Thursday, June 15, 2023

#NewRelease #MustRead #FirefighterRomance - FRIENDLY FIRE (Brothers of Fire #3) by Kathryn Shay

Title: Friendly Fire
Series: Brothers of Fire #3
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre: Contemporary/Firefighter Romance
Release Date: June 15, 2023

Captain Tim Daniels, a highly regarded firefighter, thinks everything’s okay at home until his wife Ava announces she’s unhappy with their marriage. She tells him he has to change his lifestyle for them to stay together. He’s been happy with how they live for fifteen years, so he has no desire to alter his behavior. But will he, for the love of his life?

“How are you, doing?” Noah Keaton asked.

“How the fuck do you think I’m doing?”

All four of the Brothers of Fire, seated around Tim Daniels’ hospital bed went silent. Tim let out a heavy breath and shook his head. “Sorry to be such a grump. I’m so damned frustrated. And my shoulder hurts like hell.” He touched the sling on his left arm that was supported by pillows. “This thing is a pain in ass. It pulls on my neck.” The last part sounded so plaintive that he didn’t recognize how own tone. 

Jarek got up and crossed to the chair right next to the bed. He put his hand on Tim’s right arm. “I’d be the same way, buddy. You can let it out with us.”

“Yeah, but not at you.”

“Point taken.”

“Are you having nightmares?” Jarek asked.

“Yeah. They’re Scary.”

The guys expressed their sympathy. Traumatic events caused some PTSD in the department.

“Has Ava been here?” Adam asked. He sat with his ankles crossed his hands on this belly.

“Oh, yeah, she comes. She either sits there like a bump on a log or flits through a magazine. We only talk if we fight.”

“Why does she come, then?” Noah asked.

“Wifely duty. How would it look if a firefighter’s wife ignored her husband when he was the in the hospital?”

Noah shook his head. “Must be hell.”

“I’m thinking of telling her not to visit.” Tim struggled to find better news. “The girl are great when they’re here. They read to me, play games with me, fawn over me.”

“They love their daddy.” Noah of course would say that. Both of Tim’s girls were babysitting for him now.

“Speaking of Daddy…” Tommy put in. “We need an update from you, Noah. How’s it going with the boys and Chloe?”

He grinned. “Chloe’s pregnant.”

Four jaws gaped open. “Seriously?”



“Is that why she came back to you?” Jarek asked.

Noah snorted. “No. We’re in love. She can’t fake that.”

“How you gonna do all this?” Tommy wanted to know.

“We have no idea. We’re figuring it out now. I only found out two days ago.” He nodded. “The night you were shot, Tim.”

“Some good news then, I guess.” 

“Yeah. Five kids.” Tommy smiled. “I hope I have at least one.”

“What about Chloe’s acting career?” Adam asked.

“I think she’s going to take time off after this movie wraps up on Harris Hill.”

“So she’ll still audition for roles?” Jarek this time.

“Actually, she’s booked for some already. But she takes a few months respite between films. This time it’s four, which will take us to seven months. She’s working with her agent to either get her out of the next film deal or postpone the filming until she’s recovered from birth.”

“It sounds like a crazy life, buddy.” Adam liked things more structured than what Tim’s life would be.

“Yeah, Adam. It is. But the choice is between that craziness or not being together. That makes it more palatable.”

“Knock, knock.”

All the guys looked over to the door. There stood a gorgeous brunette with lush hair and hazel cat eyes. Her body, in the slim pink dress, showed all her curves. 

Tim said, “Courtney, what are you doing here?” 


“I didn’t want to interrupt. I’m sorry your friends thought they had to leave.” Courtney Harper was the wife of Tim’s best friend. He’d died fighting a fire.

“Don’t worry, the guys had been here a while. I haven’t heard from you in so long.”

“May I sit?”

“Of course.” 

She crossed to the chair and settled into it gracefully. Then she took his hand. “I saw the news of Crystal City Online. They released the names of the firefighters who were hurt.”

“I’m glad you came.” He squeezed her fingers and watched her face. And remembered holding that face in his hands. Their last words to each other were, We can’t.

She nodded to his shoulder. “How are you feeling?” 

“Better every day. But it still hurts.”

“I’m so sorry.” She bit her lip. “You could have been killed.”

“Don’t think about that. What have you been doing?”

She let go of his hand and leaned back, crossed those sexy legs. “I got a job at an art gallery. It’s okay pay and with Hank’s pension and the kids Social Security, we have plenty of money.”

“Are you still living up on Lakeview Road?”

“Yes. I have family money too, if you remember, that paid for it.”

“I do.” Hank had been embarrassed by this show of wealth. “You have a lovely home.” 

She sighed. “Listen to us. We’re talking like strangers.”

“In a way we are. All that was years ago.” 

“It seems like yesterday.”

She looked out the window and bit her bottom lip. He remembered that affect. When they were together as families, it meant she was thinking about that past.

“I see Jayden and Linc, you know.”

“Yeah, they’re still good friends with Kathleen and Brie. Is it hard for you to see them?”

“Not so much anymore. At first it was.”

“They ask why we never see your family anymore.”

“I compartmentalize, Court. You know that.”

Her face paled. “So I’m just in another one of your boxes?”

“We agreed on that.”

“Then I probably shouldn’t have come.”

“No, no, that’s not what I mean. I’ve wanted to see you again.” He shrugged his good shoulder. “You apparently climb out of the box periodically.”

She laughed again. That sultry laugh he remembered so vividly. “What an image.”

“I have other memories. I try to squelch them, but they come when I’m down.”

“Ah. She glanced at his injury. “How did this happen?”

“Someone with a grudge against the department probably. He laid in wait.”

“For you?”

“Couldn’t be for me. I was taking someone’s place.”

She shook her head. “What an awful thing.”

“They’re investigating it now.”

“Do you need anything?”

“No, no. I have what I need.”

“Do you, Tim?”

“Don’t go there, Courtney. I’m still married.”

“Are you happy?”

He stared at her. “Why? You want to start things up again?”

“Is that an offer?”

“No.” God, this was hard enough the first time. He never expected to go through it again.

She stood. “Well then, I guess I should leave.” She got to the door then turned back. “It’s too bad, Tim. We could have been happy.”

He didn’t know what to say so he just watched her walk out that door.


A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction. One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Readers call her work heartwarming.


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