casey sighed. “I should give up on you, but I love you too much. You deserve your happily ever after.”
“I quit believing in fairy tales a long time ago. There is no Prince Charming for me.”
Transported by books as a child, Hope Malory developed an interest in writing in second grade when she discovered poetry. Those early seeds, along with a penchant for happy endings, led her to fulfill her dream of becoming a romance novelist.
After thirty years in the education field, Hope traded in a commute, traffic, and early mornings for inventing strong-willed characters and putting them in unpredictable situations.
Now, whether relaxing on the beach, traveling with her husband, or spending time at home, she is busy writing her next novel.
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