Sometimes the deepest burns are hidden from view...
All 20 year old Holly ever wanted to do was escape the boring Colorado mountain town where she was born. However, when she arrived at college, she found herself having too many wild nights. Worse yet, she had one too many mornings of waking up in an unfamiliar bed, and she couldn't keep her scholarship. Now that's she's back in Conifer, she has no idea what she is going to do with her life and no hope for the future.
Andrew's father died a couple years ago in an electrical accident, and while Andrew wants nothing more than to leave town, his mother's mental instability makes it impossible for him to go. He feels trapped in a no-win situation and his options are slipping away.
When a mutual friend has a crisis, Holly comes up with a plan, a plan that will change all their lives for the better. She knows that, despite previously being burned, all it takes to start a fire is a spark. However, she realizes that once again, she may have stood too close to the flame, and the torch she carries for Andrew burns brighter than ever.
Will Holly manage to rekindle old loves, or will the destructive fire in their hearts consume everything they hold dear?
This book was previously sold as "Fire Always Burns" and has received editing and some additional content.
Andrew's brows pushed together for a moment as he watched me, then with a shake of his head, he moved behind me and wrapped his arms around me. The heat was instantaneous and not just from his arms. His cologne filled my nostrils, his body felt strong and warm behind me. I knew I should break away, to just deal with the cold rather than let myself experience these feelings stirring within me, but I couldn't. I wanted to be close to him. I wanted to feel him touch me.
The lights in the Lake House dimmed and slowly turned off, the darkness enveloping us. I looked up to the heavens, feeling his breath on my neck. The stars twinkled in the clear sky, constellations and planets glimmering in their eternal dance. A splash of light illuminated the sky, followed by another and another. Colors exploded against the stars, streaming fire from the sky. The crowed oohed and ahhed as the night sky was filled with color.
I barely noticed the colors flooding the sky because my attention was on Andrew. His arms held me tightly, his warmth seeping into me and making my body ache for something I knew I could never have. I let myself believe for a moment, one beautiful moment, that this could work. That we could be more than friends. That I could kiss him, touch him, have him. That I could surrender myself to him and not be afraid of the consequences.
The sky was aflame with color for a glorious instant, then only streams of sparkling smoke and twinkling stars remained. The booms still echoed through the night, a rolling thunder following the man-made lightning. I turned my head slowly, feeling Andrew's breath along my cheek. His lips were so close to mine that I could almost feel them. I wanted to taste those lips, red and open just centimeters from mine. He leaned in closer.
His lips were soft against mine. I wanted to merge into him, to never leave this moment. He tasted sweet, like cocoa and sunshine. My heart thudded with happy excitement and I pressed in closer.
The lights in the Lake house turned on, flooding the deck with artificial light. The moment was broken, and Andrew dropped his hands quickly to his sides, releasing me. In the harsh light, I couldn't believe I had kissed him. I pulled my hat down low on my head, feeling my cheeks burn. I couldn't look at him so instead I put my hands on the balcony, hoping he didn't see how badly they shook.